Can't bear to watch again

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

Bryan Little has no interest in taking another trip down memory lane.

The Barrie Colts star was cut at Canada's junior selection camp last winter and it has bothered him since.

"I was so close and then to go home for the Christmas break and watch them (eventually win gold in Vancouver) was not fun," Little said. "I was happy we won but (not being there) gives me an extra edge this year."

Hockey Canada will announce its selection camp roster Dec. 4 and Little is a smart bet to be on it. Hockey Canada head scout Jim Hammett, who is in his first year on the job after taking over from Blair Mackasey, recently watched Little and was impressed.

Little, taken 12th overall in the NHL entry draft in June by the Atlanta Thrashers, has 17 goals and 21 assists in 20 Ontario Hockey League games.

"He is right in the hunt (to be invited)," Hammett said. "One game I watched, he dictated the tempo. I like the way he attacks the blue line and finds time and space."

While Hockey Canada has not settled on final numbers for the camp, at least 34 players (four goalies, 12 defencemen and 18 forwards) will be summoned to Calgary. Among the invitees (barring injuries) will be the 11 players in junior who were on the team last year, including defencemen Luc Bourdon, Kris Letang, Ryan Parent, Marc Staal and Kris Russell. Veteran forwards include Daniel Bertram, Andrew Cogliano, Steve Downie, Ryan O'Marra, Tom Pyatt and Jonathan Toews.

There are no returning goalies. Believed to be on the short list are Carey Price, Leland Irving, Jonathan Bernier, Steve Mason, Jean-Philippe Levasseur and Trevor Cann.

GAGNER TOPS THEM ALL

London Knights rookie Sam Gagner's hot start in the OHL has landed him in the NHL's good books. Gagner, who leads the OHL in scoring with 44 points (10 goals and 34 assists) in 17 games, is ranked No. 1 in the league by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings for the draft next June.

Second is Logan Couture of the Ottawa 67's, who has four assists in two games after missing a month with mononucleosis.

Angelo Esposito of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is ranked No. 1 in that league and is the early favourite to be chosen first overall.


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