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Hockey Canada to skip world junior event in Plymouth due to pandemic

The Detroit News
Wings draft pick Joe Veleno, left, is checked by Michigan State defenseman Christian Krygier during Canada's 4-1 win over the U.S. at the World Junior Summer Showcase.

Hockey Canada will skip this year's World Junior Summer Showcase at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth from July 24-Aug. 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year's four-nation event featured the top prospects for the U20 world championships from the United States, Canada, Sweden and Finland, including potential Detroit Red Wings' draft pick and high-scoring Rimouski Oceanic forward Alexis Lafreniere, the No. 1-ranked player for the 2020 NHL draft. 

"We will not be attending this year," Hockey Canada communications coordinator Spencer Sharkey wrote in an email. "Unfortunately, with all the uncertainty right now, it is not a viable option for us."

Hockey Canada announced on March 13 that it would be suspending all national team activities until further notice.

As first reported by, USA Hockey assistant director of hockey operations John Vanbiesbrouck is planning on Sweden and Finland attending the summer showcase, which includes practices, scrimmages and exhibition games.

"International travel looks like it's going to be lifted sometime in June," Vanbiesbrouck told Mike Morreale of

"We’re likely going to keep those dates in place unless we find out that we’re not allowed to have [the event] based on the ordinances that we have to deal with."