The Western Hockey League, in partnership with BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, Hockey Saskatchewan and Hockey Manitoba, announced today the official rosters for the 2023 WHL Cup presented by FPS Payment.
Scheduled to be held October 18-22, the 2023 WHL Cup will be played exclusively at the Peavey Mart Centrium – home of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels. The tournament will feature teams from the four Western Canadian provinces competing in a round-robin tournament format followed by playoffs.
The 2023 WHL Cup will showcase the top 2008-born players from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. All 22 players selected in the first round of the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft will compete at the event.
The 2023 WHL Cup represents the first tournament presented by FPS Payment. Having joined the WHL as a corporate partner in August, FPS Payment offers a wide range of business solutions in the spheres of e-commerce as well as a multitude of point-of-service payments solutions in the restaurant and retail industry.
Featuring the most first-round selections from the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft, Team Alberta is poised to pursue their first gold medal since 2016. Like the future of the Prince Albert Raiders, the Wild Rose province will be led by defenceman Daxon Rudolph (first overall, Prince Albert) and Riley Boychuk (second overall, Prince Albert). Keaton Verhoeff (fourth overall, Victoria) and Aaron Sawatzky (16th overall, Moose Jaw) join Rudolph on the blueline, while the only goaltender selected in the first round – Carter Esler (22nd overall, Spokane) backs the blue and gold in net.
Reigning WHL Cup gold medallists return to Red Deer with what could quite possibly be a stronger team than they had in 2021. Mathis Preston (third overall, Spokane), Liam Ruck (ninth overall, Medicine Hat) and Markus Ruck (21st overall, Medicine Hat) will reunite again after impressive U15 seasons together with Okanagan Hockey Academy, combining for 258 points as a line. Paired with Joe Iginla (12th overall, Edmonton), Noah Kosick (11th overall, Calgary), and offensive defenceman Ryan Lin (sixth overall, Vancouver), Team B.C. should have no problem putting the puck in the net.
Team Manitoba’s strength comes from their defence, with all six blueliners selected in the top 90 of last May’s WHL Prospects Draft. Sure to log big minutes on the backend, the 6-foot-1 frame of Brek Liske (10th overall, Everett) will serve as a steady, shutdown presence alongside puck-mover Carson Carels (15th overall, Prince George), while Carter Kingerski (35th overall, Tri-City) will be called upon to help lead the Keystone province offensively.
With memories of 2019 in the back of their minds, Team Saskatchewan is back to prove they have what it takes to grab the gold. Returning to Peavey Mart Centrium less than a month after training camp with the Rebels, Beckett Hamilton (18th overall, Red Deer) will get his first taste of playing in his future home. Saskatoon Blazers teammates Caine Wilke (20th overall, Everett) and Dayne Beuker (14th overall, Lethbridge) join Hamilton as high-calibre weapons on offense, balancing with their deep defensive core featuring the likes of Griffin Darby (17th overall, Portland) and Nigel Boehm (28th overall, Brandon).
