Five Chilliwack Chiefs players are heading to Calgary, hoping to make the Team Canada West roster for this year’s World Junior A Challenge.
Defencemen Xavier Henry and Jack Agnew are among 14 defenders invited to an evaluation camp being held Dec. 1-3 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park.
The list of D-men also includes former Chief and current Trail Smoke Eater Powell Connor along with Ryan Helliwell (Langley Rivermen), Trevor LeDonne (Nanaimo Clippers), Evan McIntyre (Penticton Vees) and Trey Taylor (Vernon Vipers).
The list of forward invitees is just as BCHL heavy, with Canada’s westernmost league supplying 14 of the 26 skaters.
The Chiefs are sending Ethan Bowen, Kyle Penney and Peter Reynolds.
Other BCHLers crossing the Rockies are Connor Gregga and Massimo Rizzo of the Coquitlam Express, Finlay Williams and Nicholas Poisson of the Prince George Spruce Kings, Owen Ozar, Philippe Lapointe and Kent Johnson of the Trail Smoke Eaters, Brendan Budy (Langley), Lukas Sillinger (Penticton), Austin Spiridakis (Alberni Valley) and Kyler Kovich (Nanaimo).
Trail’s Logan Terness and Alberni Valley’s Jackson Glassford are two of the four goalie invites.
Other circuits supplying talent for Team Canada West are the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and Ontario’s Superior International Hockey League (SJHL).
“After months of work put in to identifying players, our team is excited to bring a talented group together for selection camp, and we look forward to assembling Team Canada West for what should be a highly-competitive tournament,” said Team Canada West director of operations Jamie McCaig. “We know these 44 players will bring a hard-working attitude to camp as we begin our quest for a gold medal at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge.”
This year’s tournament is being held in Dawson Creek, B.C. starting Dec. 7.
The five team tourney sees Team Canada West joined by Team Canada East and international squads from the United States, Russia and the Czech Republic.
Team Canada West opens against the United States Dec. 7.
Team Canada West has won five gold medals in the tournament’s 13 year history, the last time in 2017.
Team Canada West has won silver three times and bronze twice.
Thirteen gold medal games have been played since 2006 with at least one of the Canadian entries involved in 10 of them.
See hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/national-championships/men/world-junior-a/2019 for more info.