As Canada’s National Junior Team goes south to Lake Placid, N.Y., for exhibition action, and Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team heads overseas for the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, there’s no shortage of international experience on the Canadian rosters, thanks in large part to the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Of the 55 players who will wear red and white in game action in the coming weeks, 50 got their first taste of international competition, and first experience in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, at the annual under-17 tournament.
The list includes players from all five Canadian regions, and eight U17 gold medallists, all from the 2011 Ontario team that won the top prize in front of a tournament record crowd of 12,060 in Winnipeg, Man.
CANADA’S NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM – U17 ALUMNI
Ontario (12) – Max Domi (2012); Matt Finn (2011); Brendan Gaunce (2011); Bo Horvat (2012); Slater Koekkoek (2011); Scott Laughton (2011); Connor McDavid (2013); Sean Monahan (2011); Darnell Nurse (2012); Jake Paterson (2011); Kerby Rychel (2011); Tom Wilson (2011)
Pacific (8) – Eric Comrie (2012); Mathew Dumba (2011); Dillon Heatherington (2012); Curtis Lazar (2012); Josh Morrissey (2012); Nic Petan (2012); Sam Reinhart (2012); Hunter Shinkaruk (2011)
Quebec (5) – Zachary Fucale (2012); Frédérik Gauthier (2012); Félix Girard (2011); Charles Hudon (2011); Michael Matheson (2011)
West (4) – Brendan Leipsic (2011); Derrick Pouliot (2011); Ryan Pulock (2011); Damon Severson (2011)
CANADA’S NATIONAL MEN’S SUMMER UNDER-18 TEAM – U17 ALUMNI
NOTE: All U18 players competed at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Atlantic (2) – Clark Bishop; Mason McDonald
Ontario (7) – Sam Bennett; Michael Dal Colle; Aaron Ekblad (also played in 2012); Robby Fabbri; Jared McCann; Roland McKeown; Spencer Watson
Pacific (3) – Joe Hicketts; Brayden Point; Jake Virtanen
Quebec (5) – Daniel Audette; Julio Billia; Alexandre Carrier; Carl Neill; Alexis Pépin
West (4) – Rourke Chartier; Haydn Fleury; Jayce Hawryluk; Ryan Pilon
Summer also means development camps for Canada’s five under-17 entries leading into the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Dec. 29 to Jan. 4 in Cape Breton, N.S. More than 200 players are attending camps, hoping for a chance to wear the Team Canada jersey this winter.
The 2014 tournament will be the last to feature five Canadian regional teams; beginning with the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Canada will be represented by three national under-17 entries.