CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Thursday 17 players who will be a part of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, which will be held April 16-26 in Zug and Lucerne, Switzerland.
The roster includes two goaltenders, seven defencemen and eight forwards.
The players selected, born in 1997, were selected by Ryan Jankowski, Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel, with support from head coach Tim Hunter (Calgary, Alta./Moose Jaw, WHL) and assistant coaches Ian Herbers (Jasper, Alta./University of Alberta, CWUAA) and Louis Robitaille (Montreal, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL). Jankowski evaluated the players during the 2014-15 season, following them along with numerous other candidates during league play, as well as in international competition.
The roster includes 10 players (Barzal, Bear, Beauvillier, Brisebois, Harkins, J. Roy, N. Roy, Sawchenko, Spencer and Stephens) who won a gold medal with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2014 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last August, and one (Barzal) who won bronze at last year’s IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship.
Hockey Canada has invited select under-age players that will travel to Switzerland and play in pre-tournament games to get added experience playing international competition before returning to Canada prior to the start of the world championship. Players that have been eliminated from the Canadian Hockey League playoffs will be added to complete the roster for the tournament.
Canada will play a pair of pre-tournament games, both in Zug; it will face Slovakia on April 13 (1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT) before taking on Germany on April 14 (noon ET/9 a.m. PT).
Canada opens the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship on April 16 against Latvia, and will also face the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland during preliminary round play.
Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team has won three gold medals the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, in 2003, 2008 and 2013, along with one silver (2005) and two bronze (2012, 2014).
For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, or follow on social media at www.facebook.com/hockeycanada, www.twitter.com/hockeycanada and www.twitter.com/hc_men.