Hockey Canada has recognized 12 Western Hockey League players, as part of a group of 46 players invited to attend Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp.

Six goaltenders, 14 defencemen and 26 forwards were set to compete for a chance to represent Canada at the 2020 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, which was scheduled for August 3-8 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., before it was cancelled April 28 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The breakdown of WHL players led by first-overall 2018 WHL Bantam Draft selection and 2020 WHL Rookie of the Year, Dylan Guenther of the Edmonton Oil Kings, includes two goaltenders, five defencemen and five forwards.

“It is important for Hockey Canada to recognize the work the players and coaching staff already put in to prepare for the summer and a chance to compete for gold on home ice,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada. “It was a difficult decision to cancel the tournament, as it provides the opportunity to showcase the top under-18 players in a best-on-best international showcase. We want to recognize the 46 players and our three coaches for this tremendous accomplishment, and we look forward to watching all players continue to develop as they look ahead to next season and a chance to compete at the IIHF U18 World Championship.”

With the release of the camps’ selection group also came the announcement that Everett Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams (Stratford, Ont. / Everett Silvertips) would have guided Team Canada as an assistant coach.

In 2018, the tournament was rebranded as the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and hosted in Canada, with Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., serving as co-hosts. In 2019, Canada earned silver in Breclav, Czech Republic following a 3-2 loss to Russia.

Canada has won gold 22 times in 28 years of summer under-18 competition, along with three silver medals and one bronze.

With the cancellation of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, focus will now turn to the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship next spring; a host city has not yet been announced. The Czech Republic and Slovakia will host the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup before it returns to Edmonton and Red Deer in 2022.


WHL Players – National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team

NamePositionHeightWeightBornHometownWHL TeamWHL Draft
 Tyler BrennanGoaltender6’3″18709/27/03Winnipeg, Man.Prince George Cougars PG 2018    (1, 21)
Thomas MilicGoaltender5’11”15504/14/03Coquitlam, B.C.Seattle ThunderbirdsSEA 2018   (3, 55)
 Nolan AllanDefenceman6’2″18504/28/03Davidson, Sask.Prince Albert Raiders PA 2018    (1, 3)
Carson LambosDefenceman6’1″20001/14/03Winnipeg, Man.Winnipeg ICEWPG 2018 (1,2)
 Kyle MasterDefenceman5’11”15904/09/03Edmonton, Alta.Red Deer RebelsRD 2018   (1, 16)
 Graham SwardDefenceman6’2″17009/12/03Abbotsford, B.C.Spokane ChiefsSPO 2018   (1, 17)
 Olen ZellwegerDefenceman5’9″16509/10/03Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.Everett SilvertipsEVT 2018   (2, 42)
 Dylan GuentherForward6’1″17009/10/03Edmonton, Alta. Edmonton Oil KingsEDM 2018 (1,1)
 Conner RouletteForward5’11”15805/13/03Winnipeg, Man.Seattle ThunderbirdsSEA 2018   (2, 34)
Cole SillingerForward6’0″18705/16/03Regina, Sask.Medicine Hat TigersMH 2018 (1, 11)
Logan StankovenForward5’7″16502/26/03Kamloops, B.C.Kamloops BlazersKAM 2018   (1, 5)
Zack StringerForward6’1″16504/10/03Lethbridge, Alta.Lethbridge HurricanesLET 2018 (1,8)