Ottawa 67's centre Corey Locke, the OHL's leading scorer with 73 points in 29 games, and Nathan Horton of the Oshawa Generals were among the players released.
"I thought I played really well," Locke told the Canadian Press. "I don't think I could have played much better. They saw what Corey Locke could offer and if they didn't like it, they didn't like it."
Locke earned an invitation with his stellar play to start the season, which included Canadian Hockey League Player of the Month honours in October and November.
"I'd never been to a selection camp or a summer camp or anything. I've learned a lot and I'm going to take everything I've learned back to Ottawa."
Horton, a top rated prospect for the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, recently returned from a facial injury that forced the 17-year-old Dunnville native to miss 14 games.
Goaltender Cam Ward (Red Deer Rebels), defencemen Aaron Johnson (Rimouski Oceanic)and Doug Lynch (Spokane Chiefs) and forward Jonathan Ferland (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) were also released.
Seven more players will be released before the final team announcement is made on Monday.