Canadiens prospects Zach Fucale and Jeremy Grégoire were among the 41 players invited on Monday to Canada’s national development camp for the IIHF World Junior Championship. The camp will be held Aug. 3-8 in Brossard, Montreal and Sherbrooke. Four goaltenders, 12 defencemen and 25 forwards were invited.
The 2015 World Junior Championship is slated for Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Montreal and Toronto.
“I would like to congratulate the players selected today to attend the development camp,” said Ryan Jankowski, head scout of the Program of Excellence for Hockey Canada. “This is a first step towards being chosen to represent Canada at the world juniors, but these 41 players have the first opportunity to show the coaching staff how they can help Canada succeed in Toronto and Montreal at Christmas-time.”
The 41 players will get together at the Canadiens’ practice facility in Brossard for practices on Aug. 3 and 4 before playing the national junior teams of the Czech Republic and Russia in tuneup games.
Fucale, a goalie with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads, was selected by the Canadiens in the second round (36th overall) at last year’s NHL draft. In 50 games with the Moosheads this past season, Fucale posted a 36-9-3 record with a 2.26 goals-against average and .907 save percentage. He earned the Jacques Plante Trophy at the QMJHL Golden Puck Awards for posting the best goals-against average in the league and was also named the QMJHL’s personality of the year.
Grégoire, a 6-foot, 187-pound centre, was selected by the Canadiens in the sixth round (176th overall) last year. In 62 regular-season games last season, split between Chicoutimi and Baie-Comeau, he posted 19-13-32 totals. In 22 playoff games with Baie-Comeau, he averaged more than a point a game with 9-14-23 totals, helping the Drakkar reach the league final. Grégoire also received a Guy Lafleur Award Excellence for combining hockey with academic excellence. He had an 87.3% grade average at Baie-Comeau Cégep, where he is enrolled in the Human Sciences.
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)