As Canadians ready for 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, Hockey Canada gets set to welcome 2017 tournament
TORONTO, Ont. – Just weeks away from the official puck drop of Canada’s opening game of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, Hockey Canada revealed the names of the 30 players invited to participate in Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp, being held Dec. 10-14 in Toronto.
The roster was released at a news conference on Tuesday and includes two goaltenders, 11 defencemen, and 17 forwards. Ryan Jankowski, director of player personnel for Hockey Canada, and Tim Speltz, member of the Program of Excellence management group, were responsible for all player selection, with input from coaches and general managers from across the Canadian Hockey League. Three players from the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship-winning team are included on the roster: Lawson Crouse (Mt. Brydges, Ont./Kingston, OHL), Joe Hicketts (Kamloops, B.C./Victoria, WHL), and Brayden Point (Calgary/Moose Jaw, WHL).
“We’re looking to assemble the best possible team to represent the country in Helsinki at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. With the talent we have attending camp, it’s going to come down to some difficult decisions for us in selecting the players who make the final team,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams for Hockey Canada.
The selection camp, being held at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke, Ont., will feature two games against a team of players from Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) on Dec. 12 and 13. In total, 22 players will be selected to represent Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2015 to Jan. 5, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland.
Canada won gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship on home ice in January. The team has not won in Europe since 2008 – the fourth of five consecutive gold medals for Canada’s National Junior Team from 2005-09.
“We have some returning players from last year’s gold medal-winning team, and a lot of international experience with the group as a whole. We’re looking forward to getting everyone together in Toronto next week and getting started,” said Jankowski, who also noted the management team remains in contact with NHL clubs regarding eligible players who may be made available to join the team before Canada finalizes its roster on Dec. 20.
Canada opens the tournament against the United States on Saturday, Dec. 26 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. Hockey Canada’s official broadcasters, TSN and RDS, are scheduled to broadcast all tournament games, including three pre-tournament games Dec. 19, 20, and 23; check local listings for details.
Hockey fans ready for 2017
While Canadians are eagerly anticipating taking part in what has become a holiday tradition of gathering around televisions to cheer on Canada’s National Junior Team, hockey fans can now plan to see the red-and-white face off against the world on home ice when the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship comes to Montreal and Toronto.
Tickets to next year’s tournament go on sale on Dec. 7, but fans can visit HockeyCanada.ca and sign up before Dec. 4 to purchase their tickets before they’re made available to the general public.
“We know how Canadians rally behind Canada’s National Junior Team, and we’re gearing up to bring that live experience to Montreal and Toronto next year,” said Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “As with previous years, the proceeds from last year’s tournament have been targeted back into supporting the growth of hockey from the grassroots to the high-performance level. We saw the nation come together as we cheered on last year’s team, and I know that when we welcome the world in Montreal and Toronto in 2017, Canadians will be out in full force to show the world our passion for the game.”