Whitson At National Sledge Selection Camp

Derek Whitson playing with Team Canada in the Sochi Paralympics – Photo Matthew Murnaghan/Comité paralympique canadien

Chatham’s Derek Whitson will look to reclaim his spot on Canada’s National Sledge Hockey team this week, as he begins Canada’s September Showcase and Selection Camp in Calgary.

“This is a very exciting time for our program as we officially kick off our Paralympic season with a strong group of talented prospects to evaluate during this upcoming camp,” said National Sledge Hockey head coach Ken Babey in a Hockey Canada news release. “We’re adding to the competitive atmosphere at the selection camp by hosting the Korean team which will suit up for some games that will give us that additional element for our evaluation of the Canadian players – watching them perform in an international game situation. The players and coaching staff are ready – we’ve already completed two regional camps as well as regular fitness testing, and it’s now time for these world-class athletes to show us what they’ve got.”

Whitson was one of 29 players invited to the camp, which runs from September 2 to September 9. The camp is the first step for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games this coming March in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Whitson, a two-time Paralympic Team Canada member, was injured shortly after the last Paralympics, causing him to miss time with Team Canada.

In order to help that return, Whitson switched from being a defender, to a forward. He most recently helped Team Alberta win a National sledge hockey title this winter, scoring twice in the gold medal game, and tallying 6 goals in 4 games.

Whitson last played for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics, helping his team to a Bronze medal.

Team Canada will reduce the 29 player roster to 20 for the September Showcase, and must select 17 players for the Paralympic Roster.

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