Twenty-four players have been selected to Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team as it looks to defend gold at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, July 31–Aug. 5 in Trencin, Slovakia and Breclav, Czechia.


Three goaltenders, seven defence and 14 forwards—representing seven Members—were selected by Alan Millar (Tottenham, ON), director of player personnel, and Cam Russell (Cole Harbour, NS/Halifax, QMJHL), the U18 lead for the Program of Excellence management group, with support from Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of hockey operations, Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations, and Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB), manager of hockey operations and U17 head scout. Head coach Alan Letang (Renfrew, ON/Sarnia, OHL), and assistant coaches Kris Mallette (Kelowna, BC/Kelowna, WHL) and Sylvain Favreau (Orleans, ON/Drummondville, QMJHL) also provided input.


Among the 24 players are two who won a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship (Catton, D’Aigle) and 20 that suited up for Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.


“We are excited to unveil this group of accomplished athletes that have earned the opportunity to represent Canada and defend our gold medal at this year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup,” Millar said. “Earning a spot to represent your country is an exciting opportunity, and we know each athlete will embrace the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf in Slovakia and Czechia later this month.”


Prior to the start of the tournament, the team will practice at the Ice Palace in Budapest, Hungary from July 23-27, and will face off against Hungary’s national under-20 team on July 27 at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT. It will also take on Czechia on July 29 at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT at Fosfa Arena in Breclav as a part of its pre-tournament schedule.


Canada will open the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup against Finland on July 31 at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT. It will also face co-host Slovakia and Switzerland in the preliminary round before the tournament concludes with the medal games on Aug. 5.