CALGARY, Alta. – Canada’s National Mens Under 18 Team plans to assemble in Kisakallio, Finland next week before flying to Sweden for two pre-tournament games ahead of the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Twenty-three players, including nine from the Western Hockey League will gather in Finland for training camp prior to U18 worlds, scheduled for April 18-28 in Örnsköldsvik and Umeå, Sweden.
Of the nine WHLers participating – Brandon Wheat Kings’ veteran defenceman Braden Schneider and Brandon product Daemon Hunt of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
A former first round bantam draft choice of the Wheat Kings, Schneider is coming off a season that saw him score eight goals and 24 points in 58 games. Since joining Brandon two years ago, he has 46 points, including nine goals in 125 games.
Hunt, who is a graduate of the Brandon AAA Midget program, scored seven goals and 20 points in 57 games this past season.
The roster, consisting of three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards, includes:
- Eight players who won a gold medal with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup (Schneider, Cozens, Gauthier, Krebs, Korczak, Rees, Suzuki and Vukojevic)
- 14 players who competed at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (Cozens, Gauthier, Harley, Krebs, Korczak, Légaré, Lemieux, Newhook, Rees, Schneider, Suzuki, Tracey, Vukojevic and Washkurak)
- Eight under-age players who have been invited to take part in order to gain international experience (Bourque, Cormier, Drysdale, Foudy, Garand, Hunt, Lapierre and Perreault)
“The initial list of players for the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship features a combination of skill and experience, with 21 of the 23 athletes having played internationally over the last two seasons,” said Brad McEwen, head scout for Hockey Canada. “Our players and staff are excited for the opportunity to represent Canada on the world stage, and we look forward to working towards our goal of bringing home a gold medal in Sweden.”
Over the next week, Hockey Canada and team staff will continue to monitor the Canadian Hockey League playoffs and can invite additional players to training camp before a final roster is named ahead of the tournament.
Players will gather in Kisakallio from April 8-12 for five days of practice before heading to Sweden for two pre-tournament games – April 14 versus Belarus in Umeå and April 15 versus Russia in Örnsköldsvik.
Canada will look to claim gold for the first time since 2013 when it kicks off its tournament schedule against Finland on Thursday, April 18 at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT. Canada will also match up against Switzerland, Belarus and the Czech Republic in the preliminary round before the tournament wraps up with the bronze and gold medal games on Sunday, April 28.
TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners, will broadcast 15 games, including all of Team Canada’s match-ups at the IIHF U18 World Championship, all quarter-finals, both semifinals and the bronze and gold medal games.
Canada has won seven medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship, including three gold (2003, 2008, 2013), one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).