Eighteen athletes have been named to Canada’s National Para Hockey Development Team, and will face the United States this weekend as part of the 2019 Défi sportif AlterGo.


Twenty-two players were evaluated through a series of practices, off-ice workouts and training sessions, as well as two intrasquad games during the five-day NextGen Prospects Camp. Following camp, the coaching staff narrowed down the roster to the 18 who will wear the Maple Leaf against the U.S. from May 3-5 in Montreal.


“The camp was very competitive, and it brought out the best in all our players,” said head coach Brandon Reid (Kirkland, Que.). “Having to narrow it down is always difficult, but looking at strength, speed and skill, we’re confident that our roster moving forward will represent Canada well.”


The roster was selected by Reid, along with assistant coaches Kevin Figsby (Montreal, Que.), Steve Arsenault (Spruce Grove, Alta.), Kris Dutkiewicz (Kitchener, Ont.) and Hockey Canada’s management team.


Among the players selected, 10 participated in Canada’s National Para Hockey Team selection camp last fall (Auclair, Close, Culmone, Dolan, Jacobs-Webb, Kingsmill, Kovacevich, Lambert, LeBlanc, Sison), four of whom were named to the 2018-19 national team roster (Auclair, Dolan, Jacobs-Webb, Kovacevich).


In addition, two of the four women who participated in camp have been named to the roster – Christina Picton and Raphaëlle Tousignant.


“This is an exciting time for the sport,” said Shawn Bullock, director of men’s national teams with Hockey Canada. “All players are evaluated on a level playing field, and it’s a testament to the work Christina and Raphaëlle have put in that they’re on the final roster.”