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From the WJAC to the NHL

46 World Junior A Challenge alumni open 2016-17 season on NHL rosters

Jason La Rose
October 13, 2016

The puck dropped Wednesday night to kick off the 2016-17 National Hockey League season, and it did so with 46 alumni of the World Junior A Challenge earning spots on rosters across the league.

Russia, which has competed in all 10 editions of the World Junior A Challenge, led the way with 11 alumni in the NHL, followed by the United States (10), Canada East (nine), Canada West (eight), Sweden (six), the Czech Republic (one) and Denmark (one).

The Canada West and United States contingents both included players who won gold at the World Junior A Challenge; Joe Colborne, Riley Nash, Colton Parayko and Kyle Turris for the Canadians, and Beau Bennett, Kyle Connor, Ryan Dzingel, Seth Helgeson, Vince Hinostroza, John Moore, Nick Schmaltz and Craig Smith for the Americans.

The list of alumni also included five players who earned MVP honours – Turris (2006), Devin Shore (2011), Hinostroza (2012), Schmaltz (2013) and Nikolaj Ehlers (2014) – and nine WJAC all-stars.

Twenty-two of the NHL’s 30 teams had at least one alumnus on their 23-man roster, led by the Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets, with three each.

In addition to the 46 who cracked the rosters, four alumni started the season on the injured list with the respective teams, and may or may not join the NHL roster once they’re deemed healthy.


Beau Bennett – New Jersey Devils (United States, 2009)
Alexander Burmistrov – Winnipeg Jets (Russia, 2008)
Drake Caggiula (injured) – Edmonton Oilers (Canada East, 2011)
Daniel Carr – Montreal Canadiens (Canada West, 2009)
Joe Colborne – Colorado Avalanche (Canada West, 2007)
Kyle Connor – Winnipeg Jets (United States – 2013-2014)
Austin Czarnik (injured) – Boston Bruins (United States, 2010)
Zac Dalpe – Minnesota Wild (Canada West, 2007)
Ryan Dzingel – Ottawa Senators (United States, 2010)
Nikolaj Ehlers – Winnipeg Jets (Denmark, 2014)
Jesper Fast – New York Rangers (Sweden, 2009)
Derek Grant – Buffalo Sabres (Canada East, 2008)
Mikhail Grigorenko – Colorado Avalanche (Russia, 2010)
Jimmy Hayes – Boston Bruins (United States, 2007)
Seth Helgeson – New Jersey Devils (United States, 2007-2008)
Vinnie Hinostroza – Chicago Blackhawks (United States, 2011-2012)
Ben Hutton – Vancouver Canucks (Canada East, 2011)
Zach Hyman – Toronto Maple Leafs (Canada East, 2010)
Calle Jarnkrok – Nashville Predators (Sweden, 2009)
Dmitry Kulikov – Buffalo Sabres (Russia, 2007)
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Washington Capitals (Russia, 2008)
Johan Larsson – Buffalo Sabres (Sweden, 2009)
Elias Lindholm – Carolina Hurricanes (Sweden, 2011)
Sean Maguire (injured) – Pittsburgh Penguins (Canada West, 2011)
Alexei Marchenko – Detroit Red Wings (Russia, 2009)
Curtis McKenzie – Dallas Stars (Canada West, 2008)
John Moore – New Jersey Devils (United States, 2008)
Vladislav Namestnikov – Tampa Bay Lightning (Russia, 2009)
Riley Nash – Boston Bruins (Canada West, 2006)
Patrik Nemeth – Dallas Stars (Sweden, 2009)
Nikita Nesterov – Tampa Bay Lightning (Russia, 2010)
Joakim Nordström – Carolina Hurricanes (Sweden, 2009-2010)
Dmitry Orlov – Washington Capitals (Russia, 2008)
Colton Parayko – St. Louis Blues (Canada West, 2011)
David Pastrnak – Boston Bruins (Czech Republic, 2012)
Brandon Pirri – New York Rangers (Canada East, 2008)
Mike Reilly – Minnesota Wild (United States, 2011)
Justin Schultz – Pittsburgh Penguins (Canada West, 2008)
Nick Schmaltz – Chicago Blackhawks (United States, 2013)
Jaden Schwartz (injured) – St. Louis Blues (Canada West, 2008)
Devin Shore – Dallas Stars (Canada East, 2011)
Brendan Smith – Detroit Red Wings (Canada East, 2006)
Craig Smith – Nashville Predators (United States, 2007-2008)
Reilly Smith – Florida Panthers (Canada East, 2008)
Cam Talbot – Edmonton Oilers (Canada East, 2006)
Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues (Russia, 2008)
Kyle Turris – Ottawa Senators (Canada West, 2006)
Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning (Russia, 2011)
Scott Wilson – Pittsburgh Penguins (Canada East, 2010)
Nail Yakupov – St. Louis Blues (Russia, 2009)

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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