CALGARY, Alta. –
Forty-four of the nation’s top under-18 hockey prospects will gather in Calgary at the
end of July to compete for a chance to wear the Maple Leaf on home ice as
part of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team competing at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in
Edmonton and Red Deer this August.
The invitations have been extended to four goaltenders, 14 defencemen, and
26 forwards who are developing in the CHL and CJHL, including three players
who were part of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team that competed at the
2018 IIHF U18 World Championship in Russia last April, going undefeated in
preliminary-round action (Byram, Lafrenière, Robertson).
“Unlike our other summer camps, these players are part of a selection
process from the moment they arrive, and the opportunity is to represent
Canada on the world stage,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey
operations and national teams for Hockey Canada. “We have a very talented
group of players coming to Calgary in late July, and we will no doubt have
some very difficult decisions to make when it’s time to select this year’s
Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team. The players are excited to
arrive and get started, and they are all coming in with the goal of making
our decision a difficult one.”
Newly rebranded as the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, the annual tournament is one of
the only true, best-on-best competitions for this age group. While the
event is being co-hosted in Edmonton and Red Deer, Canada will play all of
its games out of Rogers Place in Edmonton, except for a pre-tournament game
against the Czech Republic slated for 7 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the brand-new
Servus Arena in Red Deer.
A new all-Canada ticket package and the event’s new trophy design were also
unveiled this morning.
“There’s nothing like competing on home ice, and this will be a very
special event for our team – staff and players,” said Salmond. “The work
begins in Calgary at selection camp, and we’re looking forward to heading
up the QEII and competing in front of Canadian fans this summer. This is
always a true demonstration of best-on-best hockey, and the fans in
Edmonton and Red Deer will not be disappointed.”
Canada won last year’s edition of the event in Breclav, Czech Republic,
besting the host team 4-1, with a squad that included 18 players who were
selected in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft over the weekend. When all of the
picks were in, 77 alumni of the event were selected by NHL clubs, including seven of the top-10 picks and 19 first-rounders.
Canada has won gold 21 times in 27 years of summer under-18 competition.
For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Men’s Summer
Under-18 Team, and the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow
through social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter.com/HC_Men.