OAKVILLE, Ont. – Twenty-four players, including six current QMJHL representatives, have been selected to continue with Canada’s National Junior Team on the road to the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic.
Former QMJHL exceptional forward Joseph Veleno, who currently plays in the AHL after spending four seasons with the Saint John Sea Dogs and Drummondville Voltigeurs, was also added to the Canadian squad.
The roster – which includes three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 14 forwards – was chosen following the four-day Sport Chek Selection Camp in Oakville, Ont., that included a pair of exhibition games against a team of U SPORTS all-stars.
Among the athletes travelling with the team are five returnees from the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. (Hayton, Lafrenière, McIsaac, Smith, Veleno) and two players who won a silver medal with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup (Byfield, Drysdale).
Here are the QMJHL players who have survived the initial cuts:
- RODRIGUE, Olivier | Chicoutimi, Quebec | Moncton, Wildcats
- McISAAC, Jared | Truro, Nova Scotia | Halifax, Mooseheads
- GROULX, Benoît-Olivier | Gatineau, Quebec | Halifax, Mooseheads
- LAFRENIÈRE, Alexis | Saint-Eustache, Quebec | Rimouski, Océanic
- LAVOIE, Raphaël | Chambly, Quebec | Halifax, Mooseheads
- MERCER, Dawson | Bay Roberts, Newfoundland | Drummondville, Voltigeurs
“As with every year, there are difficult decisions to trim down our roster, but ultimately we believe this group will give us our best shot at a gold medal,” said Shawn Bullock, director of men’s national teams with Hockey Canada. “We will continue the process of building our team, and we look forward to an exciting World Juniors.”
The puck will officially drop on Boxing Day when Canada takes on the United States at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, followed by games against Russia, Germany and the Czech Republic to round out preliminary action.
TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will once again provide wall-to-wall game coverage and analysis throughout the tournament, including Canada’s two pre-tournament games on Dec. 19 against Switzerland and Dec. 23 against Finland; check local listings for details.
For more information on Canada’s National Junior Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook , Twitter and #WorldJuniors.