CALGARY – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League announced on Sunday the 22 players that will comprise Canada’s team at the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championship set for April 13-23 in Minsk and Bobruisk, Belarus.
The roster is comprised of players born in 1992 or earlier whose teams are no longer competing in the CHL playoffs with their respective club teams. Many of Canada’s players named today will be among the top selections at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles in June.
Canada’s coaching staff – head coach Guy Carbonneau and assistant coaches George Burnett and Rob Sumner – collaborated with Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s Senior Director of Men’s National Teams, Shawn Bullock, Hockey Canada’s Manager of Manager of Men’s National Teams and Al Murray, Hockey Canada’s head scout for men’s national teams, to finalize the roster. Murray has been traveling across Canada evaluating and ranking players as part of his duties.
“As a coaching staff we are looking forward to getting together with the players we have chosen and working towards our goal of a gold medal for Canada,” said Carbonneau. “A number of these players have previous international experience, and that will prove invaluable in Belarus.”
Canada’s roster includes 13 players from the Ontario Hockey League, seven players from the Western Hockey League and two from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Eleven players helped Canada capture the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in August 2009 in the Czech Republic, and three (Connolly, Gudbranson, McFarland) represented Canada at the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championship as underage players.
Canada is a two-time champion at the IIHF World U18 Championship, earning gold in 2003 and 2008. It finished fourth last year in Fargo and Moorhead.
The team will convene in Toronto on Monday, April 5, before flying to Europe on April 6. Prior to the World U18 Championship, Canada will play one exhibition game on April 9 against Finland in Minsk at 17:00 local time (10 a.m. ET).
The 2010 IIHF World U18 Championship opens for Canada on April 13 in Bobruisk when it takes on Switzerland. The Canadians will also face Belarus, Sweden and the United States in the preliminary round.
TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast Canada’s final preliminary round game against Sweden on Sunday, April 18, as well as a quarterfinal on Tuesday, April 20, a semi-final on Wednesday, April 21 and the gold medal game on Friday, April 23. The bronze medal game on April 23 will also be broadcast if Canada plays for bronze.
Click here for the schedule.
Canada's roster for the World U18 Championship
Goalkeepers: Calvin Pickard (Seattle/WHL), Kent Simpson (Everett/WHL).
Defencemen: Geoffrey Schemitsch (Owen Sound/OHL), Erik Gudbranson (Kingston/OHL), Nathan Chiarlitti (Sarnia/OHL), Stephen Silas (Belleville/OHL), Ryan Murray (Everett/WHL), Ryan O'Connor (Saginaw/OHL), Brock Beukeboom (Sault Ste. Marie/OHL).
Forwards: Brett Connolly (Prince George/WHL), Steven Shipley (Owen Sound/OHL), Michael Sgarbossa (Saginaw/OHL), Gabriel Desjardins (Halifax/QMJHL), Max Reinhart (Kootenay/WHL), Michaël Bournival (Shawinigan/QMJHL), Christian Thomas (Oshawa/OHL), John McFarland (Sudbury/OHL), Jordan Weal (Regina/WHL), Ryan Spooner (Peterborough/OHL), Quinton Howden (Moose Jaw/WHL), Freddie Hamilton (Niagara/OHL), Greg McKegg (Erie/OHL).