Calgary, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced today its roster for the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, with nine Western Hockey League players named to the 22-man roster. The tournament is scheduled for August 5-10, 2019 in Breclav and Piestany, Czech Republic.
The roster was finalized Tuesday as Hockey Canada completed a five-day selection camp featuring 44 players taking part in on- and off-ice sessions at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.
“We were pleased with the level of competition at selection camp, and our staff is confident in the 22 players that have earned their spot on Team Canada for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup,” said Brad McEwen (Whitewood, Sask.), head scout for the Program of Excellence. “The skill and intensity showed by all 44 players at camp made our decisions difficult, but we know our players and staff will embrace the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf as we look to bring home a gold medal.”
Leading this year’s contingent of WHL players on Canada’s roster is WHL Champion Kaiden Guhle (Sherwood Park, Alta. / Prince Albert Raiders), the first-overall selection from the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft. The other three top selections from that year’s WHL Bantam Draft also made the final roster, with forwards Connor McClennon (Wainwright, Alta. / Winnipeg ICE), Justin Sourdif (Surrey, B.C. / Vancouver Giants), and Jake Neighbours (Airdrie, Alta. / Edmonton Oil Kings) named to the squad. Overall, the WHL is represented on the team by six forwards, two defencemen, and one goaltender.
The WHL will also be represented on the coaching staff by head coach Michael Dyck (Lethbridge, Alta. / Vancouver Giants) and assistant coach Dennis Williams (Stratford, Ont. / Everett Silvertips).
Canada will face off against Slovakia in pre-tournament action on Saturday, Aug. 3 in Piestany before moving on to Breclav, where it opens the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup against Finland on Monday, Aug. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT. All Team Canada tournament games will be broadcast by TSN and RDS; please check local listings for details.
In 2018, the tournament was rebranded as the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and hosted in Canada, with Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., serving as co-hosts. Canada captured gold on home ice, defeating Sweden 6-2 in the gold medal game. Canada has won gold 22 times in 28 years of summer under-18 competition, along with two silver medals and one bronze.
For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team and the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow through social media on Facebook, Twitter and Twitter.com/HC_Men.
WHL Players – National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team
||KAM 2017 (3,58)
||Sherwood Park, Alta.
||Prince Albert Raiders
||PA 2017 (1,1)
||Moose Jaw Warriors
||MJ 2017 (1,15)
||Brandon Wheat Kings
||BDN 2017 (1,8)
||POR 2017 (1,11)
||WPG 2017 (1,2)
||Edmonton Oil Kings
||EDM 2017 (1,4)
||VAN 2017 (1,3)
||Prince Albert Raiders
||PA 2017 (2,25)
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.