Ice forward to represent Canada in World Under-17 Hockey Challange

Ice forward to represent Canada in World Under-17 Hockey Challange

Connor McClennon will get to help one of three Canadian teams fight for gold at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The Kootenay Ice forward will head to New Brunswick with 65 other Canadian players for the beginning of November to take part in the tournament.

“It’s a big honour. There are a lot of great players in the country, so to be named to the top 66 it’s pretty special,” he said.

In July, McClennon was invited to the development camp along with 110 other players.

“I worked really hard over the summer, and I really prepared for the camp. I went there in really good physical shape and I just tried to show my speed and skill when I got the chance,” he said about why he stood out.

What separated him from the other 110 players McClennon says was his drive.

“I really wanted to be there,” he said. “In the games, I tried to use my speed and work ethic to try and earn a spot.”

With the tournament in a couple of weeks, McClennon has been busy getting prepared.

“I’ve been continuing to work hard after practice and at practice. Just trying to get better and prepare for the camp,” he said.

McClennon, who is in his first full season with the Kootenay Ice was drafted second overall in the WHL Bantam Draft. In 15 games played in the WHL, he has two goals and four assists for six points.

“I just want to bring my positive attitude, and I’ll try to bring whatever the coach asks me to do, whether it’s on the power play or penalty kill. I’m open to playing all situations, but I think I’ll bring some speed and work ethic to the team,” he explained.

More than 1,700 NHL draft picks have taken part in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, including Alexander Ovechkin, Connor McDavid, and Auston Matthews.

“It’s pretty special, especially when guys like that have played in the tournament. So, to be selected to it, it’s pretty special,” said McClennon.

The tournament will take place Nov. 3-10 in Saint John and Quispamsis, N.B.