Skinner Named to Pre-Competition Camp for U-18 Worlds

Skinner-BroncosHockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced today the roster that will represent Canada at the upcoming U-18 World Championships in Switzerland and Lethbridge Hurricanes goaltender Stuart Skinner has been named as one of six underage players to participate in pre-competition camp.

Skinner and the five other underage players will take part in the pre-competition camp and exhibition games, but will not compete in the full tournament itself as they will return to Canada prior to the start of the world championship.

The 16-year-old Skinner just completed his first full season in the Western Hockey League with the Hurricanes posting a record of 13-20-2-3 in 43 appearances and posted a 3.69 goals against average with a .909 save percentage with one shutout. The Edmonton, Alberta, product represented Canada playing for Team Canada Black at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia, Ontario, in November.

Skinner, who is already in Switzerland, says this is just another great honour, “It’s quite a privilege. It’s really an honour to be here in Switzerland playing in exhibition [games] of the U-18 tournament. Just the whole experience of coming over to Europe to play hockey for your country, it’s a complete honour to be here and do that.”

“Playing at the U-18 tournament is definitely going to help me in the future. It’s an absolutely honour to be here and having this opportunity to play for your country is always a privilege and I’m just happy to be here,” Skinner continued.

“I plan on just taking everything in to get as much as I can out of [this] to take that with me to my season next year and just use this to my advantage to get better every day,” added Skinner. “Being at this tournament you’re playing against the best of the best of the other countries. It’s definitely a challenge for me. It’s the best of the best going head to head and it will definitely make me better.”

The full tournament will take place from April 16-28, 2015 in Zug and Lucerne, Switzerland.

Below is the Hockey Canada Release:

17 PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL MEN’S UNDER-18 TEAM FOR 2015 IIHF ICE HOCKEY U18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP;SIX UNDER-AGE PLAYERS SELECTED TO PRE-COMPETITION CAMP ROSTER

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Thursday 17 players who will be a part of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, which will be held April 16-26 in Zug and Lucerne, Switzerland.

The roster includes two goaltenders, seven defencemen and eight forwards.

CLICK HERE FOR CANADA’S NATIONAL MEN’S UNDER-18 TEAM ROSTER

The players selected, born in 1997, were selected by Ryan Jankowski, Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel, with support from head coach Tim Hunter (Calgary, Alta./Moose Jaw, WHL) and assistant coaches Ian Herbers (Jasper, Alta./University of Alberta, CWUAA) and Louis Robitaille (Montreal, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL). Jankowski evaluated the players during the 2014-15 season, following them along with numerous other candidates during league play, as well as in international competition.

The roster includes 10 players (Barzal, Bear, Beauvillier, Brisebois, Harkins, J. Roy, N. Roy, Sawchenko, Spencer and Stephens) who won a gold medal with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2014 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last August, and one (Barzal) who won bronze at last year’s IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship.

Hockey Canada has invited select under-age players that will travel to Switzerland and play in pre-tournament games to get added experience playing international competition before returning to Canada prior to the start of the world championship. Players that have been eliminated from the Canadian Hockey League playoffs will be added to complete the roster for the tournament.

Canada will play a pair of pre-tournament games, both in Zug; it will face Slovakia on April 13 (1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT) before taking on Germany on April 14 (noon ET/9 a.m. PT).

CLICK HERE FOR CANADA’S NATIONAL MEN’S UNDER-18 TEAM PRE-COMPETITION SCHEDULE

Canada opens the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship on April 16 against Latvia, and will also face the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland during preliminary round play.

CLICK HERE FOR THE 2015 IIHF ICE HOCKEY U18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team has won three gold medals the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, in 2003, 2008 and 2013, along with one silver (2005) and two bronze (2012, 2014).

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, or follow on social media at www.facebook.com/hockeycanada,   www.twitter.com/hockeycanada and www.twitter.com/hc_men.

Three Hurricanes on Final Draft Rankings

estephan-nielsen-jensenThe National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Service announced their final draft rankings for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft on Wednesday and three Lethbridge Hurricanes cracked the list as Andrew Nielsen, Giorgio Estephan and Kade Jensen all were listed among North American skaters.

Nielsen, the highest ranked of the three ‘Canes, came in a 52nd – a 17 spot jump from the midterm rankings where he was ranked 69th. In his rookie season with the Hurricanes, Nielsen appeared in 59 games collecting 24 points (7g-17a) finishing second in scoring among defenseman. The Red Deer product, who was listed by the Hurricanes after not being selected in the WHL Bantam Draft, is ranked sixth among Western Hockey League rearguards.

Estephan is the only Hurricanes forward to be ranked coming in at 144th. The Edmonton native, who was left off the midterm rankings, exploded in the second half of the season collecting 47 points (22g-25a) in his final 43 games of the season. Estephan finished third in ‘Canes scoring only behind Jamal Watson and Tyler Wong and more than doubled his previous career high of 24 points set during the 2013-2014 campaign.

Jensen was the final Hurricane listed at 184th. The Calgary product was ranked 164th in the midterm rankings. The sophomore blue liner set career highs in goals, assists and points picking up 19 points (4g-15a) in 64 games this season while asserting himself well as a power play quarterback picking up 12 of his 19 points on the man advantage.

The NHL Entry Draft takes place June 26-27 in Sunrise, Florida.