Thursday, December 15, 2011

WHL Players Staying Busy Over Xmas Break

The Western Hockey League is proud to announce that 57 WHL players will suit up in international competition in December and January.

A total of 47 WHL players have already been named to national teams that will compete in Under-20 and Under-17 tournaments, while another nine players have been invited to the selection camps for their respective countries. One other player, Brett Connolly, was loaned to Canada’s national junior team from the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, but is still eligible to play in the WHL for the Cougars this season.

Six WHL players, including Connolly, will play for Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship tournament, while another eight players have been named to their respective national Under-20 teams for the World Junior Championships in Alberta or the Division 1 Under-20 championship in Germany.

34 of the WHL’s top 16-year-old players will suit up for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario, with 22 players set to represent Team Pacific (Alberta and B.C.) and another 12 to represent Team West (Manitoba and Saskatchewan).

The Edmonton Oil Kings and the Prince George Cougars lead the way with six players each heading off to international tournaments. The Vancouver Giants will see five players head off for international competition.

Here’s a look at who will be playing internationally over the next few weeks:

Brandon Wheat Kings
*Alessio Bertaggia – Switzerland (WJ)
Ayrton Nikkel – Team Pacific (U-17)
Mark Stone – Canada (WJ)

Calgary Hitmen
Greg Chase – Team Pacific (U-17)
Victor Rask – Sweden (WJ)

Edmonton Oil Kings
Mason Geertsen – Team Pacific (U-17)
*Martin Gernat – Slovakia (WJ)
Tristan Jarry – Team Pacific (U-17)
Curtis Lazar – Team Pacific (U-17)
Kristians Pelss – Latvia (WJ)
Mark Pysyk – Canada (WJ)

Everett Silvertips
*Vladimir Dolnik – Slovakia (WJ)
Austin Lotz – Team West (U-17)
Ryan Murray – Canada (WJ)

Kamloops Blazers
Marek Hrbas – Czech Republic (WJ)
Matt Needham – Team Pacific (U-17)

Kelowna Rockets
Tyson Baillie – Team Pacific (U-17)
Madison Bowey – Team West (U-17)
Jesse Lees – Team Pacific (U-17)
*Filip Vasko – Slovakia (WJ)

Kootenay Ice
Jaedon Descheneau – Team Pacific (U-17)
Jonathan Martin – Team West (U-17)
Sam Reinhart – Team Pacific (U-17)
Spencer Wand – Team West (U-17)

Lethbridge Hurricanes
Macoy Erkamps – Team Pacific (U-17)
Craig Leverton – Team West (U-17)
Jay Merkley – Team Pacific (U-17)

Medicine Hat Tigers
*Emerson Etem – United States (WJ)

Moose Jaw Warriors
Carter Hansen – Team West (U-17)
Quinton Howden – Canada (WJ)
Torrin White – Team Pacific (U-17)

Portland Winterhawks
*Sven Bartschi – Switzerland (WJ)
Nicolas Petan – Team Pacific (U-17)

Prince Albert Raiders
Jonas Knutsen – Norway (WJ Div-1)
Josh Morrissey – Team Pacific (U-17)

Prince George Cougars
**Brett Connolly – Canada (WJ)

Jarrett Fontaine – Team West (U-17)
Alex Forsberg – Team West (U-17)
*Martin Marincin – Slovakia (WJ)
Jordan Tkatch – Team West (U-17)
Chase Witala – Team Pacific (U-17)

Red Deer Rebels
Kayle Doetzel – Team West (U-17)
Cory Millette – Team West (U-17)

Regina Pats
Kyle Burroughs – Team Pacific (U-17)
Morgan Klimchuk – Team Pacific (U-17)

Saskatoon Blades
Andrey Makarov – Russia (WJ)
Nick Zajac – Team West (U-17)

Seattle Thunderbirds
Marcel Noebels – Germany (WJ Div-1)
*Dave Sutter – Switzerland (WJ)

Spokane Chiefs
Dominik Uher – Czech Republic (WJ)

Tri-City Americans
Eric Comrie – Team Pacific (U-17)

Vancouver Giants
Anthony Ast – Team Pacific (U-17)
Brendan Gallagher – Canada (WJ)
Jackson Houck – Team Pacific (U-17)
David Musil – Czech Republic (WJ)
*Marek Tvrdon – Slovakia (WJ)

Victoria Royals
Keegan Kanzig – Team Pacific (U-17)

In addition to this news, the league also announced what players will take part in the Home Hardware Prospects game today. The Pats will be represented by Chandler Stephenson and Dominik Volek. White City's Ryan Murray will also play in the game as will Weyburn's Derrick Pouliot who plays for the Portland Winter Hawks.

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