The Vancouver Giants in conjunction with Hockey Canada are thrilled to announce that 2005-born defenceman Mazden Leslie (Lloydminster, AB) and 2005-born forward Ty Halaburda (Victoria, B.C.) were both invited to represent Canada at the 2021 Under-17 Capital City Challenge. The two Giants rookies were among 66 players invited, and will be divided into three teams in the coming weeks. The four-team tournament, which also includes Canada’s National Women’s Team, begins November 26th and runs through December 1st in Ottawa, Ontario.
Mazden Leslie was originally selected 10th overall by Vancouver in the 2020 WHL Prospects Draft. The 6’1”, 182-pound blueliner has since appeared in 24 games with the Giants, where he’s recorded six goals and four assists for 10 points along with 21 penalty minutes. So far this season, Leslie is tied for the team lead in scoring amongst defencemen with five points (1G, 4A). Last season as an under-ager he joined the Giants for 17 games in the Kamloops/Kelowna Hub and supplied five goals.
Ty Halaburda was selected one round later with the 32nd overall pick in the 2020 WHL Prospects Draft. The 5’11”, 164-pound center has produced one goal and four assists for five points through seven games so far this season. Four of Halaburda’s five points have come in the previous two games. On October 29th against Kelowna he recorded his first career WHL goal, along with an assist. Then earlier this week on Wednesday he added two more assists for the Giants in Kelowna.
Other recent Giants to represent Canada at the Under-17’s include Justin Sourdif (2018), Cole Shepard (2018), and Bowen Byram (2017).
Per Hockey Canada’s release earlier today:
The 66 players will be divided into three teams – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White – and will compete against Canada’s National Women’s Team as part of its centralization schedule. The rosters for Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
“We are excited to unveil the 66 players that will suit up for our three men’s under-17 teams at the Capital City Challenge and have the unique opportunity to compete against Canada’s National Women’s Team in Ottawa,” said Salmond. “Although this has not been a traditional year for our Program of Excellence and the under-17 group, we are excited to introduce these athletes to an event that replicates short-term, international competition.”
Leslie, Halaburda and the rest of their Giants teammates return to action tonight at home with a 7:30 PM showdown with the visiting Prince George Cougars.