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Islanders prospect headed to national under-17 camp

Lukas Cormier was the Charlottetown Islanders first pick (fourth overall) at the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft.
Lukas Cormier was the Charlottetown Islanders first pick (fourth overall) at the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft. - Vincent Ethier/LHJMQ Média

Lukas Cormier isn't relaxing with his feet up this summer.

He's hard at work.

The highly touted prospect from Sainte-Marie-de-Kent is training in preparation for the Charlottetown Islanders' Quebec Major Junior Hockey League training camp next month.

He's also headed to the Canadian national under-17 development hockey camp, which opens on Saturday in Calgary.

Cormier and Memramcook goaltender Mathias Savoie were among 111 players from across the country invited to the week-long camp.

"It means a lot and it's a huge honour," said Cormier, a 16-year-old coming off a superb season with the Moncton Flyers in the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League.

Hockey Canada is using the development camp to identify potential players for three Canadian entries at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, slated for November in Saint John and Quispamsis.

Cormier, selected fourth overall by Charlottetown in the QMJHL draft last month, will do his best to impress the Hockey Canada brass in Calgary.

"I can't wait to get to camp and hopefully prove myself that I can make a team," he said. "I want to play the same way I played all season and hopefully do the best I can."

Cormier is keeping busy this summer. He's working out in the gym five to six times a week and is skating regularly, too.

"I have to keep pushing myself. Everyone else is pushing themselves and everyone will get better, and I need to get a lot better, too," he said.

"It's fun for me. I like hockey, and this is what I want to do."

Cormier, who signed a QMJHL contract with Charlottetown last week, was the top Atlantic Canadian chosen in last month's Quebec league draft.

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound blue-liner helped Moncton capture the New Brunswick and Atlantic major midget titles and reach the Telus Cup national championship. He notched 43 points, including 15 goals, in 35 regular-season games and added 15 points in eight provincial playoff games.

This summer is all about making sure he's ready when the puck drops for training camp in Charlottetown in mid-August.

"I want to be the best I can be when I get to training camp," said Cormier. "I just need to be myself, play the way I can play and show everyone what I can do."

Savoie, 16, played at the Ontario Hockey Academy in Cornwall, Ont., last season. He was picked by the Saint John Sea Dogs in the fourth round of the QMJHL draft.

The other New Brunswickers invited to the national under-17 development camp are Fredericton forwards Josh Lawrence (U.S. prep school) and Dawson Stairs (Rothesay Netherwood School).

Players will be split into six teams for on- and off-ice training, fitness testing, practices, intra-squad games and classroom sessions for the duration of the development camp in Calgary.

Following the camp, players will be evaluated through the early portion of next season before 66 are named to one of three Canadian teams at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Sean Hatchard, Brunswick News

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