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Team Canada invites 2 Saskatoon Blades to camp

Saskatoon Blades forward Kirby Dach (l) and goalie Nolan Maier (r) have been invited to Team Canada’s Under-18 summer selection camp. Hockey Canada / Supplied

Two players with the Saskatoon Blades will have more to do this summer than getting ready for a new season.

The team said Kirby Dach and Nolan Maier have been invited to Team Canada’s Under-18 summer selection camp being held at the end of July in Calgary.

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“Unlike our other summer camps, these players are part of a selection process from the moment they arrive, and the opportunity is to represent Canada on the world’s stage,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams for Hockey Canada.

“We have a very talented group of players coming to Calgary in late July, and we will no doubt have some very difficult decisions to make when it’s time to select this year’s Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team.”

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They are among 44 players looking to earn a spot on the roster and represent Canada at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup taking place in Alberta the following month.

Dach, 17, had 46 points in 52 games with the Blades during his rookie season. He has previously represented Canada internationally, playing at the World U-17 Challenge in 2017 when he picked up seven points in five games.

Maier, one of four goaltenders invited to the camp, also represented Canada at the World U-17 Challenge. He was the Blades MVP and rookie of the year for the 2017-18 season, picking up 23 wins along with two shutouts.

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The Blades are the only WHL team to have two players invited to the camp.

They will be joined by Blades head coach Mitch Love, who is an assistant coach for Team Canada at the tournament.

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