Brandon Wheat Kings
Calgary, AB — For the fourth straight year, the Brandon Wheat Kings will have a representative on Canada’s National Junior Team at this year’s World Junior Hockey Championships.
Brandon captain Mark Stone was given the good news Wednesday morning that he was one of the players named to the Canadian team.
A 19-year old Ottawa Senators’ prospect, Stone currently leads the Western Hockey League in scoring with 27 goals and 65 points and was one of two Wheat Kings to attend the Selection Camp this week in Calgary. Left-winger Michael Ferland was one of seven players released on Tuesday morning.
Center Brayden Schenn represented the Wheat Kings the last two years while former captain Keith Aulie struck Gold with Team Canada three years ago.
Among the cuts Wednesday were Medicine Hat Tigers’ netminder Tyler Bunz, Red Deer defenceman Alex Petrovic, Kelowna’s Brett Bulmer as well as two members of the Portland Winter Hawks – Ty Rattie and Brad Ross.
With no returning players from last year’s squad, Canada’s defence will consist of newcomers Mark Pysyk, Nathan Beaulieu, Jamie Oleksiak, Scott Harrington, Ryan Murray, Dougie Hamilton and Brandon Gormley.
Heading up the team’s forward unit will be three returning players, Brett Connolly, Quinton Howden and Jaden Schwartz. Joining the trio will be Devante Smith-Pelley who was released by the Anaheim Ducks to play for Canada and Mark Scheifele, who was selected seventh overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Joining them will be two prospects from the Montreal Canadiens, Michael Bournival and Brendan Gallagher. Freddie Hamilton, Ryan Stome, Boone Jenner and Jonathan Huberdeau are also with the team.
Tanner Pearson is the only 2012 draft eligible forward on the team. Minding the net for Team Canada will be returnee Mark Visentin and Scott Wedgewood of Plymouth.
For more information and the complete Canadian roster go to www.hockeycanada.ca or www.tsn.ca
Brandon could wind up with two players at the WJHC this year as left-winger Alessio Bertaggia leaves for the Swiss U20 Camp in Red Deer this weekend.
Canada begins the World Junior Hockey Championship on Boxing Day against Finland.