CALGARY, Alta. – Brandon Wheat Kings forward Stelio Mattheos has been chosen to the 22-man U18 National roster that will compete at this year’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in the Czech Republic.
The first overall selection in the 2014 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, Mattheos was the lone Manitoban chosen to the club that will be looking to defend its title at the tournament, which is scheduled to get underway next weekend.
The Wheat Kings’ MNP Rookie of the Year in 2015-16, the Winnipegger is coming off a season that saw him score thirteen goals and 30 points in 50 games.
Also chosen to the team was Brandon draft pick Ian Mitchell of Calahoo, Alberta.
Mattheos was one of five Western Hockey League players to be named to the team and he becomes the fourth Brandon player in two years to play at the prestigious summer event. Last August, Nolan Patrick, Kale Clague and Tanner Kaspick led Team Canada to the gold medal.
The roster was announced Tuesday night, following the final intrasquad game in Calgary. Mattheos had an assist in Team White’s 3-2 loss to Team Red.
Led by head coach Paul McFarland (Richmond Hill, Ont./Kingston, OHL) and assistant coaches Darren Rumble (Barrie, Ont./Moncton, QMJHL) and Mark French (North Bay, Ont./Calgary, WHL), Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team will be looking for its ninth-consecutive gold medal when it hits the ice in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Bratislava, Slovakia, Aug. 8-13. Canada has taken the overall honours 20 times in the tournament’s 25-year history.
“The Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup is a unique event for us because it’s one of the few opportunities we have to assemble the very best players in the country; the August timing doesn’t conflict with other league priorities, so it really sets up to be a best-on-best event and a great display of on-ice skill and talent,” said Ryan Jankowski, Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel. “Canadians can expect good speed, size, and talent from this year’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team. It is a well-balanced group of players. The players and our team staff are excited and ready to represent Canada with pride once again.”
Wearing the newly-released Team Canada jersey, Canada will play in Group B with Russia, Slovakia, and Sweden; Group A consists of the Czech Republic, Finland, Switzerland, and the United States. Canada will face the Czech Republic in a pre-tournament game on Aug. 6, and officially opens the tournament Aug. 8 against Slovakia. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals on Friday, Aug. 12, with the gold-medal game scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13.