CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced that forwards Brennan Othmann (Team Blue) and Braeden Kressler (Team Red) are two Flint Firebirds of the 112 players invited to Calgary to participate in Canada’s national under-17 development camp, taking place July 19-26 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park.
Following camp, players will be monitored through the early weeks of the 2019-20 season before 66 are named to one of three Canadian teams – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White – competing at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, scheduled for Nov. 2-9 in Medicine Hat, Alta., and Swift Current, Sask.
“On behalf of everyone in the Firebirds’ organization we would like to congratulate Brennan and Braeden on being selected to attend Hockey Canada’s Under-17 Development Camp,” said Flint Firebirds Vice President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Barclay Branch. “It is a great accomplishment for both of them and we could not be happier for them.”
Othmann, a native of Pickering, Ont., was selected by the Firebirds in the first-round (2nd overall) of the 2019 OHL Draft in April. This past season, he recorded an impressive 146 points (66G, 80A) in 72 regular season games with the Don Mills Flyers Minor Midget AAA hockey team. He played an integral role in helping the Flyers to a 77-0-6-1 record, capturing both the Greater Toronto Hockey League’s (GTHL) regular season and playoff titles. Othmann led Don Mills in playoffs with 22 points (7G, 14A) in 13 games and was also selected to represent Team Ontario at the renowned 2019 Canada Winter Games, leading his team with 16 points (10G, 6A) in six games to secure a Silver Medal. At the OHL Gold Cup in May, the 5-foot-11, 158-pound forward finished the tied for the tournament lead in points (8), goals (3) and assists (5) in just four games en-route to capturing the prestigious OHL Gold Cup title. As an underager, Othmann led the Pickering Panthers in the Ontario Junior Developmental League (OJDL) with 11 points (7G, 4A) in 11 games in the summer of 2018.
Kressler, a native of Kitchener, Ont., was selected by the Firebirds in the second-round (28th overall) of the 2019 OHL Draft in April. He played his youth hockey for the Mississauga Senators AAA hockey team in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). A five-foot-nine, 155-pound center, Kressler led the Senators with 62 points (27G, 35A) in 56 games and was voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) by his teammates. He also notched two goals in just three Tier-II ‘Junior A’ games with the Burlington Cougars in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL). At the OHL Cup in March, Kressler tallied five points (4G, 1A) including one game-winning-goal in three games. He also finished second-overall in both the on-ice and off-ice testing at the 2019 OHL Combine. At the OHL Gold Cup in May, Kressler finished fifth in points (2G, 3A) among more than 130 players, helping his team to a perfect 4-0-0-0 record. Kressler scored the tying goal in the final period en-route to capturing the prestigious OHL Gold Cup title.
During the week-long camp, the players – 12 goaltenders, 36 defencemen and 64 forwards – will be split into six teams for on- and off-ice training, fitness testing, intrasquad games and classroom studies.
Brad McEwen (Whitewood, Sask.), head scout for the Program of Excellence, and POE management group representative Martin Mondou (Grand-Mére, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL) built the roster with assistance from regional scouts Carl Bouchard (Quebec), Rob Simpson (Ontario), Jason Smart (West), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic), Shaun Sutter (West) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).
“The national under-17 development camp is the first step these athletes take in their Team Canada career,” said Shawn Bullock, director of men’s national teams. “Ultimately, these players will learn what it takes to wear the Maple Leaf in international competition. We are here to support their development by providing the on- and off-ice experiences they need to achieve the dream of representing their country.”
For the second year in a row, all 112 players have been drafted by Canadian Hockey League teams, including 46 from the Ontario Hockey League, 38 from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and 28 from the Western Hockey League.