April 16, 2014, CALGARY, Alta. (ISN) – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), announced Wednesday the 23-player roster for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, taking place April 17-27 in Lappeenranta and Imatra, Finland.
The roster includes three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards.
The players, born in 1996 and 1997, were selected by Hockey Canada head scout Ryan Jankowski, in consultation with head coach Kevin Dineen (Toronto, Ont.) and assistant coaches Trevor Letowski (Thunder Bay, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) and Gord Murphy (Willowdale, Ont.). Jankowski evaluated the players during the 2013-14 season, following them along with numerous other candidates during league play, as well as during the 2013 and 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenges.
The roster includes 12 players from the Western Hockey League, six from the Ontario Hockey League and five from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In total, 20 players (two goaltenders, five defencemen and 10 forwards) competed at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, one in 2012, 18 in 2013 and two in 2014.
The roster also includes 13 players (Daniel Audette, Julio Billia, Clark Bishop, Alexandre Carrier, Haydn Fleury, Jayce Hawryluk, Joe Hicketts, Jared McCann, Mason McDonald, Roland McKeown, Ryan Pilon, Brayden Point and Jake Virtanen) who helped Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team win the gold medal at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last summer
One player, defenceman Roland McKeown, returns from last year’s National Men’s Under-18 Team that won Canada’s third gold medal at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship.
Six under-age players who travelled to Finland to participate in pre-tournament games (Jansen Harkins, Graham Knott, Nathan Noel, Jérémy Roy, Nicolas Roy and Parker Wotherspoon) will return to Canada. The players were added to Canada’s training camp roster to get added experience playing international competition.
Canada played two pre-tournament games ahead of the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, losing 3-2 to the Finland on April 11 before beating Denmark 7-2 on April 14.
Canada is a three-time gold medallist at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, winning in 2003, 2008 and 2013.
The 2014 IIHF Hockey U18 World Championship opens for Canada on April 17 when it faces Sweden. Canada will also face Germany, Slovakia and Russia in the preliminary round.
TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast Canada’s final preliminary round game against Russia on April 22, as well as both semifinals on April 26 and both medal games on April 27. Check your local listings for game times in your area.