Calgary, Alta. – Hockey Canada has announced the three Canadian rosters – Team Canada Red and Team Canada White and the 2016 silver-medallist Team Canada Black – competing at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Nov. 5-11 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C.
With the puck set to drop on the tournament in two weeks, 66 players, including 23 WHL players, on three teams will face competition from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States in their quest for a gold medal.
WHL Players at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge:
Canada Black (9)
The defending silver medallists from the 2016 edition of the tournament will feature the most WHL players out of the three Canada teams with seven skaters and two goaltenders. 2016 WHL Bantam Draft second overall selection Kirby Dach of the Saskatoon Blades is one of three WHL forwards suiting up with Canada Black for this tournament. Matthew Robertson, the seventh-overall selection from the 2016 Bantam Draft, will be one of four blue liners on Team Canada Black. The crease will feature an all-WHL duo in Roman Basran and Nolan Maier.
|Massimo Rizzo||F||5-9.75||172||2001-06-13||Burnaby, B.C.||Kamloops Blazers|
|Kirby Dach||F||6-3.0||185||2001-01-21||Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.||Saskatoon Blades|
|Sasha Mutala||F||6-0.5||189||2001-05-06||Vancouver, B.C.||Tri-City Americans|
|Matthew Robertson||D||6-2.75||194||2001-03-09||Sherwood Park, Alta.||Edmonton Oil Kings|
|Kaedan Korczak||D||6-2.0||182||2001-01-29||Yorkton, Sask.||Kelowna Rockets|
|Luke Reid||D||5-11.0||181||2001-09-26||Warman, Sask.||Victoria Royals|
|Jacson Alexander||D||5-9.25||174||2001-02-01||Victoria, B.C.||Swift Current Broncos|
|Roman Basran||G||6-1.25||173||2001-07-26||Abbotsford, B.C.||Kelowna Rockets|
|Nolan Maier||G||5-11.0||168||2001-01-10||Yorkton, Sask.||Saskatoon Blades|
Canada Red (7)
Canada Red features seven WHL players, including Peyton Krebs of the Kootenay ICE, the first overall selection in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. Bowen Byram, the third overall selection by the Vancouver Giants from that same draft, recently scored his first career WHL goal and will now tend to Canada Red’s blue line throughout the tournament alongside 6-foot-6 Calgary Hitmen defenceman Jackson van de Leest. A pair of forwards on southern Alberta squads will add to the team’s forward core with Josh Williams of the Medicine Hat Tigers and Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
|Josh Williams||F||6-0.75||184||2001-03-08||Langley, B.C.||Medicine Hat Tigers|
|Peyton Krebs||F||5-10.75||173||2001-01-26||Okotoks, Alta.||Kootenay ICE|
|Dylan Cozens||F||6-2.5||174||2001-02-09||Whitehorse, Yukon||Lethbridge Hurricanes|
|Brayden Tracey||F||5-11.75||163||2001-05-28||Calgary, Alta.||Moose Jaw Warriors|
|Bowen Byram||D||6-0.0||179||2001-06-13||Cranbrook, B.C.||Vancouver Giants|
|Jackson van de Leest||D||6-6.0||218||2001-06-15||Kelowna, B.C.||Calgary Hitmen|
|Rhett Rhinehart||D||6-2.5||195||2001-11-27||Lloydminster, Alta.||Prince Albert Raiders|
Canada White (7)
Swift Current Broncos forward Logan Barlage, the fourth-overall selection from the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, will be a key piece of team Canada White’s forward group. Braden Schneider was the fourth blue liner selected in the same draft, going 12th overall to the Brandon Wheat Kings, where he’s been a valuable part of his team’s back-end through the opening month of their season. Prince George Cougars goaltender Taylor Gauthier will man the crease as one of three WHL puck stoppers selected.
|Logan Barlage||F||6-3.75||204||2001-01-12||Humboldt, Sask.||Swift Current Broncos|
|Harrison Blaisdell||F||5-10.25||175||2001-03-18||Regina, Sask.||Vancouver Giants|
|Connor Bouchard||F||5-6.0||157||2001-03-24||Cochrane, Alta.||Tri-City Americans|
|Alex Swetlikoff||F||6-2.0||179||2001-07-06||Kelowna, B.C.||Seattle Thunderbirds|
|Braden Schneider||D||6-1.25||198||2001-09-20||Prince Albert, Sask.||Brandon Wheat Kings|
|Jake Lee||D||6-1.0||203||2001-07-13||Sherwood Park, Alta.||Seattle Thunderbirds|
|Taylor Gauthier||G||6-0.5||189||2001-02-15||Calgary, Alta.||Prince George Cougars|
The players were selected by Brad McEwen (Whitewood, Sask.), Hockey Canada’s head scout, in consultation with U17 POE management group lead Steve Staios (Hamilton, Ont./Hamilton, OHL), along with regional scouts Carl Bouchard (Quebec), Barclay Branch (Ontario), Barclay Parneta (West), Kevin Mitchell (Atlantic) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).
“This has been a lengthy process from the initial 111 players invited to our summer development camp to narrowing it down to the 66 on our three teams,” said Shawn Bullock, Hockey Canada’s senior manager of hockey operations and men’s national teams. “Our management group and scouting staff have assembled three competitive teams which will wear the Canadian jersey with pride at this prestigious, international competition.”
The tournament officially kicks off Nov. 5 at the Encana Events Centre in an all-Canadian affair as last year’s silver-medallist, Team Canada Black, takes on Team Canada White at 2:30 p.m. MT (4:30 p.m. ET). The opening day concludes with Sweden facing Russia at North Peace Arena in Fort St. John.
More than 1,600 NHL draft picks have suited up since the inception of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 1986 (previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup), including 13 of the last 16 first-overall draft picks (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006, Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013; Aaron Ekblad, 2014; Connor McDavid, 2015 and Auston Matthews, 2016).