November 15, 2012, Red Deer, AB – Hockey Alberta and BC Hockey has announced the 22-player roster that will make up Team Pacific at the 2013 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge in December and the Brandon Wheat Kings will be well represented.
Among the players chosen Thursday were 16-year old rookie Wheat Kings’ center John Quenneville and 16-year old netminder Jordan Papirny, who was one of Brandon’s two first round selections in the 2011 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.
A 6′ 194 lb native of Sherwood Park, Quenneville enters this weekend’s 3-game road trip with two goals and 5 points in thirteen games. A second round pick of the Wheat Kings in 2011, Quenneville scored fifteen goals and 33 points in thirty games with the SSAC Boston Pizza Athletics in the Alberta Midget HOckey League in 2011-12.
Quenneville is one of eighteen WHLers to be chosen to Team Pacific. Of the remaining four, three are playing in either the B.C. or Alberta Junior Hockey League while Papirny is currently patrolling the crease for the AAA Athletics in Edmonton.
The 6′ 175 lb Papirny is currently ranked among the league leaders with a 6-1-2 record, an excellent 2.57 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.
Team Pacific is comprised of 11 players from BC and 11 players from Alberta. Each province held a provincial camp over the summer to identify a set number of players. These players were evaluated during the first part of the club team season by a selected group of high performance evaluators.
This year’s club will be coached by Jason Becker (Prince George), Steve Hamilton (Edmonton Oil Kings) and Brandon West of the BCHL.
The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will bring together the top players in the world 1996 or later. The tournament is made up of 10 teams; five (5) from Canada – Quebec, Ontario, Pacific (Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon), Atlantic (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) and West (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut), and five (5) International teams – Germany, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic and the United States.
Team Pacific has included some of the top hockey players that Canada has ever produced. Some notable graduates who have competed on Team Pacific include the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers), Dion Phaneuf (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Evander Kane (Winnipeg Jets).
The Under 17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under 18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.