Stone makes big impact at Hockey Canada camp
Senators prospect enjoys five-point night in final world junior intra-squad matchup
|Senators forward prospect Mark Stone totalled eight points in two intra-squad games that wrapped up Hockey Canada's summer development camp held in Edmonton and Fort McMurray, Alta., in advance of the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship (Andy Devlin/Hockey Canada Images).
And Mark Stone surely made a compelling argument for himself.
The Ottawa Senators prospect gave Hockey Canada plenty to think about with a standout performance during a pair of intra-squad games that closed out the national junior team's summer development camp in Alberta.
Sunday night in Fort McMurray, Alta., Stone collected a pair of goals and added three assists as Team Red rolled past Team White 8-2. He also accounted for half of Team Red's goals in a 5-4 setback at the hands of Team White in Edmonton on Saturday evening. In all, the Senators' sixth-round pick (178th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft totalled eight points in the two games.
"You want to come here and make an impression," Stone told The Canadian Press after Sunday's game in Fort McMurray, which wrapped up the six-day summer camp.
Stone quickly established chemistry on a line with Jonathan Huberdeau of the Saint John Sea Dogs and Ryan Johansen of the Portland Winter Hawks. Both were high selections in the NHL draft: Huberdeau went third overall to the Florida Panthers this year, while Johansen was the No. 4 pick (by the Columbus Blue Jackets) in 2010.
"Those two guys are great players, top-five picks in the National Hockey League," said Stone. "I just had to come here, not change anything from what I did this season. Being paired with those two, it was great chemistry."
Count Team Canada head coach Don Hay among those highly impressed by the trio.
"They looked like a pretty good line," he told reporters after Sunday's game. "It’d be nice to get them all back at Christmas time. They’re big, they’re strong and they’re skilled. They give the other team a lot of problems when they have the puck in the offensive zone."
Hockey Canada invited 47 players to the summer camp, which is step one in building the team it will send to the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship, which opens Dec. 26 in Edmonton and Calgary. About 35 players are expected to be brought to Calgary in December for the final selection camp before the tournament.
"We feel we have a lot of players that are going to come back at Christmas time and give us the opportunity to be first, a competitive team, and give us a chance to win the gold medal," said Hay.
Canada has been the silver medalist at the last two world juniors, falling to the United States in 2010 and Russia a year ago in the championship game.
Meanwhile, Team USA's preparations for the 2012 event continue this week in Lake Placid, N.Y., with a mini-tournament against squads from Sweden and Finland. Among the American hopefuls are two Senators picks in the 2011 draft, Matt Noesen (first round, 21st overall) of the Plymouth Whalers and Shane Prince (second round, 61st overall) of the Ottawa 67's.
Sweden's team will include centre Mika Zibanejad, the Senators' top pick (sixth overall) in the 2011 draft, and defenceman Fredrik Claesson (fifth round, 126th overall).