DRUMMONMDVILLE, QUE – Team West opened the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 5-2 win over Slovakia last night in their sole exhibition game. Goals by Ryan Pilon, Hadyn Fleury, Collin Shirley, Ryley Lindgren and Jordan Thompson paved the way for a Team West squad looking to improve on it’s 10th place finish in last year’s event. Official tournament action begins today as Team West will face Sweden at 12:30 PM (CT) in Drummondville, Quebec.
Ryan Pilon (Duck Lake, SK) of the Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) has been named captain of 2013 Team West. Pilon, a solid force from the blue line, was drafted 3rd overall in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. Listed at 6’2” and 197 lbs, he currently has 4G-12A-16PTS in 28 GP with the Hurricanes this season. Team West assistant captains are Jordan Thomson (Wawanesa, MB) of the Kamloops Blazers and Reid Gardiner (Humboldt, SK) of the Prince Albert Raiders. All three played at the 2011 Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup in Moose Jaw, SK.
Vukie Mpofu (Saskatoon, SK) has been added to the roster replacing Dawson Leedhal (Saskatoon, SK) due to injury. Leedhal is currently is on the Everett Silvertips roster while Mpofu is a member of the Saskatoon Contacts of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA league.
International Scouting Services has highlighted the top prospects available for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft that will be on the ice at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Victoriaville and Drummondville, Que. The list includes Jordan Thomson rated 4th among defensemen eligible for the 2014 draft and also notes Ryan Pilon rated as 2nd defensemen eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry draft. Sixty-five World Under-17 alumni were selected in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft held in Pittsburgh this past June.
Catch all 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge games streaming live though FASThockey.com. Keep posted to all results and tournament news at www.hockeycanada.ca/wu17.