After commenting on Nov. 2 that freshman defenseman Owen Power may not be released to attend Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp, Michigan coach Mel Pearson provided some clarity on the situation on Monday.
At the Michigan hockey team’s virtual media day, Pearson said that Power will be released to participate in the camp at some point, it’s just a question of when he will be allowed to leave.
“At some point well before the tournament starts, he’ll be released,” Pearson said. “Whether that’s come, I guess this weekend after our games, somewhere in the middle, or at the end of our 10 games.”
Pearson added that a final decision will be made on when Power is allowed to leave in the next couple of days.
Based on Pearson’s comments, Power will suit up for the Wolverines in their season-opening series against Arizona State from Nov. 14-15, but his status after that is up in the air. If Power is released following this upcoming weekend, he will arrive in Canada near the beginning of the camp, which runs from Nov. 16-Dec. 13. However, if he stays in Ann Arbor for Michigan’s first 10 games — the last of which is on Dec. 9 — he’ll miss nearly the entire camp.
“If he stays here through December 10, he will get in 10 hard-fought, intense games, and he will be prepared if that’s the day we choose to let him (go),” Pearson said. “If he decides to stay here … and play in those 10 games, he’ll be ready. He’ll be more than ready to fight for a spot with Team Canada.”
Power figures to play a big role for the Wolverines this season. Pearson expects him to see top-four defense minutes on a pair with junior defenseman Nick Blankenburg. Power has also been practicing on one of Michigan’s two power-play units.
If Power misses any of the Wolverines’ first 10 games, it will be a significant loss for the team. It’s unclear who would replace him in the lineup, but there should be more clarity on the situation in the coming days.