As we inch closer to the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, a handful of Western Hockey Leaguers are off to selection camps for their respective nations ahead of the annual tournament for junior hockey supremacy.
Including the 12 players originally vying for a place with Team Canada at National Junior Team Selection Camp, a total of 32 WHL players will take to the ice competing to wear their nation’s colours this holiday season.
Excluding Canada, the Czech Republic leads the way with seven WHL players tabbed, including a pair of Red Deer Rebels – Michael Spacek and Adam Musil.
The Rebels will see three players head for selection camps, with goaltender Lasse Petersen set to join Team Denmark for a second consecutive year.
The 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship – the 41st running of the annual event – will take place beginning Dec. 26 in Montreal and Toronto.
CZECH REPUBLIC (7): Vojtech Budik (D) – Prince Albert Raiders; Libor Hajek (D) – Saskatoon Blades; Ondrej Vala (D) – Kamloops Blazers; Adam Musil (F) – Red Deer Rebels; Simon Stransky (F) – Prince Albert Raiders; Michael Spacek (F) – Red Deer Rebels; Tomas Soustal (F) – Kelowna Rockets
DENMARK (3): Lasse Petersen (G) – Red Deer Rebels; Joachim Blichfeld (F) – Portland Winterhawks; Alexander True (F) – Seattle Thunderbirds
FINLAND (1): Juuso Valimaki (D) – Tri-City Americans
LATVIA (2): Kristians Rubins (D) – Medicine Hat Tigers; Rudolfs Balcers (F) – Kamloops Blazers
RUSSIA (1): Sergey Zborovskiy (D) – Regina Pats
SLOVAKIA (1): Radovan Bondra (F) – Vancouver Giants
SWEDEN (2): Filip Ahl (F) – Regina Pats; John Dahlstrom (F) – Medicine Hat Tigers
SWITZERLAND (1): Calvin Thurkauf (F) – Kelowna Rockets
UNITED STATES (1): Caleb Jones (D) – Portland Winterhawks
In addition to those at the World Junior Championship, Calgary Hitmen defenceman Vladislav Yeryomenko is representing Belarus at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship – Division 1 (Group A), which is currently taking place in Germany.
As of Friday, Dec. 16, Belarus sits first in round-robin play and will face Austria next.
In four games played, Yeryomenko has three points (1G-2A) and a plus-2 rating along with four penalty minutes for Belarus, which remains undefeated in regulation.
The 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship – Division 1 (Group A) tournament wraps up Dec. 17.