Hard work is paying off for Guelph Storm netminder Nico Daws who has been invited to Team Canada’s world junior hockey selection camp.
The 18-year-old Burlington, Ont. native has been impressive after taking over the Storm’s net this season following two years of backup duties.
After Anthony Popovich’s departure in the off-season, Daws was given full control of the Storm’s crease and has racked up some numbers that appear to be catching the attention of Hockey Canada brass.
Through 17 games, Daws’ 2.13 goals against average and .936 save percentage leads all Ontario Hockey League goaltenders, and he has the most shutouts with three so far in the young season.
Daws was originally selected by Guelph in the seventh round of the 2016 OHL Draft and won the OHL Championship last season with the Storm.
Hockey Canada has invited 31 players to their four-day selection camp in Oakville. Only 22 players will make the final roster for the tournament in the Czech Republic, which begins on Boxing Day.
There will be four netminders likely competing for two spots as Daws will be up against Joel Hofer of the Portland Winterhawks, Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes and Olivier Rodrigue of the Moncton Wildcats.
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Along with the numbers, one thing that could help Daws is that his work should be quite familiar with Dale Hunter, head coach of Team Canada and the Storm’s western conference rivals, the London Knights.
The Storm and Knights will play on Dec. 8, a day before selection camp opens.
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