UM won't release Owen Power to participate in Hockey Canada camp

The Detroit News
Owen Power of the Chicago Steel was named the top defenseman in the United States Hockey League last year.

The University of Michigan will not release defenseman Owen Power to participate in Canada's selection camp for the 2021 world junior hockey championship, which begins on Christmas Day in a bubble environment in Edmonton.

Power, one of the top prospects for the 2021 NHL draft and a possible draft choice of the lottery-bound Detroit Red Wings, is expected to be in Michigan's lineup against Arizona State at Yost Arena in Ann Arbor on Saturday at 3 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m.

“After ongoing discussions with the University of Michigan, Hockey Canada has been informed that Owen Power will not be released to participate in Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp on Nov. 16," Hockey Canada's senior vice president Scott Salmond said in a statement. 

"We understand this year’s World Juniors and selection camp are unique, but we believe the chance to represent Canada is a tremendous opportunity for any young player. Although we are disappointed Owen will not be able to join our team at camp, we understand and respect the decision made by the University of Michigan.”

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Power, a 6'5", 215-pound native of Mississauga, Ontario, was named to the Canadian selection camp roster, which is set to run from Nov. 16-Dec. 13 in Red Deer, Alberta.

The 17-year-old was the lone draft-eligible defenseman among the 15 defensemen named to the roster. He had 12 goals and 40 points in 45 games with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League last season.

Michigan coach Mel Pearson told The Michigan Daily on Nov. 2 that he had concerns with Power's development as well as academic issues regarding Hockey Canada's month-long camp instead of the usual two-week camp.

If Power made the final Team Canada roster, he would be unavailable for the Wolverines from Nov. 16 through Jan. 5.

“It’s not the ideal situation,” Pearson said. “I would like to let Owen experience it and go there, but at the same time, I’ve got to look at the overall picture and what’s right for Owen going forward, overall, not just for a two week camp that’s played at Christmas time, but for his overall growth and development and academic interest.”

Michigan freshman defenseman Owen Power was one of 47 players invited to Canada's national junior camp.