For now, Owen Power remains with Michigan.
According to a statement from Hockey Canada, the freshman defenseman will not be released to participate in Team Canada’s World Juniors selection camp. The full statement reads:
“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. 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.”
Michigan hockey declined to comment on the statement.
Michigan coach Mel Pearson previously told The Daily that the length of the camp — which normally lasts two weeks, but this year is scheduled to go on for a month — made him unsure whether he would release Power, citing development and academic concerns.
If Power were to make Team Canada, he would be unavailable for the Wolverines from Nov. 16 through Jan. 5. Even if he attended the camp and did not make the team, he would still be unavailable through Dec. 13 — guaranteeing he would miss all of Michigan’s ten currently scheduled games.
“It’s not the ideal situation,” Pearson said 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.”
After the initial story turned heads on social media, Pearson indicated during the Wolverines’ virtual media day Monday that he would eventually release Power to Team Canada, but was not set on a timetable yet. He also said that he had talked with Power about the situation.
“Allowing someone to go for 51 days is a long time,” Pearson said Monday. “Certainly he’ll be available December 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.”
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