When Canada’s teams step onto the ice at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge this week, they’ll be led by three upcoming stars in the Western Hockey League ranks.
Braden Schneider (Brandon Wheat Kings), Peyton Krebs (Kootenay ICE) and Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans) will captain Canada’s White, Red and Black teams respectively as announced by Hockey Canada this weekend.
All three players, who were selected in the first round of 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, were contributing to their team’s success before being named to the respective rosters for the week-long tournament.
Schneider, a 6-foot-1, 197-pound defenceman from Prince Albert, Sask., has five assists in 16 games with the Wheat Kings. Originally drafted 12th overall by the Wheat Kings, Schneider made his WHL debut last season, playing in one regular season game and three playoff games.
Krebs, a 5-foot-11, 162-pound winger from Okotoks, Alta., has 13 points (3G-10A) in 15 games this season for the ICE, who currently sit second in the Central Division. Krebs has appeared in 21 games with the ICE since being selected first overall in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, with 19 points (4G-15A).
Mutala, a 6-foot-0, 187-pound product of Vancouver, B.C. has played in 15 games with the Americans’ this season, scoring three points (2G-1A).
A number of other rising WHL stars were entrusted with roles as alternate captains. Vancouver Giants forward prospect Harrison Blaisdell was named to the leadership group for Canada White. Giant defenceman Bowen Byram was named as an alternate captain for Canada Red. Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Matthew Robertson will be a part of the leadership group for Canada Black.
The tournament officially kicks off Nov. 5 at the Encana Events Centre in an all-Canadian affair as last year’s silver-medallist, Team Canada Black, takes on Team Canada White at 2:30 p.m. MT (4:30 p.m. ET). The opening day concludes with Sweden facing Russia at North Peace Arena in Fort St. John.
Single-game tickets are now available – $5 for pre-tournament games, $15 for preliminary-round games, $20 for quarter-finals, $25 for semifinals and the bronze-medal game and $30 for the gold-medal game. In addition to the single-game tickets, fans can take advantage of a variety of ticketing options, including the ‘Family 4-Pack’. For more information on tickets, pricing or how to purchase, CLICK HERE.
TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will air the semifinal from Dawson Creek and the bronze- and gold-medal games; please check local listings for details.
More than 1,600 NHL draft picks have suited up since the inception of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 1986 (previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup), including 13 of the last 16 first-overall draft picks (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006, Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013; Aaron Ekblad, 2014; Connor McDavid, 2015 and Auston Matthews, 2016).
For more information on the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.