Of all the celebrated Canadian moments from the annual IIHF World Junior Championship, Jordan Eberle’s dramatic tying goal against Russia in 2009 stands out above the rest for Bo Horvat.
That goal with only 5.4 seconds remaining in the third period sent the game to overtime and the shootout, before Team Canada eventually prevailed. It would capture gold against Sweden two nights later.
Horvat, selected ninth overall by the Vancouver Canucks at this year’s NHL Draft, will have the opportunity to create his own world junior memory.
On Monday, Hockey Canada announced it’s 25-man selection camp roster for the upcoming tournament, which begins Boxing Day in Malmö, Sweden.
Horvat was one of two Canucks’ prospects named to the camp, which begins Dec. 12 in Etobicoke, Ont. Hunter Shinkaruk, selected 24th overall and a forward for the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL, will also compete for a spot on Canada’s team.
“When I got the call this morning, I was really thrilled to be a part of it and I just can’t wait there and show them what I got,” Horvat told Metro in a phone interview Monday.
“There’s definitely a little bit of nerves. More excitement than anything but definitely a little nervous at the same time.”
Shinkaruk, active on social media, took to Twitter a few minutes after the announcement, saying, “…huge honour to be named to the camp roster. Can’t wait for this opportunity.”
The 25-man roster is the lowest number of players to attend a selection camp, according to Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson.
TSN reported that only three players – two forwards and one defenceman – will be released prior to the beginning of the tournament, which would suggest Horvat and Shinkaruk stand a good chance of making Team Canada.
The final roster will include 22 players, and has to be finalized by Dec. 25.
“You can’t be laid back, you can’t think you already have a spot on the team,” said Horvat, who has 12 goals and 37 points in 24 games with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
“You just gotta go and prove yourself … and prove to them that you should stay there and be on the team.”
Horvat, 18, was a late cut from Canucks’ training camp in September. Both he and Shinkaruk impressed during their time in Vancouver, but were sent back to their respective junior clubs.
Much like Shinkaruk admitted last month, Horvat said it was at first difficult adjusting back to life in the OHL.
“It took maybe a little bit to get back into the groove and back into the junior lifestyle,” he said.
“It was tough to get motivated right away … but once I got some games under my belt and started to get playing again, started to get back with the guys and getting used to everyone, it started to click again.”
Team Canada is coming off a fourth place finish in Ufa, Russia, in January. That marked the first time since 1998 that Canada’s team did not earn at least a medal.
Canada’s last first-place finish came back in 2009.
“There’s always pressure, you always want to win gold for your country,” said Horvat.
BRITISH COLUMBIA REPRESENTED AT TEAM CANADA SELECTION CAMP
Four players from British Columbia were named to Team Canada’s selection camp roster, which was named on Monday.
West Vancouver’s Griffin Reinhart, a defenceman for the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, and his younger brother, Sam Reinhart, a forward for the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, were named to the camp.
Delta’s Nic Petan, a forward with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, and Vernon’s Curtis Lazar, a forward with the Oil Kings, were also named to the camp.