Five players from Canada39s 2018 World Junior Team take a

Five players from Canada's 2018 World Junior Team take a leave of absence from their clubs – NBC 10 Philadelphia

Five players from Canada's 2018 World Junior Championship have taken a leave of absence from their current clubs in recent days following reports that five members of that team were asked to turn themselves in to police to face sexual assault charges.

Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils, Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers, Dillon Dube of the Calgary Flames and former NHL player Alex Formenton, who is now playing in Europe, were all placed on indefinite leave of absence, the absences in announced the last four days.

The Flyers and Swiss club HC Ambri-Piotta cited personal reasons for the departures of Hart and Formenton; The Swiss club also said Formenton would be allowed to return to Canada. The Flames cited Dube's mental health, and the Devils gave no reason Wednesday when they announced McLeod and Foote were on leave.

Messages to agents representing all five players and multiple messages to Hart's attorney seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Police in London, Ont., launched an investigation in 2022 after it was revealed that Hockey Canada had settled a lawsuit with a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by eight members of that team at a gala. The Globe & Mail reported Wednesday that five players from that team were ordered to surrender to police in the city halfway between Toronto and Detroit to face sexual assault charges.

A London police spokesman would not confirm the report when contacted by The Associated Press. “If there is an update, we will share it with the media,” Sgt. Sandasha Bough said Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Flyers general manager Daniel Briere opened his midseason press conference on the state of the organization by saying, “We are aware of press reports this morning regarding a very serious matter. We will respond appropriately as soon as the results of the investigations are made public.

“The NHL has made it very clear that teams should refer any investigation-related questions to them. In the meantime, members of the organization, including Flyers players, will have no further comment.”

The NHL launched its own investigation in 2022 and promised to make those results public.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Associated Press via email Wednesday that the league would issue a statement if necessary, adding that he had nothing more to say at this time. At the Stanley Cup Final in June, Daly said an independent investigator had completed the work and expected a report by midsummer, which the league would then review.

“We have been in contact with London Police and would like to continue to be in contact with them and ensure that our process is transparent,” Daly said on June 3. “And to the extent that we can understand what is the case with them.” That is, that would be the goal. And then I can’t judge in advance what happens from then on.”