Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League will be represented by six players at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic after Hockey Canada unveiled its roster for the tournament Thursday evening. Spokane Chiefs captain Ty Smith made the cut and is poised to represent Canada for the second-straight year.
WHL players set to don the Maple Leaf as members of Team Canada include goaltender Joel Hofer (Winnipeg, Man. / Portland Winterhawks), defensemen Calen Addison (Brandon, Man. / Lethbridge Hurricanes), Bowen Byram (Cranbrook, B.C. / Vancouver Giants), and Ty Smith (Lloydminster, Alta. / Spokane Chiefs), as well as forwards Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Yukon / Lethbridge Hurricanes) and Nolan Foote (Kelowna, B.C. / Kelowna Rockets).
Of the six WHL players, Smith is the lone returning member of Canada’s National Junior Team, having competed at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. Byram and Cozens captured gold together at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Saskatoon Blades head coach Mitch Love will serve as an assistant coach with Hockey Canada during the event.
“As with every year, there are difficult decisions to trim down our roster, but ultimately we believe this group will give us our best shot at a gold medal,” said Shawn Bullock, director of men’s national teams with Hockey Canada. “We are excited about working with these players in the Czech Republic, and we are looking forward to an exciting World Juniors.”
Canada’s final 22-player roster does not need to be officially submitted to the International Ice Hockey Federation until Dec. 25.
The puck will officially drop on Boxing Day when Canada takes on the United States at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, followed by games against Russia, Germany and the Czech Republic to round out preliminary action.
TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will once again provide wall-to-wall game coverage and analysis throughout the tournament, including Canada’s two pre-tournament games against Switzerland on Dec. 19 and Finland on Dec. 23; check local listings for details.
For more information on Canada’s National Junior Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, Twitter and #WorldJuniors.
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.