Stefan Della Rovere knows first-hand what an appearance in the Subway Super Series can do for you.
The 19-year-old forward from Barrie used a last-minute invite to the Canadian Hockey League showcase last November to propel himself into a job as a key role player for Team Canada at the IIHF world junior championship.
He ultimately helped Canada capture a fifth straight gold medal.
“I just tried to prove myself there and that got me invited to camp and I made the most of it,” said Della Rovere. “It was a stepping stone for my career and a dream come true.”
Dozens of Canadian hockey hopefuls will look to follow in Della Rovere’s footsteps starting Monday, when the annual six-part Super Series opens with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League hosting Russia in Drummondville, Que.
This is the seventh year the CHL has held the Super Series, formerly known as the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge.
More than 80 hopefuls will get a look, a much larger group than the one that reported to August’s evaluation camp.
“Anybody in this game has an opportunity to showcase themselves for our program,” said Hockey Canada’s head scout, Al Murray.
“They can move themselves up our charts.”
Canada has won 30 of 36 contests with Russia, while the Ontario Hockey League remains a perfect 12-0.
Della Rovere, a Washington Capitals draft choice, will participate in the Super Series again this year, although he won’t be flying under the radar this time around.
Along with the likes of Jordan Eberle and Ryan Ellis, he will be among a handful of returnees who will lead the charge for a six-peat.
But there are more than a dozen jobs up for grabs. Taylor Hall, a Windsor Spitfires forward who could go No. 1 in the 2010 NHL draft, is among the new faces to watch.
“It’s a great opportunity to look at the top 80 or 90 players that are eligible for our team against a real quality opponent,” Murray said.
“It’s a very effective evaluation tool.”