CALGARY, Alta. (ISN) – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Thursday that Brandon Wheat Kings’ defenceman Ryan Pulock and Hunter Shinkaruk of the Medicine Hat Tigers have been added to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team roster for the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World U18 Championship, currently underway in Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic.
Canada opened the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship with a 6-1 win over Denmark on Thursday and will face the Czech Republic, Finland and the United States in the preliminary round.
A 17-year old native of Grandview, Manitoba, Pulock is coming off an outstanding sophomore season with the Wheat Kings, finishing the regular season as the third highest scoring blueliner in the Western Hockey League with nineteen goals and 60 points in 71 games. As well, he finished with a +33 ranking and was named to the Eastern Conference First All Star Team. In nine playoff games, the former 7th round bantam draft choice had three goals and 5 points.
This announcement comes one day after Pulock and the Wheat Kings were eliminated from the WHL’s Eastern Conference Semi-Finals by the Edmonton Oil Kings.
“It’s disappointed to lose out of playoffs but I have a great opportunity in front of me so I’m kind of excited about that,” Pulock told CKLQ’s Bruce Luebke on Thursday. “I think it’ll be good for me for the future with Hockey Canada to get there and play with them. I’m really looking forward to it.”
The former Parkland AAA Midget Ranger leaves Friday and is expected to join the Canadian team in time for their second game of the championship Saturday against Finland.
“They definitely play a little different style of game over there,” saud Pulock, “I think it’ll take a little time to adjust to but I think I’ll be alright with it once I get over there and start playing.”
Canada’s roster includes players born in 1994 or later whose teams are no longer competing in the CHL playoffs with their respective club teams. Many of Canada’s players on Canada’s roster will be among the top selections at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, Pa., in June.
For a complete roster of Canada’s U18 Team, visit Hockey Canada’s official website at www.hockeycanada.ca
Canada’s roster now includes 10 players from the Ontario Hockey League, nine players from the Western Hockey League and three players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Seven players helped Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team capture the gold medal at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in August 2011 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Canada’s roster also includes 12 players who took part in the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie, Man., and four players who competed at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ont.
Canada is a two-time gold medallist at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, earning gold in 2003 and 2008. It finished fourth at the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Crimmitschau and Dresden, Germany.
TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast Canada’s final preliminary round game against the United States on Tuesday, April 17, as well as both semifinals on Friday, April 20 and the bronze and gold medal games on Sunday, April 22. Check your local listings for game times in your area.