CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) announced on Tuesday the 22 players who will make up Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, April 13th to 23rd in Kazan, Russia.
The roster is comprised of players born in 1990 or earlier whose teams are no longer competing in the CHL playoffs with their respective CHL club teams. Many of Canada’s players named today will be among the top selections at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa, ON in June.
Canada’s coaching staff – head coach Pat Quinn and assistants Guy Boucher and Jesse Wallin – collaborated with Al Murray, Hockey Canada’s head scout for men’s national teams, to finalize the roster. Murray has been traveling across Canada evaluating and ranking players as part of his duties as Hockey Canada’s head scout.
“We are very pleased with the players we have chosen to represent Canada at the world under-18 championship,” said Murray. “We believe this is a tremendously talented group of players, and one that will proudly wear the Canadian maple leaf in Russia.”
“I’d like to congratulate the 22 players who have earned the honour of playing for Canada at the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship,” said Quinn. “As a coaching staff, we are very excited to work with these players towards the goal of bringing the gold medal back to Canada.”
Canada’s roster includes nine players from the Ontario Hockey League, seven players from the Western Hockey League and six players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Four players (Cuma, Eberle, Hodgson, Teubert) were members of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka in the Czech Republic in August 2007.
The players and staff will gather in Toronto on Sunday, April 6th before departing for Minsk, Belarus the following day. Canada will play a pair of pre-tournament games – against Belarus on April 10th and against Finland on April 11th – in Minsk before opening up the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship against Germany on April 13th.
TSN/RDS, the official broadcaster of Hockey Canada, will broadcast Canada’s final preliminary round game against Slovakia on Friday, March 18th, as well as a quarterfinal on Sunday, April 20th, a semi-final on Monday, April 21st and the gold medal game on Wednesday, April 23rd. The bronze medal game on April 23rd will also be broadcast if Canada plays for bronze. Check your local listings for game times in your area.