Hockey Canada invites 28 WHL players to participate in national under-17 development camp

WHL Network


Hockey Canada has invited 28 Western Hockey League players, as part of a group of 111, to attend Canada’s national under-17 development camp as the road to the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge begins.

The camp itself will take place from July 21-27 in  at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park Calgary, Alta.

For the duration of the week-long camp, the players – 12 goaltenders, 36 defencemen, and 63 forwards – will be split into six teams for on- and off-ice training, fitness testing, practices, intrasquad games, and classroom sessions.

The breakdown by WHL players includes four goaltenders, 10 defencemen, and 14 forwards. For many of the WHL players invited to the camp, it won’t be their first time attending the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport. Of the 28 WHL drafted players invited to July’s camp, 26 participated in the 2017 WHL Cup, featuring eight players from British Columbia, who won gold at the event, including Saskatoon Blades 2017 5th overall pick Aidan De La Gorgendiere.

From the other provinces in Western Canada, Alberta boasts the highest total with 13 players including Saskatoon’s 10th overall draft pick in 2017, Kyle Crnkovic. Saskatchewan will send four players and Manitoba will have three representatives.

De La Gorgendiere played one game with the Blades last season on the road in Everett while Crnkovic dressed for three contests in his 15-year-old season with Saskatoon.

All six members of the 2017 WHL Cup All-Star Team earned invites, including Alberta defenceman Kaiden Guhle, the first overall selection in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft by the Prince Albert Raiders and Saskatchewan goaltender Bryan Thomson, a prospect of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Other All-Stars earning invitations were defenceman Daemon Hunt (Brandon, Man. / Moose Jaw Warriors), forward Justin Sourdif (Surrey, B.C. / Vancouver Giants), forward Kyle Crnkovic (Chestermere, Alta. / Saskatoon Blades), and forward Connor McClennon (Wainwright, Alta. / Kootenay ICE).

A quartet of Alberta players invited to the camp also led the 2017 WHL Cup in scoring. Kyle Crnkovic led all players with 12 points (3G-9A) while McClennon finished with 10 points (6G-4A). The highest-scoring defenceman from the tournament, Guhle recorded nine points (5G-4A) and forward Jake Neighbours (Airdrie, Alta. / Edmonton Oil Kings) rounded out the top four for scoring with seven points (1G-6A). Overall, 18 of the 28 WHL players invited were selected in the first round of the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.

Dylan Garand (Victoria, B.C. / Kamloops Blazers) is the lone goaltender to have already made his WHL debut. Additionally, 18 of the skaters invited to the camp have already made their WHL debuts.

Brad McEwen, head scout for Hockey Canada, was responsible for all player selections, with assistance from regional scouts Carl Bouchard (Quebec), Barclay Branch (Ontario), Vancouver Giants general manager Barclay Parneta (West), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic), and Darrell Woodley (Ontario), as well as member representatives.

“The national under-17 development camp provides a unique opportunity for players to learn about what it takes to be part of Team Canada alongside the best young talent in the country,” said Shawn Bullock, Hockey Canada’s senior manager of hockey operations and men’s national teams. “The players are here with the ultimate goal of wearing the Team Canada jersey in international competition, and we are supporting them in that goal by providing the on- and off-ice experiences they need to develop and grow as high-performance athletes.”

Following the development camp, players will continue to be evaluated through the early season before 66 are named to one of three Canadian national teams – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red, and Team Canada White – who will compete at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge scheduled for Nov. 3-10 in Saint John and Quispamsis, N.B.

This year, all 111 players have been drafted by Canadian Hockey League teams, including 54 from the Ontario Hockey League, 29 from the Western Hockey League, and 28 from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.


