April 18, 2013, Calgary, AB (ISN) – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), announced Tuesday the 23-player roster for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, taking place April 18-28 in Sochi, Russia.
The roster includes three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards. Seven of the players named to the team are from the WHL.
The players, born in 1995, 1996 and 1997, were selected by Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast, in consultation with head coach Don Hay (Kamloops, B.C./Vancouver, WHL) and assistant coaches Jody Hull (Petrolia, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) and Yves Sarault (Valleyfield, Que.). Prendergast evaluated the players during the 2012-13 season, following them along with numerous other candidates during league play, as well as during the 2012 and 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenges.
The roster includes 11 players from the Ontario Hockey League, seven from the Western Hockey League and five from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In total, 17 players (two goaltenders, five defencemen and 10 forwards) competed at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, 14 in 2012 and three in 2013.
The roster also includes eight players (Chris Bigras, Madison Bowey, Morgan Klimchuk, Yan-Pavel Laplante, Josh Morrissey, Sam Reinhart, Nick Ritchie and Shea Theodore) who helped Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team win the gold medal at the 2012 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last summer.
Four under-age players who travelled to Sochi to participate in pre-tournament games (Clark Bishop, Joe Hicketts, Alexis Pépin and Brayden Point) will return to Canada. The players were added to Canada’s training camp roster to get added experience playing international competition.
Defenceman Dylan Labbé (St-Benjamin, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL) was injured during Canada’s pre-tournament schedule and will also be returning to Canada.
Canada played two pre-tournament games ahead of the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, losing 4-1 to the United States on April 14 before beating the Czech Republic 5-4 in a shootout on April 16.
Canada opens the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship on April 18 against Slovakia. It will also take on Germany, Switzerland and Sweden in Group B preliminary round play.
Canada’s final preliminary round game against Sweden on April 23 will be shown live by TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, as will one quarter-final on April 25, one semifinal on April 26 and the bronze medal and gold medal games on April 28. Check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.
For more information on Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team and Hockey Canada, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, or follow along through social media at www.facebook.com/hockeycanada, www.twitter.com/hockeycanada and www.twitter.com/hc_men.