Thunder Bay goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood is days away from being drafted into the National Hockey League.
He got an early present on Wednesday.
Blackwood, 18, was one of three goaltenders invited to Hockey Canada’s Under 20 summer development camp, the first step toward a chance at playing for his country at the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship.
The No. 1-ranked North American goaltending prospect, Blackwood was 33-14-2 for the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts last season, posting a 3.09 goals against average and .906 save percentage.
Halifax’s Mason McDonald, who plays for Charlottetown of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Samuel Montembeault, who toils for Blainvile-Boisbriand, were the other goalies to earn invites.