wjac cale makar draft feature

From the WJAC to the NHL

72 World Junior A Challenge alumni opened the 2019-20 season on NHL rosters

Jason La Rose
October 4, 2019

The puck dropped Wednesday night to kick off the 2019-20 National Hockey League season, and it did so with 72 alumni of the World Junior A Challenge earning spots on rosters across the league.

The United States led the way with 17 alumni in the NHL, followed by Canada West (15), Russia (13), Sweden (10), Canada East (nine), the Czech Republic (four), Denmark (two) and Switzerland (two).

The Canada West and United States contingents both included players who won gold at the World Junior A Challenge; 26 players in all – 10 Canadians and 16 Americans – stood atop the podium, with U.S. forward Kyle Connor (2013 and 2014) to only player to hoist the trophy twice.

The list of alumni also included eight players who earned MVP honours – Kyle Turris (2006), Scott Mayfield (2010), Devin Shore (2011), Vinnie Hinostroza (2012), Nick Schmaltz (2013), Nikolaj Ehlers (2014), Tyson Jost (2015) and Andrei Svechnikov (2016) – and 16 WJAC all-stars.

Twenty-eight of the NHL’s 31 teams had at least one alumnus on their 23-man roster, led by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals with five apiece; Colorado and Winnipeg had four each.

The Tampa Bay Lightning roster includes a pair of WJAC alumni who earned hardware last season; the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy and Art Ross Trophy, Nikita Kucherov, and the Vezina Trophy recipient, Andrei Vasilevskiy.

In addition to the 72 who cracked the rosters, nine alumni started the season on the injured list with their respective teams, and may or may not join the NHL roster once they’re deemed healthy.


Oliver Bjorkstrand – Columbus Blue Jackets (Denmark, 2014)
Brock Boeser – Vancouver Canucks (United States, 2014)
Drake Caggiula – Chicago Blackhawks (Canada East, 2011)
Daniel Carr – Nashville Predators (Canada West, 2009)
Dennis Cholowski – Detroit Red Wings (Canada West, 2015)
Kyle Connor – Winnipeg Jets (United States – 2013-2014)
Austin Czarnik – Calgary Flames (United States, 2010)
Evgeni Dadonov – Florida Panthers (Russia, 2006)
Jacob de la Rose – Detroit Red Wings (Sweden, 2011)
Nic Dowd – Washington Capitals (United States, 2009)
Ryan Dzingel – Carolina Hurricanes (United States, 2010)
Nikolaj Ehlers – Winnipeg Jets (Denmark, 2014)
Dante Fabbro – Nashville Predators (Canada West, 2014-2015)
Jesper Fast – New York Rangers (Sweden, 2009)
Dylan Gambrell – San Jose Sharks (United States, 2014)
Adam Gaudette – Vancouver Canucks (United States, 2014)
Vladislav Gavrikov – Columbus Blue Jackets (Russia, 2012)
Derek Grant – Anaheim Ducks (Canada West, 2008)
Denis Guryanov – Dallas Stars (Russia, 2014)
Gaëtan Haas – Edmonton Oilers (Switzerland, 2010)
Robert Hagg – Philadelphia Flyers (Sweden, 2011)
Vinnie Hinostroza – Arizona Coyotes (United States, 2011-2012)
Ben Hutton – Los Angeles Kings (Canada East, 2011)
Zach Hyman (injured) – Toronto Maple Leafs (Canada East, 2010)
Calle Jarnkrok – Nashville Predators (Sweden, 2009)
Nick Jensen – Washington Capitals (United States, 2009)
Tyson Jost – Colorado Avalanche (Canada West, 2014-2015)
Vladislav Kamenev – Colorado Avalanche (Russia, 2013)
David Kampf – Chicago Blackhawks (Czech Republic, 2012)
Alexander Kerfoot – Toronto Maple Leafs (Canada West, 2011-2012)
Jujhar Khaira – Edmonton Oilers (Canada West, 2011)
Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning (Russia, 2010)
Dean Kukan – Columbus Blue Jackets (Switzerland, 2010-2012)
Dmitry Kulikov – Buffalo Sabres (Russia, 2007)
Sean Kuraly – Boston Bruins (United States, 2011)
Johan Larsson – Buffalo Sabres (Sweden, 2009)
Elias Lindholm – Calgary Flames (Sweden, 2011)
Hampus Lindholm – Anaheim Ducks (Sweden, 2011)
Blake Lizotte – Los Angeles Kings (United States, 2016)
Cale Makar – Colorado Avalanche (Canada West, 2015-2016)
Ryan Mantha (injured) – Edmonton Oilers (United States, 2013)
Scott Mayfield – New York Islanders (United States, 2010)
Max McCormick (injured) – Carolina Hurricanes (United States, 2010)
John Moore (injured) – Boston Bruins (United States, 2008)
Vladislav Namestnikov – New York Rangers (Russia, 2009)
Riley Nash – Columbus Blue Jackets (Canada West, 2006)
Patrik Nemeth – Detroit Red Wings (Sweden, 2009)
Valeri Nichushkin – Colorado Avalanche (Russia, 2011)
Joakim Nordström (injured) – Boston Bruins (Sweden, 2009-2010)
Dmitry Orlov – Washington Capitals (Russia, 2008)
Colton Parayko – St. Louis Blues (Canada West, 2011)
David Pastrnak – Boston Bruins (Czech Republic, 2012)
Chase Pearson (injured) – Detroit Red Wings (Canada East, 2013; United States, 2015)
Neal Pionk – Winnipeg Jets (United States, 2013)
Brandon Pirri – Vegas Golden Knights (Canada East, 2008)
Mike Reilly – Montreal Canadiens (United States, 2011)
Evan Rodrigues – Buffalo Sabres (Canada East, 2010)
Joakim Ryan – Los Angeles Kings (Sweden, 2010)
Yegor Rykov (injured) – New York Rangers (Russia, 2014)
Justin Schultz – Pittsburgh Penguins (Canada West, 2008)
Nick Schmaltz – Arizona Coyotes (United States, 2013)
Jaden Schwartz – St. Louis Blues (Canada West, 2008)
Devin Shore – Anaheim Ducks (Canada East, 2011)
Dominik Simon – Pittsburgh Penguins (Czech Republic, 2011)
Jaccob Slavin – Carolina Hurricanes (United States, 2012)
Brendan Smith – New York Rangers (Canada East, 2006)
Craig Smith – Nashville Predators (United States, 2007-2008)
Reilly Smith – Vegas Golden Knights (Canada East, 2008)
Troy Stecher – Vancouver Canucks (Canada West, 2011-2012)
Andrei Svechnikov – Carolina Hurricanes (Russia, 2016)
Cam Talbot – Calgary Flames (Canada East, 2006)
Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues (Russia, 2008)
Devon Toews – New York Islanders (Canada West, 2012)
Kyle Turris – Nashville Predators (Canada West, 2006)
Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning (Russia, 2011)
Jakub Vrana – Washington Capitals (Czech Republic, 2012)
MacKenzie Weegar – Florida Panthers (Canada East, 2011)
Andy Welinski (injured) – Philadelphia Flyers (United States, 2011)
Alexander Wennberg – Columbus Blue Jackets (Sweden, 2011)
Christian Wolanin (injured) – Ottawa Senators (United States, 2014)
Valentin Zykov – Vegas Golden Knights (Russia, 2011)

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]


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