Canadian junior team won't be focusing on age

Bob Nicholson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hockey Canada speaks as Hockey Canada...

Bob Nicholson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hockey Canada speaks as Hockey Canada announces the Team Canada Junior roster for the World Junior Championships at the Mastercard Centre in Toronto on Monday December 2, 2013. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:09 AM ET

TORONTO - Brent Sutter can't stress it enough.

The coach of Canada's junior team, charged with the task of guiding a group of teenagers to what would be Canada's first goal medal since 2009, doesn't care what a player's birth certificate says.

Connor McDavid, Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad -- none of whom are old enough to be drafted by an NHL club -- are not here at Canada's selection camp to gain hockey experience. They have been invited because Sutter thinks each can help Canada get back to the top of the world, provided they survive the three cuts that are to be made to arrive at a 22-player roster.

"I can't answer that," Sutter said on Friday when he was asked what kind of impact a younger player can have, specifically McDavid.

"Who knows? If he is one of the final 13 forwards, there is a reason why he is, the way he has played, and we feel there is a role for him.


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