Daemon Hunt is no stranger to being a member of Team Canada.
The Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman has worn the maple leaf for Canada at the World Under-17 and World Under-18 tournaments and now he has a chance to represent his country at the Under-20 World Junior Championship, as he’s been invited to Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp, set for July 27-31.
“It was really humbling, honestly,” Hunt said. “Every time I get invited to Hockey Canada, it’s always really special. I think for this one, it’s more of a milestone for me just watching the World Juniors on TV at Christmas every year.”
But this year’s camp will be a little bit different, as it will be held virtually. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and since Team Canada brass already know what many of these players can do on the ice, this year’s camp will be focused on off-the-ice events.
“We’ve had a couple meetings but it’s pretty much team builders, get to know the coaches, one-on-one meetings, so all that stuff,” Hunt said. “I think we might have a couple of workouts mixed in there, too.”
Hunt, who grew up in Moosomin, Sask., before moving to Brandon, Man., at age 14, is also preparing for another big event this year, the NHL Entry Draft. However, like the World Junior camp, the NHL draft, which is scheduled for Oct. 9, will be virtual.
“It’s definitely disappointing not going to Montreal and going on stage and being part of that process, but I’m (still) really excited,” Hunt said.
The 18-year-old is currently ranked 25th among North American skaters, according to NHL Central Scouting, meaning he’s projected to be a late first- or second-round pick. Hunt has been in contact with almost every NHL team, through various online calls and emails, but isn’t too concerned with who picks him and when he gets picked.
“I’m not too worried how high I go,” Hunt said. “It’s just getting to the right place, getting the right opportunity, and if they like you, they’ll take you.
“I’m going to take that to heart and show them that I can make the jump to the national league someday.”