PHOTO: Ryan McLeod and Ben Jones celebrate after winning the 2015 OHL Cup. Both players will represent Canada at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. (ERIN RILEY)
Eleven GTHL graduates are among the 66 young men selected to represent Canada at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C. The players will be named to one of three teams – Canada Black, Canada Red and Canada White – before the puck drops at the end of the month.
Five members of the 2015 OHL Cup champion Toronto Marlboros – including captain Matthew Strome and tournament MVP Ryan McLeod – will hit the international stage for the first time. MVP goaltender Jake McGrath and forwards Ben Jones and Mackenzie Entwistle will also wear the maple leaf.
They will be joined by two members of the 2015 OHL Cup finalist Don Mills Flyers – captain Brett Neumann and David Levin, the No. 1 overall selection in last year’s OHL draft.
Markus Phillips and Reilly Webb – defensemen who helped the Toronto Titans win the Kraft Cup last season – and forwards Zach Gallant (Mississauga Rebels) and Owen Tippett (Toronto Red Wings) round out the list of GTHL graduates selected.
“It’s an exciting step for these players to represent their country for the first time, and we have a very talented group who will certainly give the fans in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John a lot to cheer about,” said Shawn Bullock, senior manager of hockey operations and men’s national teams for Hockey Canada.
“We’re happy with the depth we’re seeing with the under-17 group; it bodes well for the future of our program as these players look to progress through our system to the under-18 and junior programs.”
In addition to the three Canadian teams, the event features the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.
The preliminary round begins Sunday, Nov. 1 when Canada Black and Canada White meet at Encana Events Centre in Dawson Creek (4:30 p.m. ET). Later that evening, Canada Red faces Finland at North Peace Arena in Fort St. John (9:00 p.m. ET).
The gold medal game is Saturday, Nov. 7 in Dawson Creek at 9:30 p.m. ET and will be shown nationally on TSN and RDS.
One semi-final (from Dawson Creek) and the bronze medal game also will be televised nationally. All other tournament games, including the semi-final game in Fort St. John, will be available via live webcast (www.hockeycanada.ca/wu17).
Eleven GTHL graduates also were selected to play for Canada at last year’s event – Jakob Chychrun, Travis Barron, Taylor Raddysh, Jordan Kyrou, Michael Pezzetta, Michael McLeod, Adam Mascherin, Givani Smith, Victor Mete, Reagan O’Grady and Cliff Pu. Ten of those players are eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft – O’Grady is eligible in 2017.
Click here to view the full Team Canada roster.
|NAME||DOB||HOMETOWN||CURRENT TEAM||LAST GTHL TEAM|
|Jake McGrath, G||Jan. 7, 1999||Mississauga||St. Michael’s (OJHL)||Toronto Marlboros|
|Markus Phillips, D||Mar. 21, 1999||Vaughan||Owen Sound (OHL)||Toronto Titans|
|Reilly Webb, D||Mar. 4, 1999||Stoney Creek||Hamilton (OHL)||Toronto Titans|
|Matthew Strome, F||Jan. 6, 1999||Mississauga||Hamilton (OHL)||Toronto Marlboros|
|Ryan McLeod, F||Sept 21, 1999||Mississauga||Mississauga (OHL)||Toronto Marlboros|
|Ben Jones, F||Feb. 26, 1999||Waterloo||Niagara (OHL)||Toronto Marlboros|
|Mackenzie Entwistle, F||July 14, 1999||Georgetown||Hamilton (OHL)||Toronto Marlboros|
|Brett Neumann, F||Feb. 15, 1999||Toronto||Erie (OHL)||Don Mills Flyers|
|David Levin, F||Sept 16, 1999||North York||Sudbury (OHL)||Don Mills Flyers|
|Zach Gallant, F||Mar. 6, 1999||Oakville||Peterborough (OHL)||Mississauga Rebels|
|Owen Tippett, F||Feb. 16, 1999||Peterborough||Mississauga (OHL)||Toronto Red Wings|