Calgary, Alta. – Hockey Canada has announced the three Canadian rosters – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red, and Team Canada White – competing at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Nov. 3-10 in Saint John and Quispamsis, N.B. Spokane Chiefs forward Jack Finley will compete with Team Canada Black.
With tournament action set to kick off in less than two weeks, the three teams will match up against the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States as they compete for a gold medal.
WHL Players at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge:
Canada Red (7)
After capturing silver at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, seven Western Hockey League players are set to help their Canada Red squad return to the podium and improve on their positioning. A quintet of forwards will help power the team’s offensive game, including Seth Jarvis and Justin Sourdif, who each have eight points this season already. 2017 WHL Bantam Draft first overall selection Kaiden Guhle will anchor the team’s defence while 2017 WHL Cup gold medalist Dylan Garand will battle to earn the starting job between the pipes.
||Brandon Wheat Kings
||West Vancouver, B.C.
||Sherwood Park, Alta.
||Prince Albert Raiders
Canada Black (7)
Three talented forwards in Kyle Crnkovic, Jack Finley and Ozzy Wiesblatt will make Canada Black a difficult team to stop at this year’s tournament. Interestingly enough defensive prospects Aidan de la Gorgendiere and Daemon Hunt, both playing for East Division teams will play on the same team before facing each other in WHL competition. Posting a 2.82 goals-against-average and a 0.921 save percentage in five games with the Calgary AAA Buffaloes, goaltender Garin Bjorklund will be eager to bring his early success to the international level as well.
||Prince Albert Raiders
|Aidan de la Gorgendiere
||Moose Jaw Warriors
||Grande Prairie, Alta.
||Medicine Hat Tigers
Canada White (5)
After a fourth place finish last season, Canada White will be buoyed by five WHL players. A pair of Edmonton Oil Kings players in forward Jake Neighbours and goaltender Sebastian Cossa will look to play strong roles on this year’s team. Both Connor McClennon and Luke Prokop have tallied their first career WHL goals, with McClennon recording a multi-goal game in his season debut on Sept. 22. Everett Silvertips defenceman Ronan Seeley has factored in to his team’s bid to win their third-straight U.S. Division title.
||Fort McMurray, Alta.
||Edmonton Oil Kings
The players chosen to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge were selected by Brad McEwen (Whitewood, Sask.), head scout for Hockey Canada, with assistance from U17 POE management group lead Martin Mondou (Grand-Mère, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL), as well as regional scouts Carl Bouchard (Quebec), Barclay Branch (Ontario), Barclay Parneta (West), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic), and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).
“After an exciting summer camp with 112 players gathering in Calgary and the selection of our 66-player roster last week, the unveiling of our three teams is one of the final stages as we prepare for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge,” said McEwen. “We are fortunate to be able to assemble three competitive, skilled teams, and we believe all 66 players will represent their country with pride in this prestigious event.”
Team Canada Black, Team Canada White, the Czech Republic and the United States will play all Group A preliminary-round games at Harbour Station in Saint John, while Team Canada Red, Finland, Russia and Sweden will play Group B games at the qplex in Quispamsis. Quarter-finals will be played at both venues, Quispamsis will host two placement games, and both semifinals and medal games will be played in Saint John.
TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters for Hockey Canada, will air both semifinals on Friday, November 9, as well as the bronze- and gold-medal games on Saturday, November 10; please check local listings for details. Prior to the start of the tournament, the teams will take to the ice in four New Brunswick communities on November 1 at 7 p.m. AT for pre-tournament games.
Team Canada Black will take on Finland at the 8th Hussars Sports Centre in Sussex, N.B., Sweden will match up against the Czech Republic at the Patrick Connors Rec Complex in Blacks Harbour, N.B., Team Canada White will play Russia at the Tri-County Complex in Fredericton Junction, N.B., and Team Canada Red will face off against the United States at the Garcelon Civic Centre in St. Stephen, N.B.
Single-game tickets are now available online for as low as $13 at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets. A Harbour Station ticket package, which includes all preliminary-round games in Saint John, as well as both semifinals and the bronze- and gold-medal games, is also being offered for $99 and can be purchased at the Harbour Station box office.
The communities of Saint John and Quispamsis will receive the net proceeds from all ticket and ticket-package sales as a legacy of the event to support grassroots hockey within their communities as part of their hosting agreement with Hockey Canada. Recent editions of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge have resulted in as much as $6 million in economic impact within the host communities.
More than 1,700 NHL draft picks have suited up since the inception of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, including 13 first-overall draft picks since 2001 (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013; Aaron Ekblad, 2014; Connor McDavid, 2015; and Auston Matthews, 2016).
For more information on the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.