Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League, in partnership with BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, Saskatchewan Hockey Association, and Hockey Manitoba as well as in association with Hockey Canada, announced team rosters for the 2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup which will begin October 19th at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary, AB.
This year’s event will take place from Wednesday, October 19th to Sunday, October 23rd. The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will feature the highest-rated players in the under-16 age category from the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Of the 80 players scheduled to compete at the event, 76 were selected in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft while two have since been listed by WHL clubs.
The four-time champion Albertans will boast another star-studded roster that includes 10 first round selections from the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. The roster includes the top three picks from last May’s draft in Okotoks product Peyton Krebs (first overall, Kootenay), Fort Saskatchewan native Kirby Dach (second overall, Saskatoon) and Lethbridge’s Bowen Byram (third overall, Vancouver).
Team British Columbia
Having last won the event in 2012, Team BC enters a strong roster which features Calgary Hitmen first-rounder Jackson Van De Leest (Kelowna, BC) among five first round WHL Bantam Draft selections. Fellow first-rounders Josh Williams (Langley, BC / Medicine Hat Tigers), Sasha Mutala (Vancouver, BC / Tri-City Americans) and Massimo Rizzo (Burnaby, BC / Kamloops Blazers) will pack a powerful punch up front for Team BC.
After finishing as runners-up one year ago, Team Manitoba will look for their first title in 2016. Vancouver Giants first-rounder Trent Miner (Brandon, MB) is poised to provide solid goaltending for the Manitobans, while five Brandon Wheat Kings prospects including MacDonald, MB product Ben McCartney (43rd overall) bolster a talented roster.
Fourth overall pick Logan Barlage (Humboldt, SK / Swift Current Broncos) leads a strong Team Saskatchewan entry also looking for its first title this year. Kelowna Rockets first-rounder Kaedan Korczak (Yorkton, SK) and Brandon Wheat Kings prospect Braden Schneider (Prince Albert, SK), selected 11th and 12th overall respectively, star on a sound blue line.
The tournament will be a four-team round robin format and is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for players.
Wednesday, October 19th
3:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Team Manitoba @ Team British Columbia
6:30 – 9:00 p.m. – Team Saskatchewan @ Team Alberta
Thursday, October 20th
3:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Team British Columbia @ Team Saskatchewan
6:30 – 9:00 p.m. – Team Alberta @ Team Manitoba
Friday, October 21st
3:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Team Saskatchewan @ Team Manitoba
6:30 – 9:00 p.m. – Team British Columbia @ Team Alberta
Saturday, October 22nd
1:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Semi-Final (2nd vs. 3rd)
Sunday, October 23rd
9:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Bronze Medal Game (Semi-Final runner-up vs. 4th)
1:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Gold Medal Game (1st vs. Semi-Final winner)