Michigan freshman Owen Power has a shot to be a top pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
But the Wolverines aren’t permitting the 6-foot-4 defenseman to attend the start of Hockey Canada’s World Junior selection camp this month.
“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,” reads a statement from Hockey Canada. “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.”
According to the Michigan Daily, U-M coach Mel Pearson declined to release Power due to the length of the camp.
“It’s not the ideal situation,” Pearson said on Nov. 2. “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.”
Pearson followed up during the Wolverines’ virtual media day Monday that he would eventually release Power, a native of Mississauga, Ont., to Team Canada.
“Allowing someone to go for 51 days is a long time,” Pearson said Monday. “Certainly, he’ll be available Dec. 10 or so, I just don’t know if we’re going to be allowed to release him at this point. At some point, he will be available to their team.
“I just don’t know what that date is.”
The report also noted that if Power was chosen for the Canadian squad, he would be unavailable for the Wolverines from Nov. 16 through Jan. 5. Further, even if he did not make the team, he would still be unavailable through Dec. 13, meaning he would miss all of Michigan’s 10 currently scheduled games.
Three other NCAA players – Wisconsin sophomore forward Dylan Holloway, Northeastern freshman goalie Devon Levi and Boston College sophomore forward Alex Newhook – are on the selection camp roster for Team Canada.