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Blake Speers bound for Hockey Canada Under-18 selection camp

Wednesday, June 25, 2014   by: Brad Coccimiglio

For the second time this week, a Soo Greyhounds player has been given the opportunity to compete for a spot on a Canadian national team.

After defenceman Darnell Nurse was among 41 players invited to Hockey Canada’s development camp for the national junior team, Greyhounds forward Blake Speers has been named one of 44 players invited to Hockey Canada’s selection camp for the national men’s under-18 team that will compete at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup that begins on Aug. 11.

Speers, a Sault Ste. Marie native coming off his first season with the Greyhounds, was one of 41 players invited to participate in the camp, which begins on Aug. 2 in Calgary.

From that camp, 22 players will be selected to represent Canada at the five-day tournament held in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia.

Speers is one of 15 players from the Ontario Hockey League selected to compete in the four-day camp which will be held at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.

Speers finished his rookie season with 19 goals and 40 points in 62 games with the Greyhounds.

The selection camp roster was selected by Hockey Canada head scout Mark Jankowski with feedback from head coach Derek Laxdal of the Western hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings, who will lead the Canadian team in the tournament. Assistant coaches Jody Hull (Peterborough Petes/OHL) and Eric Veilleux (Baie-Comeau/Quebec League) and the program of excellence management group, which includes former NHL goaltender Sean Burke along with Bruce Hamilton (Kelowna/WHL), Joel Bouchard (Blainville/QMJHL) and Mark Hunter (London/OHL) also assisted in the selection of players.

File photo by Kenneth Armstrong/

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