Guhle and Wiesblatt earn invites to World Junior summer camp

Photo Courtesy of Hockey Canada Kaiden Guhle celebrates after scoring a first period goal for Canada against Germany on Boxing Day.

Kaiden Guhle and Ozzy Wiesblatt are on Hockey Canada’s radar for the 2022 World Juniors.

The Prince Albert Raiders teammates were among 51 players that earned invites to this year’s National Junior Team Development summer camp, which will run from July 28 to Aug. 4 at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on the Tsuut’ina Nation near Calgary.

Instead of taking their usual trip to Plymouth, Mich. to take part in USA’s Hockey summer showcase tournament, Canada’s roster will instead have practices and intrasquad games with players attending their Under-18 Summer Camp, which included Regina Pats phenom Connor Bedard and incoming Winnipeg Ice forward Matthew Savoie among others.

Guhle, who played in just two games with the Raiders in the Regina hub this spring before suffering a season-ending hand injury, suited up for Canada at the 2021 tournament in Edmonton.

The Montreal Canadiens prospect had two goals and an assist in seven games on his way to winning a silver medal.

Photo Courtesy of Keith Hershmiller/WHL Saskatoon Blades forward Blake Stevenson battles for position with Ozzy Wiesblatt of the Prince Albert Raiders earlier this season in Regina.

Wiesblatt, who is unable to attend the camp, led the Raiders in scoring last season with 28 points in 23 games.

A signed prospect of the San Jose Sharks, Wiesblatt has previously represented his country at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

In addition to Guhle, goaltender Dylan Garand (Kamloops Blazers), defenceman Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters) and forwards Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves) and Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit) have earned invitations to the summer camp after playing for Canada last season.

Byfield and Drysdale, who are both expected to compete for spots on the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks respectively this fall, will not be taking part in the camp.

Forwards Elliot Desnoyers of the Halifax Mooseheads and Jack Finley of the Spokane Chiefs will also not attend the event after earning invites, along with Michigan Wolverines blueliner Owen Power, who is projected to be the first overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres at this weekend’s NHL Draft.

Regina’s Cole Sillinger, who is a forward for the Medicine Hat Tigers, was the lone Saskatchewan player to earn a spot on the summer camp roster, while Kingston Frontenacs forward Shane Wright will be the only underage player taking to the ice.

Hockey Canada also announced on Wednesday morning that Dave Cameron will be the team’s head coach at this year’s tournament, which will be held in Edmonton and Red Deer from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

Cameron, who was the bench boss for Canada’s silver medal winning squad in 2011, had spent the last three years coaching the Vienna Capitals in Austria following a two-year stint as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames.

He will be replacing Andre Tourigny, who was expected to be back for his second straight tournament before becoming the head coach for the Arizona Coyotes earlier this month.

Tourigny’s previous position as the head coach of the Ottawa 67’s, which he had held since 2017, will also be filled by Cameron.

The rest of Canada’s coaching staff will consist of returning assistant Mike Dyck (Vancouver Giants) and newcomers Louis Robitaille (Gatineau Olympiques) and Dennis Williams (Everett Silvertips).

Around the WHL

The Saskatoon Blades announced their new head coach on Wednesday morning as they hired Brennan Sonne, who had spent the last four seasons behind the bench for the Ducs d’Angers team in France.

The 34-year-old Sonne, who had 29 points in 143 WHL games from 2006 to 2008 with the Everett Silvertips, Red Deer Rebels and Edmonton Oil Kings, was an assistant coach with the Silvertips from 2014 to 2017 before heading overseas.

He will be taking over the Blades coaching duties from Mitch Love, who was named head coach of the AHL’s Stockton Heat earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the Tri-City Americans strengthened their goaltending situation by signing 2020 import draft pick Tomas Suchanek

The 18-year-old Czech netminder, who is ranked sixth among European puckstoppers by NHL Central Scouting for this weekend’s NHL Draft, had an 8-10-0 record with a 3.12 goals against average, a .908 save percentage and a shutout last season for HC Frydek-Mistek.

He has also represented his home country at the World Under-18’s and the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Around the CHL

After originally being rumoured in April, the Canadian Hockey League officially confirmed a new multi-year broadcast rights partnership with TSN, RDS and CBC on Wednesday.

The deal, which will start next season, will see 30 regular season games broadcast on TSN, along with select post-season contests and the CHL’s national events, such as the Memorial Cup, Top Prospects Game and the Canada/Russia Series.

There will also be 20 French-language telecasts on RDS, early-season weekend games broadcast by CBC Sports and digital streaming rights featuring a CHL TV broadcast each week during the regular season on TSN, RDS, and the free CBC Gem streaming service.

TSN had broadcasted the Memorial Cup from 1990 to 1998, when the CHL TV rights package then moved to Sportsnet.

There is no word yet as to who will make up the broadcast team.