Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Western Hockey League, have announced team captains for the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series.
Top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic will lead Team QMJHL in games on Monday November 4 in Saint John and Tuesday November 5 in Moncton, while Los Angeles Kings prospect Aidan Dudas of the Owen Sound Attack will wear the ‘C’ for Team OHL on Thursday November 7 in Kitchener and Monday November 11 in London, and New Jersey Devils prospect Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs will headline Team WHL leaders on Wednesday November 13 in Saskatoon and Thursday November 14 in Prince Albert.
All six games against the Russian National Junior Team will serve as an integral part of the evaluation process for Hockey Canada ahead of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Lafreniere currently leads the CHL in scoring with 39 points in 16 games after being awarded the Oceanic’s captaincy to begin the club’s historic 25th anniversary season. The 18-year-old from Saint-Eustache, Quebec, was originally selected first overall in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft then went on to capture CHL Rookie of the Year accolades followed by CHL Player of the Year honours with a 105-point campaign a year ago. The 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup captain and gold medalist represented Team QMJHL last season before being named to Canada’s National Junior Team.
Alternate captains for Team QMJHL include Anaheim Ducks prospect Benoit-Olivier Groulx of the Halifax Mooseheads, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Gabriel Fortier of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, and Justin Bergeron of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
Dudas was also named Attack captain prior to puck drop on the 2019-20 season and so far leads his club in scoring with 18 points through 12 games. The 19-year-old from Parry Sound, Ontario, is playing in his fourth season in Owen Sound after being chosen tenth overall in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. The fourth round Kings pick in the 2018 NHL Draft has represented Canada on the world stage three different times including the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he won silver, a gold medal appearance at the 2017 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and the 2018 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Alternate captains for Team OHL include Arizona Coyotes prospect Kevin Bahl of the Ottawa 67’s and Dallas Stars prospect Ty Dellandrea of the Flint Firebirds.
Smith is a returning member of Team WHL and has served as captain of the Chiefs since the start of the 2018-19 season. He is also a returning member of Canada’s National Junior Team in a long list of international experience that includes captaining the 2018 World Under-18 team, winning gold at the 2017 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and serving as captain at both the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games. The 19-year-old from Lloydminster, Alberta, was the first overall pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft and the Devils 17th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. He’s recorded eight points in 10 games since being returned by the Devils following his CHL Defenceman of the Year campaign.
Alternate captains for Team WHL include Colorado Avalanche prospect Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants, Buffalo Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and Lightning prospect Nolan Foote of the Kelowna Rockets.
Since the event first began in 2003, CHL teams have won the series 12 times playing to an overall record of 63-25-2-6. Heading into 2019 competition, Team QMJHL carries an overall record of 17-11-1-3, Team OHL is 25-6-0-1, and Team WHL holds a 21-8-1-2 record.
The 2019 CIBC Canada Russia series is proudly supported by title partner CIBC, and associate sponsors Kia Canada, Cooper Tires, and Kubota Canada. All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule:
Game 1 – Monday November 4 at Saint John, NB
Game 2 – Tuesday November 5 at Moncton, NB
Game 3 – Thursday November 7 at Kitchener, ON
Game 4 – Monday November 11 at London, ON
Game 5 – Wednesday November 13 at Saskatoon, SK
Game 6 – Thursday November 14 at Prince Albert, SK
For event information please visit http://chlcanadarussia.ca.