CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), announced on Thursday the 22 players that will comprise Team Canada East at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge, which runs from November 2-9 in Camrose, AB.
Canada East is a two-time silver medalist at the World Junior A Challenge, having fallen short in the gold medal game against Canada West in 2006 in Yorkton, SK and in 2007 in Trail, BC.
The Canada East roster is comprised of players from the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), Central Junior A Hockey League (CJHL), Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ) and Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MJAHL).
“My coaching staff and I are very happy to have an opportunity to guide this team into the 2008 World Junior A Challenge,” said head coach Mark Grady. “Our intention is to win a gold medal at this event, and I feel that we have selected the best squad in order to do so.”
“Team Canada East is very proud to unveil its roster today,” said general manager Marty Abrams. “Eastern Canada has a wealth of players that we have paid very close attention to over the past several months, and we are confident that we have selected the best available players to allow us to compete for the gold medal at this exciting event.”
The selection process for Canada East involved extensive scouting by Grady, Abrams and assistant coaches Patrice Bosch and Troy Ryan.
Canada East’s roster for the 2008 World Junior A Challenge includes:
Two (2) goaltenders, seven (7) defensemen and 13 forwards
Seven (7) players currently leading or co-leading their teams in scoring (Jordan Escott – Amherst, Zach Hervato – Smiths Falls, Stephen Horyl – Truro, Pierre Luc Lacombe – Granby, Jacob Laliberte – Hawkesbury, Greg Miller – St. Michael’s, Brandon Pirri - Streetsville)
Three (3) players currently leading or co-leading their leagues in scoring (Jordan Escott – MJAHL, Jacob Laliberte – CJHL, Greg Miller – OJHL)
One (1) player returning from the 2007 World Junior A Challenge (Jeremy Franklin)
Two (2) players selected in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (Braden Birch – Chicago, 6th round, 179th overall; Nick D’Agostino – Pittsburgh, 7th round, 210th overall)
Twelve (12) players from the OJHL, seven (7) players from the CJHL, two (2) players from the MJAHL and one (1) player from the LHJAAAQ.
Canada East will play in Group B at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge, joined by Germany and the United States. Canada West, Belarus and Russia will comprise Group A. Round-robin play will run until Thursday, November 6, with both semifinals taking place on Saturday, November 8. The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN, the official broadcaster of Hockey Canada, is set for Sunday, November 9 (check your local listings).
The roster for Canada West was announced on Wednesday, October 15. The international rosters will be announced next week.