Hockey Canada announced today that Peterborough Petes centremen J.R. Avon and Mason McTavish have been named to its 66-player roster selected to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, set for Nov. 2-9 in Medicine Hat, Alberta and Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
The 66 players will be divided into three teams – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red, and Team Canada White – and will compete against the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States in their quest for a gold medal.
In July, 112 players were invited to participate in Canada’s national under-17 development camp and introduced to the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence. The players chosen to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge were selected by Brad McEwen (Whitewood, Sask.), head scout for Hockey Canada, with assistance from U17 POE management group lead Martin Mondou (Grand-Mère, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL), as well as regional scouts Rob Simpson (Ontario), Jason Smart (West), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic), Shaun Sutter (West), and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).
“After a successful development camp with he top young players in the country, there were many difficult decisions made to select the 66 players that will compete at this year’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge,” said McEwen. “We feel this group exemplifies the values of the Program of Excellence and will represent Canada with pride as we compete for a gold medal this November.”
The tournament opens with all three Canadian teams in action Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. MT; Team Canada Red takes on Russia at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current and Team Canada Black faces off against Team Canada White at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat.
TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will air the semifinal in Medicine Hat on Friday, Nov. 8, as well as the bronze and gold medal games on Saturday, Nov. 9; please check local listings for details. Media accreditation for the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge can be requested online.
Prior to the start of play, the teams will take to the ice for pre-tournament games Thursday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. MT. Team Canada Black will match up against Finland at the Crescent Point Wickenheiser Centre in Shaunavon, Sask., Sweden will play the Czech Republic at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks, Alta., Team Canada White will face off against Russia at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current and Team Canada Red will meet the United States at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat.
More than 1,800 NHL draft picks have suited up since the inception of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, including 14 first-overall draft picks since 2001 (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; Jack Hughes, 2019).
For more information on the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca.
Avon, McTavish, and the Petes are finally in action on home ice on Thursday, October 17 at 7:05pm when they host the Hamilton Bulldogs in their 2019-20 Home Opener. Tickets are available at the PMC Grant Thornton Box Office in-person, online, or over the phone at (705) 743-3561.