Photo – 2017 WJAC, AJHL Gold Medalists:
CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada and in conjunction with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), along with assistance from NHL Central Scouting, have identified a list of 84 players from across the country who have earned invites to selection camps in advance of the 2018 World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alta.
From Dec. 2-4, 40 Team Canada East hopefuls will gather at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke, Ont., for three days of games and practices as part of the evaluation process.
The players were selected from the CJHL’s five eastern Junior A leagues: Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL), Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ) and Maritime Hockey League (MHL). Team Canada East staff, led by head coach Patrice Bosch (Brossard, Que./Granby, LHJAAAQ) and director of operations Chris Vanstone (Mississauga, Ont./OJHL), will use the camp to evaluate the prospects before selecting the final roster for the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.
“We are excited to bring together a very talented and hard-working group of players, and we expect a highly competitive selection camp in Etobicoke,” said Vanstone. “We understand that difficult decisions will have to be made in order to ensure we give ourselves the best possible chance to win, and we look forward to assembling Team Canada East and starting our quest for a gold medal.”
Team Canada East will kick off the tournament against Russia on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. MT when the World Junior A Challenge returns to Bonnyville for the second time in three years.
Meanwhile, a group of 44 invitees will gather in Calgary from Dec. 3-5 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park for the Team Canada West selection camp. The players will participate in games and practices before departing for Bonnyville on Dec. 6.
The players were selected from the CJHL’s five western Junior A leagues: Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey Leauge (MJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL). The Team Canada West coaching staff, led by Rick Swan (Sherwood Park, Alta./Bonnyville, AJHL) and director of operations Kevin Saurette (Brandon, Man./MJHL), will use the selection camp to make final evaluations before naming the Team Canada West roster.
“After months of work put in to identifying players, our group is excited to bring a talented group together for selection camp, and we look forward to helping assemble Team Canada West for what should be a highly-competitive international tournament in Bonnyville,” said Saurette. “We know these 44 players will bring a competitive and hard-working attitude to camp as we look to select our 22-player roster for the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.”
Team Canada West will open its tournament against the United States at 7 p.m. MT on Dec. 9 at the R.J. Lalonde Arena in Bonnyville.
New ticket packages launched for World Junior A Challenge
After the launch of full-event ticket packages in May, fans can now secure their seats for every Team Canada game and all medal-round games with the launch of three new ticket packages for the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.
Team Canada East and Team Canada West packages are now available for purchase online at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets, and include all preliminary-round games for one Canadian team for $99.
A medal-round package is also available online, and includes both semifinal games, as well as the bronze- and gold-medal games, for $125. Single-game tickets will start at $25, and will be available on Monday, Nov. 26 at 10 a.m. MT.
For more information on the World Junior A Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook or Twitter.