CALGARY, Alta. –
Hockey Canada has wrapped up its five-day National Men’s Summer Under-18
Team selection camp by naming the
who will represent the nation at the
2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup
Aug. 7-12 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Bratislava, Slovakia.
All but two of the 22 players represented their country at the World
Under-17 Hockey Challenge – an international tournament hosted annually in
Canada that features three Canadian teams (Red, White, Black) and five
international teams. Canada’s team also includes 15 players who’ve worn the
red-and-white in international competition overseas – six having donned the
Team Canada jersey at the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship in Poprad and
Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia, in April (Dellandrea, Gravel, McIsaac, Smith,
Thomas, Woo); and 11 having competed for Canada at the 2016 Winter Youth
Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway (Burzan, Dudas, Fortier, Gravel,
Groulx, MacDonald, McIsaac, Merkley, Rodrigue, Smith, Woo). Joe Veleno
(Kirkland, Que./Saint John, QMJHL) returns to the line-up as the only
Canadian player to have represented Canada twice at the Ivan Hlinka
Memorial Cup, having been part of the 2016 team.
“We’ve had a great selection camp here in Calgary, with all 44 players
showing us what they’re made of,” said Brent Kisio (Calgary/Lethbridge,
WHL), head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team. “As a
best-on-best tournament, the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup allows us to showcase
the very best Canadian talent in this age group. We are ready to make
Canadians proud with how we represent them on and off the ice.”
Kisio and assistant coaches Drew Bannister (Sudbury, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie,
OHL) and Daniel Jacob (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que./Blainville-Boisbriand,
QMJHL), along with Hockey Canada’s new head scout Brad McEwen (Whitewood,
Sask.) and regional scout Barclay Branch, joined Bruce Hamilton of the
management group of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence to select this
year’s Hlinka roster from the
who attended the selection camp.
Canada has won gold 20 times in 25 years of summer under-18 competition and
will play in Group B this year with Finland, Russia, and Slovakia; Group A
consists of the Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
The Canadians will face the Czech Republic in a pre-tournament game on Aug.
5 in Breclav, and officially open the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup on Aug.
7 against Russia. The top two teams from each group advance to the
semifinals on Friday, Aug. 11, with the gold-medal game scheduled for
Saturday, Aug. 12.
Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup coming to Canada
In addition to sending its players and team staff to the Ivan Hlinka
tournament, members of Hockey Canada’s events department will join
representatives from Oilers Entertainment Group, the City of Edmonton, and
Tourism Edmonton as the groups prepare to host the 2018 Ivan Hlinka
announced last November
, Hockey Canada, the Czech Ice Hockey Association, and the Slovak Ice
Hockey Federation have struck a partnership to host the prestigious summer
hockey staple on Canadian ice on a bi-annual basis. Edmonton will host the
tournament in 2018, 2020, and 2022.
The Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup is traditionally held in August, and Hockey
Canada expects the regional economic impact of hosting in Edmonton could
top $5 million based on the results from hosting similar events of this
size and scope.