SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – With action set to get underway next week, Hockey Canada has finalized the rosters for the three Canadian teams participating at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Oct. 27-Nov. 5.
The 66 players selected to represent their country during the seven days of competition and one day of pre-tournament play have been assigned to one of three teams –Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red, and 2015 gold-medallist, Team Canada White.
Peterborough Petes defenceman Declan Chisholm and goalie Hunter Jones will each play for Team Canada Black in the tournament. Their schedule begins with a pre-tournament game against Sweden on October 27 at 7:30pm, with the Team Canada Black tournament schedule kicking off at 4pm on Sunday, October 30 against Team Canada White.
“We have the best 66 players in the country to work with, and our goal is to put together three competitive teams who are not only gaining valuable experience in international competition, but also giving fans in Sault Ste. Marie – and across the country – a lot to cheer about,” said
Ryan Jankowski, Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel, who made all player selections, with assistance from Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence management group lead for under-17, Dale DeGray, and regional scouts Carl Bouchard (Quebec), Barclay Branch (Ontario), Wade Klippenstein (West), Kevin Mitchell (Atlantic), and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).
In June, Hockey Canada announced that Team Canada Black will be coached by Paul Boutillier (Sydney, N.S./Saint John, QMJHL), with assistance from Chris Dennis (Toronto/York University, OUA) and David Struch (Flin Flon, Man./Regina, WHL). Team Canada Red head coach, Rocky Thompson (Calgary/Windsor, OHL) will be assisted by Mitch Love (Quesnel, B.C./Everett, WHL) and Ryan Marsh (Quesnel, B.C./Edmonton, WHL); while Team Canada White will be led by Brent Kisio (Calgary/Lethbridge, WHL), with assistance from Jamie Heward (Regina/Swift Current, WHL) and Daniel Jacob (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que./Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL).
The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is presented by Hockey Canada, in partnership with the CHL and the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF).
All preliminary-round games, the quarter-finals, and the placement games will be available via webcast at HockeyCanada.ca/WU17. Hockey Canada’s broadcast partners, TSN and RDS, will televise the gold-medal game on Saturday, Nov. 5. TSN will also deliver live coverage of the semifinal and bronze-medal games – please visit TSN.ca to confirm live coverage details.
The Essar Centre and John Rhodes Community Centre will play host to the eight teams who will gut it out during seven days of competition in the hopes of securing gold for their country. Team Canada Black, Team Canada White, the Czech Republic and United States will play in Group A, while Team Canada Red, Finland, Russia and Sweden will comprise Group B.
Single-game tickets go on sale Oct. 24
Official tournament action gets underway on Sunday, Oct. 30, when Team Canada Red takes on Finland at 12 p.m. ET, followed by Team Canada Black facing 2015 champion, Team Canada White, at 4 p.m. ET.
A full-tournament ticket package, which includes tickets to all 17 tournament games at the Essar Centre, is available for purchase online. Tickets to the five tournament games at the John Rhodes Community Centre, as well as all four exhibition games on Oct. 27, will be available at the door.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 24, fans can also purchase single-game tickets for all games hosted at the Essar Centre. Available at the box office and starting at $15 for preliminary-round games and $20 for playoff action, fans can get front-row access to all of the action and see the greats of tomorrow.
“Today, Connor McDavid is a household name, with his latest achievement of becoming the youngest captain in NHL history. Just three years ago, McDavid was part of a similar group of players who tested themselves against the best in the world at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge,” said Jankowski. “This is an opportunity for fans in Sault Ste. Marie to see the very best young players in the world.”
Since the first World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (then known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, more than 1,600 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 13 of the last 16 first-overall selections (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013; Aaron Ekblad, 2014; Connor McDavid, 2015; Auston Matthews, 2016).