BCHL, WHL and B.C.-born hockey players are among 44 of the nation’s top Under-18 prospects invited to the Hockey Canada summer selection camp for the Under-18 team that will compete at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton and Red Deer this August
The invitations were extended to 10 B.C. players who will compete for chance to wear the Maple Leaf in the newly rebranded Hlinka Gretzky Cup, the annual tournament that is the best-on-best competitions for this age group.
The B.C. invites include Massimo Rizzo (Burnaby, B.C./Penticton, BCHL), Josh Williams (Langley, B.C./ Medicine Hat, WHL), Kaedan Korczak (Yorkton, Sask./Kelowna, WHL), Taylor Gauthier (Calgary, Alta./Prince George, WHL), Jacson Alexander (Victoria, B.C./Swift Current, WHL), Bowen Byram (Cranbrook, B.C./Vancouver, WHL), Peyton Krebs (Okotoks, Alta./Kootenay, WHL), Sasha Mutala (Vancouver, B.C./Tri-City, WHL), Alex Newhook (St. John’s, N.L./Victoria, BCHL) and Connor Zary (Saskatoon, Sask./Kamloops, WHL).
“Unlike our other summer camps, these players are part of a selection process from the moment they arrive, and the opportunity is to represent Canada on the world’s stage,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams for Hockey Canada. “We have a very talented group of players coming to Calgary in late July, and we will no doubt have some very difficult decisions to make when it’s time to select this year’s Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team. The players are excited to arrive and get started, and they are all coming in with the goal of making our decision a difficult one.”
Canada won last year’s edition of the event in Breclav, Czech Republic, besting the host team 4-1, with a squad that included 18 players who were selected in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft over the weekend. When all of the picks were in, 77 alumni of the event were selected by NHL Clubs – 19 first-rounders, in fact – including seven of the top-10 picks.
“There’s nothing like competing on home ice, and this will be a very special event for our team – staff and players,” said Salmond. “The work begins in Calgary at selection camp, and we’re looking forward to heading up the QEII and competing in front of Canadian fans this summer. This is always a true demonstration of best-on-best hockey, and the fans in Edmonton and Red Deer will not be disappointed.”
Canada has won gold 21 times in 27 years of summer under-18 competition.