December 20, 2015
HELSINKI, Finland – Hockey Canada made its final roster decisions regarding this year’s World Junior team following an exhibition game vs the Czech Republic on Sunday.
Abbotsford’s Noah Juulsen, a Montreal Canadiens first round draft pick playing for the Everitt Silver Tips, and Jeremy Lauzon a second round pick of the Boston Bruins (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) were the two defenceman cut by Canada.
Kelowna Rocket’s Nick Merkley (Calgary), a first round pick of the Arizona Coyotes and Jayce Hawryluk (Yorkton) of the Brandon Wheat Kings, a second pick of the Florida Panthers, were the two forwards cut.
“We had a really good evaluation period in Toronto and Imatra, and were able to see how the players responded to different situations — from practices to games,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams for Hockey Canada.
“These are never easy decisions, but we feel confident in the team we have and their ability to make the nation proud and give us all something to get behind this holiday season.”
A total of 23 players were named, including nine westerners, seven from the WHL, one from Boston University of the NCAA, and Jake Virtanen, loaned by the NHL Vancouver Canucks.
The 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship is being held in Helsinki, Finland, this year and get underway on Boxing Day, with the Championship Game scheduled for January 5.
WHL Players – Team Canada Final Roster
|Defence||H||W||DOB||Hometown||WHL Club||NHL Draft|
|Haydn Fleury||6’3”||203||7/8/1996||Carlyle, SK||Red Deer Rebels||CAR ’14 (1, 7)|
|Joe Hicketts||5’8”||175||5/4/1996||Kamloops, BC||Victoria Royals||DET ’14 (FA)|
|Travis Sanheim||6’3”||184||3/29/1996||Elkhorn, MB||Calgary Hitmen||PHI ’14 (1, 17)|
|Mathew Barzal||6’0”||181||5/26/1997||Coquitlam, BC||Seattle Thunderbirds||NYI ’15 (1, 16)|
|Rourke Chartier||5’11”||190||4/3/1996||Saskatoon, SK||Kelowna Rockets||SJS ’14 (5, 149)|
|Brayden Point||5’10”||163||3/12/1996||Calgary, AB||Moose Jaw Warriors||TBL ’14 (3, 79)|
|John Quenneville||6’1”||205||4/16/1996||Edmonton, AB||Brandon Wheat Kings||NJD ’14 (1, 30)|
Four players from last year’s Gold Medal team are returning: Lawson Crouse (Mt. Brydges, Ont./Kingston, OHL), Joe Hicketts (Kamloops, B.C./Victoria, WHL), Brayden Point(Calgary/Moose Jaw, WHL), and Jake Virtanen (Abbotsford, B.C./Vancouver, NHL).
They are joined by:
- Goaltenders: Mackenzie Blackwood (Thunder Bay, Ont./Barrie, OHL), Mason McDonald(Halifax/Charlottetown, QMJHL), Samuel Montembeault (Bécancour, Que./Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL);
- Defencemen: Thomas Chabot (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Que./Saint John, QMJHL), Travis Dermott(Newmarket, Ont./Erie, OHL), Haydn Fleury (Carlyle, Sask./Red Deer, WHL), Brandon Hickey (Leduc, Alta./Boston University, HE), Roland McKeown (Listowel, Ont./Kingston, OHL), Travis Sanheim (Elkhorn, Man./Calgary, WHL);
- Forwards: Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle, WHL), Anthony Beauvillier (Sorel, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL),Rourke Chartier (Saskatoon, Sask./Kelowna, WHL), Julien Gauthier (Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que./Val-d’Or, QMJHL),Travis Konecny (Clachan, Ont./Ottawa, OHL), Mitchell Marner (Thornhill, Ont./London, OHL),Brendan Perlini (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont./Niagara, OHL), John Quenneville(Edmonton/Brandon, WHL), Mitchell Stephens (Peterborough, Ont./Saginaw, OHL), Dylan Strome(Mississauga, Ont./Erie, OHL).
Canada won gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship on home ice in January. The team has not won in Europe since 2008 – the fourth of five consecutive gold medals for Canada’s National Junior Team from 2005-09.
Canada opens the tournament against the United States on Saturday, Dec. 26 at 2 p.m. ET.
Hockey Canada’s official broadcasters, TSN and RDS, are scheduled to broadcast all tournament games, including the last of three pre-tournament games on Dec. 23; check local listings for details.