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Posted: Jun 22, 2012 3:40:37 am

CALGARY -- Tanner Pearson agrees with the labels late-bloomer, sleeper, dark horse and unknown quantity. Robinson Cano Jersey . The 19-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., was ignored in the NHL draft in June. He received no invitations in the summer to an NHL rookie camp. The Barrie Colts took Pearson in the second-last round (267th overall) of the Ontario Hockey League draft when he was 16. Pearson never played on a Canadian under-18 team or for Ontario in the world under-17 challenge. He wasnt invited to the Canadian junior hockey teams summer camp in August. So the left-winger has basically made the Canadian junior team as a walk-on. "If someone would have told me at the beginning of the year I would play for Canada at the world juniors I would have shook my head and laughed," Pearson said Thursday after Canadas first practice as a team. "If you want to call me a late bloomer, go for it. The truth is, I kind of was a late bloomer. It probably wasnt until the past year and a half where I started to click and play what I knew I could play." The 22 players named to the team the previous day skated at Calgarys Canada Olympic Park before heading to Banff, Alta. Theyll train and participate in team-building activities in the mountain park town for the next several days. Canada returns to Calgary on Monday for an exhibition game versus Finland at the Scotiabank Saddledome. They head to Red Deer, Alta., on Dec. 22 for an exhibition game against Switzerland. Canadas final warmup game Dec. 23 is in Edmontons Rexall Place versus Sweden. Canada opens the 2012 world junior hockey championship Dec. 26 in Edmonton against Finland. Head coach Don Hay warned it was too soon to read anything into his line combinations in his teams first practice Thursday. Forwards Jonathan Huberdeau (foot) and Quinton Howden (concussion symptoms) didnt participate in it, although Huberdeau did skate on his own afterwards. Hay says Huberdeau wont likely be ready to play in Mondays exhibition game. "I think that might be a little early," Hay said. "Obviously were shooting for the 22nd or the 23rd. "I think well try to give him a little more each day until hes ready to participate in a full practice." There is no timetable for Howden. Hay says the Moose Jaw Warrior forward underwent baseline testing "and did really well on it." Howden was checked backwards into the boards by Canadian teammate Brett Connelly during an intra-squad game at selection camp. While most players on Canadas team were heralded as cant-miss prospects from an early age, Pearson has flown under the radar until now. Pearson played Junior B hockey for the Waterloo Siskins at age 16 and 17. He credits the team manager Peter Brill, also a scout for the Barrie Colts, for getting him noticed by the OHL club. Pearson had 15 goals and 27 assists in 66 games as an 18-year-old OHL rookie last season. He was inspired to train hard this summer after watching Colts teammate Mark Scheifele get drafted seventh overall by the Winnipeg Jets. Scheifele was also named to the Canadian team Wednesday. He and Pearson are linemates in Barrie and were paired up in Thursdays practice with Devante Smith-Pelly on the right wing. While Scheifele was away playing seven NHL games with the Jets, Pearson shone for the Colts. He had 10 goals and 19 assists in 11 games before the big centre returned to Barrie. Pearson continued to hold the attention of Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast with a two-point-per-game clip for the Colts. "He put a lot hard work into this year and really did do a lot of things this summer to help work on his game and help him this year," Scheifele said. "Maybe last year he just didnt get the opportunity like this year. Hes been given the opportunity and running with it." Pearson was invited to play in the OHLs two games against Russia in November and scored a goal in each game. That was the first time Hay clapped eyes on the six-foot, 198-pound winger. "I thought he was really strong on the puck and strong down low," Hay said. "Hes got the capability to take the puck to the net and draws a lot of attention when he has the puck." "Hes got a quick release and hes a big body guy. Weve tried to look at teams that were going to be playing against and we need that type of player." The OHLs leading scorer with 26 goals and 40 assists in 30 games is flying under the radar no longer. He was among the 40 players named Thursday to the 2012 Home Hardware Top Prospects Game in Kelowna, B.C., on Feb. 1. The game showcases draft-eligible players for NHL scouts. If recognition is coming later for him than it did for the rest of his Canadian teammates, Pearson doesnt seem to mind. "I kind of take it in stride," he said. "I didnt want my hockey career to end, so I just kept on trying to improve each year and its worked out for me." Also Thursday, RBC announced it is donating two plane tickets to each player on the Canadian team to fly people who helped them in their career to the world junior championship. Pearson said he will give his tickets to parents Tim and Kim. Wayne Gretzky Jersey . LOUIS -- St. Chris Bosh Jersey . The study, based on a survey of more than 20,000 kids, challenges conventional wisdom that says teens engage in risky behavior because they think theyre invulnerable to harm. Instead, a sizable number of teens may take chances because they feel hopeless and figure that not much is at stake, said study author Dr. Walter Payton Jersey . Ma made the remarks in a press release after he was asked to comment on the award, which was announced earlier in Oslo, Norway. Liu was sentenced to 11 years in jail on December 25, 2009 after a local court in Beijing convicted him of agitation aimed at subverting the government. Phil Hughes Jersey . However, the Habs will try to win for the sixth time on the trek this evening, when they visit the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center in the finale of their seven-game swing. Serge Ibaka Jersey . However, if they have any chance of that happening they need to complete their first-ever three-game sweep of the New York Yankees at Safeco Field. BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Frank Klopas was picked as the Chicago Fires head coach on Thursday, five months after he got the job on an interim basis when the Major League Soccer club got off to a bad start. "Frank fits who this club it, who we are," Fire owner Andrew Hauptman said. "We knew he bleeds for the organization, we know he knows the league inside and out (and) he has the respect of the players." Klopas, the 45-year-old team technical director, added on-field responsibilities in late May after a 1-4-6 start led to the firing of coach Carlos de los Cobos. Klopas guided the Fire to a 8-5-10 record and kept the team in MLS playoff contention into the seasons final week. Chicago went 7-2-1 in its final 10 league games and made a run to the U.S. Open Cup title game before falling to Seattle. "Happily, when Frank took over there was an immediate culture shift," Hauptman said. "Frank stepped in and really made a meaningful impact." Klopas, the sixth head coach in the teams 14-year history, is the first ex-Fire player to coach the team. Terms were not disclosed, but a team spokesman said Klopas will likely be givving up front office responsibilities, with a replacement as technical director to be determined. Jim McMahon Jersey. "I feel very confident and I dont say this in a cocky way," said Klopas, a Greek immigrant who starred at a Chicago high school and later played for the defunct Chicago Sting. "I believe in myself and I will work very hard every day to try to get better. At this level, its all about results, I know that. But Im in a position with a lot of good people who are here to help me and support me." Klopas played for the Kansas City Wiz in 1996 and ended his MLS career in Chicago in 1999. He scored in a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew in the 1998 U.S. Open Cup final. A native of Greece, he signed with the Chicago Sting out of high school and scored 62 goals in 140 Major Indoor Soccer League games from 1983-1988. He represented the United States at the 1988 Summer Olympics and was on the U.S. roster for the 1994 World Cup. He has played for various Greek teams. Following his 1999 retirement, he spent one season as a Fire assistant. From 2004-06, he served as head coach of the MISLs Chicago Storm from 2004-06. ' ' '

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