If Gabriel Desjardins doesn’t make Canada’s under-18 hockey team, it won’t be for a lack of effort.

The Halifax Mooseheads left-winger has been training feverishly throughout the summer to prepare for the upcoming season, and his hard work will be put to the test starting Saturday at Canada’s under-18 selection camp in Calgary.

Desjardins, still only 16 years old, has committed four and a half hours a day to a wide-ranging routine, working out in Montreal with Mooseheads goalie Mathieu Corbeil.

“I got gym, I got ice, I got yoga, I got Thai boxing, I’m doing all that stuff,” Desjardins said. “You know, everything to be focused and ready mentally and physically.”

To top it off, when Desjardins isn’t training, he’s been playing other sports in his spare time, mixing in a smattering of tennis, baseball and basketball for good measure.

“It’s just for fun, but my trainer told me, ‘Play some sports different from hockey to change it up a bit,’” Desjardins said. “You don’t want it to be hockey all summer.”

The 5-foot-11, 191-pounder was one of the most impressive 16-year-old rookies in the QMJHL last season, producing 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points in 60 games while impressing with his speed, energy and tireless work ethic.

Those attributes are bound to impress Canada’s staff, which will select 22 players from the 40 at camp to represent the country at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia from Aug. 11 to 15.

Desjardins is overwhelmed at the thought of wearing the Maple Leaf on his sweater on a team that is widely considered a stepping stone to the world junior championship.

“When I received the call three months ago, Oh, I think I was going to cry,” he admitted. “But you know, it’s a big thing for me to represent Canada. It would be amazing.”

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