CALGARY, AB – The Western Hockey League, in association with the Canadian Hockey League, announced today that forward Tyler Benson of the Vancouver Giants will serve as an alternate captain of Team WHL for the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series, which begins Monday, November 7 in Prince George and continues Tuesday, November 8 in Edmonton.
Drafted in the second round, 32nd overall, of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers and a product of Edmonton, Benson is currently second in scoring for the Vancouver Giants with 13 points (7G-6A) in 12 games this season. The 18-year-old previously represented Team Canada at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, collecting four points (1G-3A) in seven games. In 111 career WHL regular season contests, the 6-foot, 190-pound left winger has registered 86 points (30G-56A).
Benson joins the Team WHL leadership group including captain Noah Juulsen (Everett Silvertips) and alternates Nick Merkley (Kelowna Rockets) and Parker Wotherspoon (Tri-City Americans).
Team WHL will face Team Russia in Game 1 of the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series in Prince George, B.C., on Monday, November 7, before continuing on to Edmonton, AB, for Game 2 on Tuesday, November 8. The Ontario Hockey League will host Games 3 and 4, while the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will welcome the festivities surrounding Games 5 and 6.
The six-game series features regional league teams of Canadian National Junior Team candidates competing against the Russian National Junior Team. For the third straight season, the event will open with two games in the WHL.
Since the event first began in 2003, CHL teams have played to an overall record of 54-18-6 against Team Russia. The competitiveness of the rivalry has grown in recent years with four of the last six series decided in the final game. Russia earned their first series victory in 2010 and have since alternated annual series victories with the CHL who earned the 2015 title by a 12-3 margin in points.
The event is an integral part of the identification process for Team Canada prior to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. Canada was represented at this season’s World Junior in Finland by 21 CHL players who competed in this series in 2015, while 13 members of Team Russia’s series entry also competed in Helsinki earning a second straight silver medal.
The 2016 CIBC Canada Russia series is supported by CHL associate sponsors Cooper Tire, autoTRADER.ca and Sherwin-Williams. All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
2016 CHL Canada Russia Series Schedule:
Game 1 – Monday November 7 at Prince George, BC
Game 2 – Tuesday November 8 at Edmonton, AB
Game 3 – Thursday November 10 at North Bay, ON
Game 4 – Monday November 14 at Hamilton, ON
Game 5 – Tuesday November 15 at Chicoutimi, QC
Game 6 – Thursday November 17 at Baie-Comeau, QC