CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced Wednesday that Flint Firebirds forwards Brennan Othman and Braeden Kressler are among the 66 players selected to represent Canada at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, set for Nov. 2-9 in Medicine Hat, Alta., and Swift Current, Sask.
Both Othmann and Kressler are off to great starts in their first year in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Othmann tallied six points (3G, 3A) in seven games and Kressler has scored in both of the last two games, totaling four points (2G, 2A) in seven games.
At Canada’s national under-17 development camp in July, Othmannn finished third in points among 112 skaters, scoring twice and adding three assists in three games.
“We’d like to congratulate both Brennan and Braeden on being named to Canada’s Under-17 roster,” said Flint Firebirds Vice President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Barclay Branch. “This is a great step in their hockey careers and we wish them luck in the tournament.”
The 66 players will be divided into three teams – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White – and will compete against the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States in their quest for a gold medal.
In July, 112 players were invited to participate in Canada’s national under-17 development camp and introduced to the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence. The players chosen to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge were selected by Brad McEwen (Whitewood, Sask.), head scout for Hockey Canada, with assistance from U17 Program of Excellence management group lead Martin Mondou (Grand-Mère, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL), as well as regional scouts Rob Simpson (Ontario), Jason Smart (West), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic), Shaun Sutter (West) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).
“After a successful development camp with the top young players in the country, there were many difficult decisions made to select the 66 players that will compete at this year’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge,” said McEwen. “We feel this group exemplifies the values of the Program of Excellence and will represent Canada with pride as we compete for a gold medal this November.”
The tournament opens with all three Canadian teams in action Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. MT; Team Canada Red takes on Russia at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current and Team Canada Black faces off against Team Canada White at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat.
TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will air the semifinal in Medicine Hat on Friday, Nov. 8, as well as the bronze and gold medal games on Saturday, Nov. 9; please check local listings for details. Media accreditation for the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge can be requested online.
Prior to the start of play, the teams will take to the ice for pre-tournament games Thursday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. MT. Team Canada Black will match up against Finland at the Crescent Point Wickenheiser Centre in Shaunavon, Sask., Sweden will play the Czech Republic at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks, Alta., Team Canada White will face off against Russia at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current and Team Canada Red will meet the United States at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat.
After a successful ticket launch, event organizers have announced that single-game tickets will be available for purchase starting at $10 for youth and $15 for adults on Oct. 16, and can be purchased online at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets.
Medicine Hat and Swift Current will receive the net proceeds from all ticket sales as a legacy of the event to support grassroots hockey within their communities. Additionally, recent editions of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge have resulted in as much as $6 million in economic impact within the host communities.
More than 1,800 NHL draft picks have suited up since the inception of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, including 14 first-overall draft picks since 2001 (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013; Aaron Ekblad, 2014; Connor McDavid, 2015; Auston Matthews, 2016; Jack Hughes, 2019).
For more information on the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.
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