November 5, 2017
by Robert Murray
When Canada’s three U17 teams step onto the ice at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge this week, they’ll be led by three upcoming stars from the Western Hockey League ranks.
Braden Schneider (Brandon Wheat Kings), Peyton Krebs (Kootenay ICE) and Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans) will captain Canada’s White, Red and Black teams respectively as announced by Hockey Canada this weekend.
All three players, who were selected in the first round of 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, were contributing to their team’s success before being named to the respective rosters for the week-long tournament.
Schneider, a 6-foot-1, 197-pound defenceman from Prince Albert, Sask., has five assists in 16 games with the Wheat Kings. Originally drafted 12th overall by the Wheat Kings, Schneider made his WHL debut last season, playing in one regular season game and three playoff games.
Krebs, a 5-foot-11, 162-pound winger from Okotoks, Alta., has 13 points (3G-10A) in 15 games this season for the ICE, who currently sit second in the Central Division. Krebs has appeared in 21 games with the ICE since being selected first overall in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, with 19 points (4G-15A).
Mutala, a 6-foot-0, 187-pound product of Vancouver, B.C. has played in 15 games with the Americans’ this season, scoring three points (2G-1A).
A number of other rising WHL stars were entrusted with roles as alternate captains. Vancouver Giants forward prospect Harrison Blaisdell was named to the leadership group for Canada White.
Giant defenceman Bowen Byram was named as an alternate captain for Canada Red. Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Matthew Robertson will be a part of the leadership group for Canada Black.