Walker, Kopitar News…

Luke Walker will get his shot to try and earn his place at the World U20 Junior Championships to be held in Regina and Saskatoon right after the Christmas break.

Walker, who owns dual Canadian and American citizenship, will try-out with Team USA at an evaluation camp to be held in Grand Forks, ND, from December 17-19.

The Hawks returning leading goal scorer from last year is currently third on the team in scoring with 15-13-28 in 29 games.   He is the second leading scorer amongst forwards invited to take part in the USA Camp (you can see the entire invitee list here).

Walker will miss two games during the evaluation camp – Friday, Dec. 18 vs. Swift Current and Saturday, Dec. 19 vs. Tri City.

In other tournament news, 17 year old Gasper Kopitar will play for Team Slovenia a the World U20 Division 1 tournament in Megeve & Saint-Gervais, France between December 14-20.

Kopitar is leaving Portland today to take part in the teams camp and will return for games after the Christmas break.

By playing in the tournament, Kopitar will become the third member of his family to represent Slovenia in International Hockey Tournaments, following his brother, Anze, and his Father, Matjaz.  According to Gasper, Matjaz played his first International tournament for Slovenia at the World U20 championships in the same city, Saint-Gervais, where Gasper will make his International debut.

Kopitar will play in Group A of the tournament against the host team France, Germany, Denmark, Ukraine and Japan.  The winner of the Group will advance to the main U20 Championships in 2010.

Team Canada also named their team invites this morning with no Hawks receiving an invite.

It isn’t official yet, but you should expect Nino Niederreiter to be named to the Swiss team for the World Jr.’s.  If he is named, he would miss games from at least December 27th through January 6th.

If Walker makes the US team, he would miss the same games as well as Ty Rattie and Tyler Wotherspoon, who will play for Team Pacific at the World U17 Championships in Timmons, ON, during the same time frame.

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