Ferry ready to face world

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

From high-flying forward Corey Perry to rookie defenceman Steve Ferry, expect the London Knights to get good, long looks from the people picking Canada's international hockey entries.

After all, most folks will tell you the point of playing in international tournaments is to win gold medals. Why not select a handful of guys from the lone Canadian Hockey League team that has yet to taste defeat?

Ferry, a 16-year-old blueliner and London's first-round pick in last spring's draft, was named to Team Ontario yesterday for the world under-17 Hockey Challenge, Dec. 29-Jan. 4 in Lethbridge, Alta.

So was the Knights' sixth-round pick Jason Guy, a goaltender playing with the St. Thomas Stars of the Western junior B league, and Kitchener's standout rookie forward Justin Azevedo, a West Lorne native and Chatham Maroons grad.

"It's an honour, it's a long process, you go through a lot of camps, they're watching you for about a year," said Ferry, a five-foot-10, 175-pound Richmond Hill native.

"It'll be nice to play against all guys my own age again and see how you measure up. Playing (in the OHL) is an adjustment, it's a lot different (than playing midget in the Toronto area)."

Ferry has two goals and three points and a plus-four rating in 17 games with the unbeaten and nationally No. 1- ranked Knights. He has had to earn every bit of ice time on an experienced blue-line and will miss up to six OHL games while in Alberta.

"Hopefully, we lose a lot of guys (to international tournaments) in December," said Knights head coach Dale Hunter.

"Seriously, we like to see our players get those opportunities. They've earned it."

The Knights' Dylan Hunter, Danny Syvret and Gerald Coleman (U.S.) have played on under-17 teams in the past.

Dave Bolland suited up for an under-18 national team last year while Perry has played for the under-17s, under-18s and was a late cut with last year's world junior team.

"What I've learned is, the under-17 team gets you on the right track," Perry said. "A lot of the guys who played for that team go on to under-18s, and I tried out with a lot of those same guys at the world junior camp.

"It's an exciting start and an amazing experience. You never forget it. Our under-17 team won the bronze in Winnipeg that year.

"When (Steve) got that phone call telling him he made the team, it was probably the greatest moment of his life to this point."

Knights captain Danny Syvret had a good moment by earning the Canadian Hockey League's player-of-the-week honours.

The third-year blue-liner scored twice against Mississauga, had a four-point game, including two goals, against Belleville, and scored the game-winner in another win over Erie.

Perry was CHL player of the week earlier in the year.

Former Knight Logan Hunter, traded to Peterborough on Oct. 22 for a conditional seventh-round draft pick, skated with his ex-team yesterday.

The 20-year-old forward stayed in London while recovering from a broken ankle and has yet to play a game this season. He expects to head to Peterborough in the next few days.

KNIGHTWATCH

Tomorrow: Against Ottawa, 7 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre. Televised on Rogers Sportsnet.

Sunday: Against Sault Ste. Marie, 2 p.m. at the JLC.


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