Name Height Weight Born Hometown 2017-18 Team CHL Draft
Garin Bjorklund L 5’11” 147 05/28/02 Grande Prairie, Alta. Calgary Buffaloes (AMHL) MH 2017 (1/21)
Sebastian Cossa L 6’4” 208 11/21/02 Fort McMurray, Alta. Fort Saskatchewan (AMHL) EDM 2017 (2/36)
Dylan Garand L 6’0” 160 06/07/02 Victoria, B.C. Delta Hockey Academy (CSSHL) KAM 2017 (3/58)
Bryan Thomson L 6’1” 163 04/09/02 Moose Jaw, Sask. Notre Dame Argos (SMAAAHL) LET 2017 (2/37)
Tom Cadieux R 6’0” 147 09/11/02 Saskatoon, Sask. Saskatoon Blazers (SMAAAHL) TC 2017 (2/34)
Aidan De La Gorgendiere L 5’11½” 167 02/22/02 Langley, B.C. Yale Hockey Academy (CSSHL) SAS 2017 (1/5)
Kaiden Guhle L 6’2” 177 01/18/02 Sherwood Park, Alta. OHA Edmonton (CSSHL) PA 2017 (1/1)
Daemon Hunt L 5’11” 195 05/02/02 Brandon, Man. Brandon (MMAAAHL) MJ 2017 (1/15)
Vincent Iorio R 6’0” 167 11/14/02 Coquitlam, B.C. Shattuck-St. Mary’s (USU16) BDN 2017 (2/27)
Anthony Kehrer R 5’11” 198 03/04/02 Winnipeg, Man. Rink Hockey Academy (CSSHL) BDN 2017 (2/30)
Luke Prokop R 6’2¼” 188 05/06/02 Edmonton, Alta. Northern Alberta (CSSHL) CGY 2017 (1/7)
Ronan Seeley L 5’9½” 147 08/02/02 Olds, Alta. Lethbridge (AMHL) EVT 2017 (1/20)
Joel Sexsmith L 6’0” 172 04/13/02 Edmonton, Alta. Northern Alberta (CSSHL) SC 2017 (1/9)
Ethan Bowen L 6’0” 155 05/14/02 Chilliwack, B.C. Fraser Valley (BCMML) KEL 2017 (2/39)
Noah Boyko R 5’11” 164 08/29/02 St. Albert, Alta. Fort Saskatchewan (AMHL) LET 2017 (1/16)
Kyle Crnkovic L 5’7” 171 02/10/02 Chestermere, Alta. Northern Alberta (CSSHL) SAS 2017 (1/10)
Ethan Ernst R 5’11” 170 01/26/02 Yorkton, Sask. Notre Dame Hounds (SMAAAHL) KEL 2017 (3/61)
Jack Finley R 6’4” 193 09/02/02 Kelowna, B.C. Okanagan (BCMML) SPO 2017 (1/6)
Ridly Greig L 5’8” 137 08/08/02 Lethbridge, Alta. Lethbridge (AMHL) BDN 2017 (1/8)
Seth Jarvis R 5’8½” 155 02/01/02 Winnipeg, Man. Rink Hockey Academy (CSSHL) POR 2017 (1/11)
Ben King R 6’1” 173 05/15/02 Vernon, B.C. Okanagan (BCMML) SC 2017 (1/13)
Connor McClennon R 5’7¼” 148 06/25/02 Wainwright, Alta. Northern Alberta (CSSHL) KOO 2017 (1/2)
Payton Mount R 5’8” 175 01/19/02 Victoria, B.C. Delta Hockey Academy (CSSHL) SEA 2017 (1/19)
Jake Neighbours L 5’10” 195 03/29/02 Airdrie, Alta. Calgary Buffaloes (AMHL) EDM 2017 (1/4)
Josh Pillar R 5’10” 145 02/14/02 Warman, Sask. Prince Albert (SMAAAHL) KAM 2017 (1/14)
Cole Shepard L 5’9” 150 02/02/03 West Vancouver, B.C. Delta Hockey Academy (CSSHL) VAN 2017 (2/33)
Justin Sourdif R 5’9½” 160 03/24/02 Surrey, B.C. Valley West (BCMML) VAN 2017 (1/3)
Ozzy Wiesblatt R 5’9½” 168 03/09/02 Calgary, Alta. Calgary Buffaloes (AMHL) PA 2017 (2/25)

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