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13 OHL Players Named to Canada’s National Under-18 Team

Ontario Hockey League
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Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is proud to recognize 13 OHL players named to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team that will compete in the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship set to take place from April 26 to May 6 in Frisco and Plano, Texas.

The 13 OHL players are part of a 25-man Canadian roster consisting of three goaltenders, eight defencemen and 14 forwards to be coached by former OHL Coach of the Year Dave Barr (Guelph Storm, 2003-08) along with assistant Mike Stothers (Owen Sound Attack, 2002-07).

The Canadian roster was assembled by Hockey Canada director of player personnel Alan Millar along with manager of national teams Benoit Roy.

OHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL UNDER-18 TEAM:

Goaltender: Benjamin Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)

Defence: Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts), Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads), Jack Matier (Ottawa 67’s)

Forwards: Brett Harrison (Oshawa Generals), Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires), Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes), Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds), Francesco Pinelli (Kitchener Rangers), Chase Stillman (Sudbury Wolves), Ryan Winterton (Hamilton Bulldogs), Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs), Danny Zhilkin (Guelph Storm)

“We are excited to announce the 25 players that have been selected to wear the Maple Leaf at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship. Despite a difficult year for our players and staff, we are confident this group will represent our country with pride while giving us a chance to compete for a gold medal in Texas,” said Millar. “We are also pleased to have Dave (Barr), Mike (Stothers) and Gordie (Dwyer) as a part of our coaching staff, and to welcome a number of excellent support staff who bring unique skills to our team. We know the extensive experience of our coaching staff and the dedication of our support staff will greatly benefit our team at the world championship.”

Barr most recently served as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks (2017-19). Prior to joining the Sharks, he was an associate coach with the Florida Panthers (2016-17), as well as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres (2015-16), New Jersey Devils (2011-15), Minnesota Wild (2009-11) and Colorado Avalanche (2008-09). Barr spent five seasons (2003-08) as the general manager and head coach of the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), leading the Storm to an OHL championship in 2004. He also held various positions with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League (AHL) and International Hockey League (IHL) from 1997-2003, including assistant coach, head coach, director of hockey operations, vice-president, general manager and president. He has represented Canada once as a head coach, leading Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team to a gold medal at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

Dwyer was the head coach of the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) last season. Prior to joining the Cataractes, he spent two seasons as head coach of Dinamo Minsk (2017-19) and two seasons as head coach of Medvescak Zagreb (2015-17) of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), as well as part of one season as head coach of HC Ambrì-Piotta (2016-17) of National League A (NLA). Dwyer also served two seasons as head coach of the Charlottetown Islanders (2013-15) and two seasons as head coach of the Prince Edward Island Rocket (2011-13) of the QMJHL, as well as two seasons as head coach and director of player personnel with the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL). He won bronze medals as the head coach of Team Canada at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games and as an assistant coach at the 2012 IIHF U18 World Championship and was an assistant coach at two Spengler Cups (2016, 2018).

Stothers most recently served as head coach of the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League (AHL) for five seasons (2015-20). He has held various coaching positions in the NHL, AHL, OHL and Western Hockey League (WHL), including one season as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers (2010-11) and two seasons as an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers (2000-02). Stothers was also the head coach of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs (2014-15), winning a Calder Cup and Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL coach of the year, as well as the Grand Rapids Griffins (2007-08). He also served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Phantoms (1996-2000) and Hershey Bears (1991-96). His Canadian Hockey League (CHL) experience includes three seasons as head coach of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors (2011-14) and five seasons as head coach of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack (2002-07). Stothers had a 10-year professional playing career in the NHL and AHL, winning the Calder Cup with the Maine Mariners in 1984. 

The support staff that will work with Team Canada at the IIHF U18 World Championship includes:

  • Senior vice-president of national teams Scott Salmond
  • Video coach Travis Crickard
  • Goaltending coach Matt Weninger (Moose Jaw Warriors)
  • Athletic therapists Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown Islanders) and Doug Stacey
  • Equipment manager A.J. Murley
  • Mental performance consultant Ashwin Patel (Guelph Storm)
  • Team physician Dr. Ben Cameron (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
  • Education consultant Dave Tennant (Kitchener Rangers)
  • Coordinator of national teams Kurt Keats

Prior to travelling to Frisco on April 17, players and staff will self-isolate at home starting April 12 and will be tested for COVID-19 three times. Upon arrival in Texas, all team personnel will enter a four-day quarantine at the hotel before starting a pre-tournament camp on April 21. The team will take on Finland in its lone pre-tournament game on April 24 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Canada will open the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship against Sweden on April 26 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, and will also take on Latvia, Switzerland and Belarus in preliminary-round action. TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will broadcast select games throughout the tournament and will announce details at a later date.

Since 2002, Canada has won three gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013), in addition to one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

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