CALGARY, Alta. – As Team Canada prepares for the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Denmark next month, the team is staging in Riga, Latvia, for a pre-tournament camp with 22 players following the addition of Pierre-Luc Dubois (Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Que./Columbus, NHL), Curtis McElhinney (London, Ont./Toronto, NHL), 2016 gold-medallist Ryan Murray (White City,Sask./Columbus, NHL), and Vancouver Canucks goaltending prospect Michael DiPietro (Amherstburg, Ont./Windsor, OHL), who has been added to the camp roster.
Dubois just finished his rookie campaign with Columbus, registering 48 points in 82 games. He added four more points in six playoff games. Dubois’ international experience includes winning a silver medal with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. He won gold with Canada’s National Men's Summer Under-18 Team at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, and added a bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF U18 World Championship. Dubois also competed at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
McElhinney will represent Canada internationally for the first time in his career at the IIHF World Championship. He played in 18 NHL games with Toronto this season, finishing with 11 wins in 15 starts, registering a .934 save percentage and 2.14 goals-against average. Drafted 176th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, he played four years with Colorado College, earning two Western Collegiate Hockey Association First All-Star Team selections (2003, 2005). He was also a two-time NCAA All-American (2003 - Second Team, 2005 - First Team).
Murray just finished his fifth season in the NHL with Columbus, appearing in 44 games. This will mark his third appearance at the IIHF World Championship, having won gold in 2016. Murray also played for Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Championship, and also won a bronze medal at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was captain of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2011 IIHF U18 World Championship. He also captained Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team to a gold medal at the 2010 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, and competed at the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championship and 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
DiPietro was drafted 64th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 18-year-old won the 2017 Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires, earning a nod as Top Goaltender and was named to the tournament all-star team. That same season he was also a finalist for the Ontario Hockey League(OHL) Most Outstanding Player and OHL Goaltender of the Year. DiPietro played for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, and for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship. He’s also competed internationally at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The player selections were made by the management group for the 2018 IIHF World Championship – co-general managers Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Montreal) and Martin Brodeur (Montreal/St. Louis), along with Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada – in consultation with the coaching staff consisting of head coach Bill Peters (Three Hills, Alta./Carolina), associate coach Mike Yeo (North Bay, Ont./St. Louis), and assistant coach Bob Boughner (Windsor, Ont./Florida).
Seven of the players announced for this year’s team earned gold medals with Team Canada in either 2015 (Eberle, Ekblad, O’Reilly, Schenn) or 2016 (McDavid, Murray, O’Reilly), while three skated to a silver medal in 2017 (O’Reilly, Parayko, Schenn).
Canada opens the 2018 IIHF World Championship on Friday, May 4, against the United States in Herning, Denmark. Preliminary-round games wrap up on May 15 and during that time, Canada will also face off against the host Danes, Finland, Germany, South Korea, Latvia, and Norway. The bronze- and gold-medal games will take place on Sunday, May 20.
TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners will carry 64 and 31 games, respectively. TSN Radio will also broadcast all of Canada’s games; check your local listings for schedule and network details.
Team Canada has won gold at two of the last three IIHF World Championships, going undefeated during the 2015 tournament in the Czech Republic and shutting out Finland in the gold-medal game in 2016 in Russia. Last year, Canada skated to silver after falling to Sweden in the gold-medal game in Cologne, Germany.
Since 1931, Canada has won the world championship 20 times – not counting the years when the Olympic Winter Games gold medallist was also considered world champion. Canada has also collected 12 silver and six bronze medals in that timespan.
For more information on Canada’s National Men’s Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.