CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) announced on Sunday the 22 players that will comprise Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship set for April 13-23 in Minsk and Bobruisk, Belarus.
The roster is comprised of players born in 1992 or earlier whose teams are no longer competing in the CHL playoffs with their respective club teams. Many of Canada’s players named today will be among the top selections at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles, Calif. in June.
Canada’s coaching staff – head coach Guy Carbonneau and assistant coaches George Burnett and Rob Sumner – collaborated with Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s Senior Director of Men’s National Teams, Shawn Bullock, Hockey Canada’s Manager of Manager of Men’s National Teams and Al Murray, Hockey Canada’s head scout for men’s national teams, to finalize the roster. Murray has been traveling across Canada evaluating and ranking players as part of his duties.
“As a coaching staff we are looking forward to getting together with the players we have chosen and working towards our goal of a gold medal for Canada,” said Carbonneau. “A number of these players have previous international experience, and that will prove invaluable in Belarus.”
Canada’s roster includes 13 players from the Ontario Hockey League, seven (7) players from the Western Hockey League and two (2) players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Eleven (11) players helped Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team capture the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in August 2009 in the Czech Republic, and three (3) (Connolly, Gudbranson, McFarland) represented Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship as underage players.
Canada’s roster also includes 19 players who took part in the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Port Alberni, B.C., including 10 members of the gold medal-winning team from Ontario, and one player (Murray) who competed at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Timmins, Ont.
Canada is a two-time champion at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship, earning gold in 2003 and 2008. It finished fourth at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Fargo, N.D. and Moorhead, Minn.
The team will convene in Toronto, Ont. on Monday, April 5, before flying to Europe on April 6. There will not be any on-ice sessions prior to arriving in Europe. Prior to the World Championship, Canada will play one exhibition game on April 9, vs. Finland in Minsk, Belarus at 5 p.m. (Local time)/ 10 a.m. (Eastern).
NOTE TO MEDIA: For media hoping to contact players and/or staff for interviews while the team is in Toronto or overseas, please contact Shawn Bullock (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Brad Pascall (email@example.com) to arrange all interviews.
The 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship opens for Canada on April 13 in Bobruisk when it takes on Switzerland. The Canadians will also face Belarus, Sweden and the United States in the preliminary round.
TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast Canada’s final preliminary round game against Sweden on Sunday, April 18, as well as a quarter-final on Tuesday, April 20, a semifinal on Wednesday, April 21 and the gold medal game on Friday, April 23. The bronze medal game on April 23 will also be broadcast if Canada plays for bronze. Check your local listings for game times in your area.