Aug. 1, 2013 – Kelowna, BC
Kelowna Rockets defenceman Damon Severson is looking to make this Christmas like none he has ever had in his hockey career.
Severson, who will turn 19 in a week, will head to Quebec on Saturday to attend Hockey Canada’s summer tryout camp vying for a spot on Team Canada’s entry in this year’s World Junior Hockey Championships, to be held in Sweden beginning on Boxing Day.
It’s a Canadian tradition like none other for hockey fans, including the Severson clan in Melville, SK.
“We usually watch every year,” said Severson, who has previous international experience at the Under-17 and 18 levels with Hockey Canada. “Now that it’s coming up to my chance it’s getting more intense. Last year we really watched to see how the games were played. It’s really important to me and I’d be honoured to get the chance to represent my country.”
Severson will be among 10 defenceman at the summer tryout camp, looking to catch the attention of heach coach Brent Sutter. Severson says confidence will be a key factor for him at the camp.
“I think (the key is) going in prepared and being confident in the work that you have done this summer,” he said. “It’s the high end talent in all of Canada at this age and I think you want to go in confident and make sure you stand out in the crowd.”
Severson is coming off a 52 point season in his third full season with the Kelowna Rockets. A second round draft pick of the New Jersey Devils in 2012, Severson spent a week at the Devils’ prospects camp this summer and has been working out with a personal trainer in Saskatoon during the off season, in preparation for the chance to play for Team Canada at the World Juniors.
Canada’s National Junior Team will gather in Brossard at the Montreal Canadiens’ practice facility for two practices on Aug. 4 and 5 before travelling to Lake Placid for exhibition games against Finland (Aug. 7), Sweden (Aug. 8) and the United States (Aug. 10).
The roster was selected by members of the Program of Excellence management group, including Kelowna Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton as well as Sean Burke, senior director of hockey operations/national teams Scott Salmond and head scout Ryan Jankowski and head coach Brent Sutter, who has the final decision on all player personnel decisions.
The 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held in Malmö, Sweden from Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014.