Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League is proud to announce that 57 WHL players will suit up in international competition in December and January.


A total of 47 WHL players have already been named to national teams that will compete in Under-20 and Under-17 tournaments, while another nine players have been invited to the selection camps for their respective countries. One other player, Brett Connolly, was loaned to Canada’s national junior team from the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, but is still eligible to play in the WHL for the Cougars this season.

Six WHL players, including Connolly, will play for Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship tournament, while another eight players have been named to their respective national Under-20 teams for the World Junior Championships in Alberta or the Division 1 Under-20 championship in Germany.

34 of the WHL’s top 16-year-old players will suit up for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario, with 22 players set to represent Team Pacific (Alberta and B.C.) and another 12 to represent Team West (Manitoba and Saskatchewan).

The Edmonton Oil Kings and the Prince George Cougars lead the way with six players each heading off to international tournaments. The Vancouver Giants will see five players head off for international competition.

The Wheat Kings will be represented internationally by captain Mark Stone (National Junior Team), left-winger Alessio Bertaggia (Swiss U20) and Ayrton Nikkel (Team Pacific). While Stone currently leads the Western Hockey League in scoring with 27 goals and 65 points, Bertaggia leads all first year players in goals this season with seventeen and Nikkel has two goals and three points in 26 games played this season.

Here’s a look at who else will be playing internationally over the next few weeks:

Calgary Hitmen

Greg Chase – Team Pacific (U-17)

Victor Rask – Sweden (WJ)

Edmonton Oil Kings

Mason Geertsen – Team Pacific (U-17)

*Martin Gernat – Slovakia (WJ)

Tristan Jarry – Team Pacific (U-17)

Curtis Lazar – Team Pacific (U-17)

Kristians Pelss – Latvia (WJ)

Mark Pysyk – Canada (WJ)

Everett Silvertips

*Vladimir Dolnik – Slovakia (WJ)

Austin Lotz – Team West (U-17)

Ryan Murray – Canada (WJ)

Kamloops Blazers

Marek Hrbas – Czech Republic (WJ)

Matt Needham – Team Pacific (U-17)

Kelowna Rockets

Tyson Baillie – Team Pacific (U-17)

Madison Bowey – Team West (U-17)

Jesse Lees – Team Pacific (U-17)

*Filip Vasko – Slovakia (WJ)

Kootenay Ice

Jaedon Descheneau – Team Pacific (U-17)

Jonathan Martin – Team West (U-17)

Sam Reinhart – Team Pacific (U-17)

Spencer Wand – Team West (U-17)

Lethbridge Hurricanes

Macoy Erkamps – Team Pacific (U-17)

Craig Leverton – Team West (U-17)

Jay Merkley – Team Pacific (U-17)

Medicine Hat Tigers

*Emerson Etem – United States (WJ)

Moose Jaw Warriors

Carter Hansen – Team West (U-17)

Quinton Howden – Canada (WJ)

Torrin White – Team Pacific (U-17)

Portland Winterhawks

*Sven Bartschi – Switzerland (WJ)

Nicolas Petan – Team Pacific (U-17)

Prince Albert Raiders

Jonas Knutsen – Norway (WJ Div-1)

Josh Morrissey – Team Pacific (U-17)

Prince George Cougars

**Brett Connolly – Canada (WJ)

Jarrett Fontaine – Team West (U-17)

Alex Forsberg – Team West (U-17)

*Martin Marincin – Slovakia (WJ)

Jordan Tkatch – Team West (U-17)

Chase Witala – Team Pacific (U-17)

Red Deer Rebels

Kayle Doetzel – Team West (U-17)

Cory Millette – Team West (U-17)

Regina Pats

Kyle Burroughs – Team Pacific (U-17)

Morgan Klimchuk – Team Pacific (U-17)

Saskatoon Blades

Andrey Makarov – Russia (WJ)

Nick Zajac – Team West (U-17)

Seattle Thunderbirds

Marcel Noebels – Germany (WJ Div-1)

*Dave Sutter – Switzerland (WJ)

Spokane Chiefs

Dominik Uher – Czech Republic (WJ)

Tri-City Americans

Eric Comrie – Team Pacific (U-17)

Vancouver Giants

Anthony Ast – Team Pacific (U-17)

Brendan Gallagher – Canada (WJ)

Jackson Houck – Team Pacific (U-17)

David Musil – Czech Republic (WJ)

*Marek Tvrdon – Slovakia (WJ)

Victoria Royals

Keegan Kanzig – Team Pacific (U-17)