Hockey Canada releases five players from camp

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Hockey Canada announced the dismissal of three forwards and two defencemen from camp on Sunday evening.

Regina Pats forward Morgan Klimchuk; Erie Otters forward Nick Baptiste; Belleville Bulls forward Remi Elie; Calgary Hitmen defenceman Travis Sanheim; and Owen Sound Attack defenceman Chris Bigras were among Sunday’s cuts.

Bigras, 19, was one of only seven returnees invited to camp earlier this month. The Colorado Avalanche prospect appeared in seven games with Team Canada in last year’s tournament finishing with a respectable rating of plus-two. The Orillia, Ont. native is averaging a point-per-game with the Attack in the OHL this season.

The second and final round of cuts is expected to take place next week. Hockey Canada is faced with the task of cutting two more forwards and one more defenceman before finalizing their roster for the upcoming 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship.

Team Canada will begin pre-tournament play on Friday, Dec. 19 when they clash with the rival Russians at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont. The Canadians will play two more pre-tournament games, against the Swiss and Swedes, before the tournament gets underway on Friday, Dec. 26.