[Player (Branch), Last WHL Club, NHL Draft Club (NHL Draft Year)]
Matt Dumba (Alberta), Portland Winterhawks, Minnesota Wild (2012)
Derrick Pouliot (Saskatchewan), Portland Winterhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins (2012)
Griffin Reinhart (British Columbia), Edmonton Oil Kings, New York Islanders (2012)
Morgan Reilly (British Columbia), Moose Jaw Warriors, Toronto Maple Leafs (2012)
Jake Virtanen (British Columbia), Calgary Hitmen, Vancouver Canucks (2014)
Jayce Hawryluk (Manitoba), Brandon Wheat Kings, Florida Panthers (2014)
Conner Bleackley (Alberta), Red Deer Rebels, St. Louis Blues (2016)
Brayden Point (Alberta), Moose Jaw Warriors, Tampa Bay Lightning (2014)
Ryan Gropp (British Columbia), Seattle Thunderbirds, New York Rangers (2015)
Haydn Fleury (Saskatchewan) Red Deer Rebels, Carolina Hurricanes (2014)
Mathew Barzal (British Columbia), Seattle Thunderbirds, New York Islanders (2015)
Nick Merkley (Alberta), Kelowna Rockets, Arizona Coyotes (2015)
Jansen Harkins (British Columbia), Prince George Cougars, Winnipeg Jets (2015)
Brendan Guhle (Alberta), Prince George Cougars, Buffalo Sabres (2015)
Ethan Bear (Saskatchewan), Seattle Thunderbirds, Edmonton Oilers (2015)
Tyler Benson (Alberta), Vancouver Giants, Edmonton Oilers (2016)
Brett Howden (Manitoba), Moose Jaw Warriors, Tampa Bay Lightning (2016)
Sam Steel (Alberta), Regina Pats, Anaheim Ducks (2016)
Kale Clague (Alberta), Moose Jaw Warriors, Los Angeles Kings (2016)
Nolan Patrick (Manitoba), Brandon Wheat Kings, Philadelphia Flyers (2017)
2015 WHL Cup All-Star Team
G – Matthew Thiessen (Manitoba), Tri-City Americans, Vancouver Canucks (2018)
D – Ty Smith (Alberta), Spokane Chiefs, New Jersey Devils (2018)
D – Jett Woo (Manitoba), Calgary Hitmen, Vancouver Canucks (2018)
F – Carson Focht (Saskatchewan), Calgary Hitmen, Vancouver Canucks (2019)
F – Eric Florchuk (Alberta), Vancouver Giants, Washington Capitals (2018)
F – Eli Zummack (British Columbia), Spokane Chiefs
2016 WHL Cup All-Star Team
G – Byron Fancy (Alberta), Red Deer Rebels
D – Kaeden Korczak (Saskatchewan), Kelowna Rockets, Vegas Golden Knights (2019)
D – Braden Schneider (Saskatchewan), Brandon Wheat Kings, New York Rangers (2020)
F – Logan Barlage (Saskatchewan), Medicine Hat Tigers
F – Peyton Krebs (Alberta), Winnipeg ICE, Vegas Golden Knights (2019)
F – Josh Williams (British Columbia), Edmonton Oil Kings
2017 WHL Cup All-Stars
G – Bryan Thomson (Saskatchewan), Lethbridge Hurricanes
D – Kaiden Guhle (Alberta), Edmonton Oil Kings, Montreal Canadiens (2020)
D – Daemon Hunt (Manitoba), Moose Jaw Warriors, Minnesota Wild (2020)
F – Justin Sourdif (British Columbia), Edmonton Oil Kings, Florida Panthers (2020)
F – Kyle Crnkovic (Alberta), Seattle Thunderbirds
F – Connor McClennon (Alberta), Winnipeg ICE, Philadelphia Flyers (2020)
2019 WHL Cup All-Stars
G – Dylan Ernst (Saskatchewan), Kamloops Blazers
D – Denton Mateychuk (Manitoba), Moose Jaw Warriors, Columbus Blue Jackets (2022)
D – Graydon Gotaas (Alberta), Edmonton Oil Kings
F – Conor Geekie (Manitoba), Wenatchee Wild, Arizona Coyotes (2022)
F – Carter Dereniwsky (Saskatchewan), Victoria Royals
F – Brandon Lisowsky (British Columbia), Saskatoon Blades, Toronto Maple Leafs (2022)
2021 WHL Cup All-Stars
G – Ethan McCallum (Manitoba), Medicine Hat Tigers
D – Keith McInnis (Alberta), Red Deer Rebels
D – Jonas Woo (Manitoba), Wenatchee Wild
F – Jordan Gavin (British Columbia), Tri-City Americans
F – Miguel Marques (British Columbia), Lethbridge Hurricanes
F – Tomas Mrsic (British Columbia), Medicine Hat Tigers