Watching Team Canada play at the World Junior Hockey Championship with his friends has long been a Christmas tradition for Halifax Mooseheads defenceman Jake Furlong, but he won't be watching with them this year if he gets his way.
The Upper Tantallon, N.S., native is one of four Mooseheads invited to Team Canada's selection camp. The camp opens Sunday in Oakville, Ont.
Furlong, 19, said playing for Team Canada has always been a dream.
"It would be probably the best feeling I've ever had, to be honest," he said. "It would be humbling, honouring, like, you know, everything. It's a dream and I'm excited for camp."
The camp will run until Wednesday. The tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden, begins Dec. 26.
Halifax Mooseheads forward Markus Vidicek, wearing a red jersey, scores against the Drummondville Voltigeurs in a game on Dec. 7 in Halifax. (Trevor MacMillan/Halifax Mooseheads)
The other Mooseheads who have been invited to the camp are goalie Mathis Rousseau and forwards Jordan Dumais and Markus Vidicek.
The Mooseheads account for four of the 30 players invited to the camp, which will then be trimmed down to around two-dozen players.
"I know we've talked about it a little bit, just how cool it would be to all be from the same junior team, all be on ... Team Canada.," said Furlong. "That'd be a cool feeling."
Given their positions, it is possible all four could be on the ice at the same time in a game.
Vidicek, 19, said he's spent his season focusing on the Mooseheads, but the Kirkland, Que., native says playing in the world juniors is a childhood dream.
Mathis Rousseau of the Halifax Mooseheads is shown in an October game against the Val d'Or Foreurs at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. (Trevor MacMillan/Halifax Mooseheads)
Vidicek had 80 points last season, but was not invited to last year's world junior selection camp.
"Seeing Doomer [Jordan Dumais] get the invite and seeing how close he was just gave me extra motivation for this year," said Vidicek.
Dumais led the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in scoring last season with 140 points. The Montreal native was invited to camp, but was cut. He said that snub motivated him.
Dumais, 19, said he'd love to play alongside his fellow Mooseheads.
"It would be really unique and I never really saw that many guys from one team on the world juniors or whatever, but I mean it'd be great for all of us," he said. "We're all close friends off the ice."
Rousseau said he grew up watching the world juniors with his family. He never thought he'd be in the position he is today.
Halifax Mooseheads forward Jordan Dumais is honoured during a pregame ceremony in Halifax on Dec. 7. Dumais was invited to last year's world junior selection camp, but didn't make the team. (Trevor MacMillan/Halifax Mooseheads)
"Well, it's kind of been like a far dream, like something when I was younger [I thought] it would be nice to do it, never kind of thinking it's going to ever come," said the 19-year-old from Boisbriand, Que.
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