CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, have assembled 23 players to take part in Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team pre-competition camp in Winnipeg in preparation for the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel, Ryan Jankowski, built the roster with support from head coach Shaun Clouston (Viking, Alta./Medicine Hat, WHL) and assistant coaches Serge Lajoie (St. Albert, Alta./University of Alberta, CWUAA), Jarrod Skalde (Niagara Falls, Ont./Guelph, OHL), and national team alumnus Ryan Smyth, who is part of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence management group. Jankowski evaluated the players during the 2015-16 season, following them alongside numerous other candidates during league play, as well as in international competition.
“Bringing the players together in Winnipeg gives the team a chance to gel before we travel to Grand Forks, and allows some of our up-and-coming players to gain some valuable experience working with our coaching staff and playing two exhibition games against international teams,” said Jankowski. “We’re looking forward to a great week in Winnipeg, and hope the fans will come out to watch a preview of the world-class hockey we’ll all be able to enjoy in Grand Forks, and on TSN.”
The roster includes three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards, as well as:
- eight players (Bean, Bitten, Fabbro, Jost, Kyrou, Malenstyn, McLeod, and Quenneville) who won a gold medal with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2015 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last summer; and
- eight players (Comtois, DiPietro, Anderson-Dolan, Morand, Phillips, Rasmussen, Tippett and Vilardi) who participated in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C., last November.
The roster includes select under-age players invited to play in pre-tournament games to gain added experience in international competition. Players from across the CHL that have been eliminated from playoff action will be added to complete the roster for the tournament.
Canada will play a pair of pre-tournament games in Winnipeg, facing the Czech Republic on April 10 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) before taking on Sweden on April 12 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). Tickets are $10 and available for purchase at the MTS Iceplex on game day.
Canada opens the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship, hosted in Grand Forks, N.D., from April 14-24, on April 15 against Denmark; it will also play the Czech Republic, Finland, and Slovakia in preliminary-round action. TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will broadcast 12 games, including all Team Canada match-ups.
Canada has won seven medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship, including three gold medals (2003, 2008 and 2013).
NOTE TO MEDIA: Canadian players and coaches will be available for media interviews following practice on Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8, at 1:20p.m. CT; and on Saturday, April 9 at 1:20 p.m. CT, as well as after both pre-tournament games. Interview requests can be made through Esther Madziya at (403) 519-5754 or [email protected].
For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit
HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter.com/HC_Men.