Hockey Canada has confirmed its initial roster for the 2018 IIHF World Championship, naming seven WHL Alumni to the team among the first 18 invited to play for Canada at the tournament.
Earning invitations to wear the red and white with Canada this year are: goaltender Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, Sask./Red Deer Rebels/Spokane Chiefs), defencemen Joel Edmundson (Brandon, Man./Moose Jaw Warriors/Kamloops Blazers), and Ryan Pulock (Dauphin, Man./Brandon Wheat Kings), as well as forwards Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle Thunderbirds), Jordan Eberle (Regina, Sask./Regina Pats), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Burnaby, B.C./Red Deer Rebels), and Brayden Schenn(Saskatoon, Sask./Brandon Wheat Kings/Saskatoon Blades)
A trio of players in Eberle, Barzal, and Pulock represent the New York Islanders while both Edmundson and Schenn represent the St Louis Blues. Nugent-Hopkins plays for the Edmonton Oilers and Kuemper is a member of the Arizona Coyotes’ organization.
The team will be led by former Spokane Chiefs head coach Bill Peters. More WHL Alumni could be added to the team at a later date as Hockey Canada adds to their roster at a later date.
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.