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Captain Akil Thomas moves forward with Canada’s National Junior Team

Ontario Hockey League
Natalie Shaver

 

Twenty-four players, including Niagara IceDogs captain Akil Thomashave 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.

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.

London Knights head coach Dale Hunter will lead Team Canada behind the bench joined by Ottawa 67’s bench boss Andre Tourigny who will serve as an assistant. Owen Sound Attack head coach Alan Letang will serve as a pre-scout coach.

“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.”

Canada’s final 22-player roster does not need to be officially submitted to the International Ice Hockey Federation until Dec. 25.

OHL PLAYERS MOVING FORWARD WITH CANADA’S NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM:

Goaltenders:
Nico Daws (Guelph Storm)

Defencemen:
Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s)
Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters)

Forwards:
Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves)
Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds)
Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack)
Liam Foudy (London Knights)
Barrett Hayton (Arizona Coyotes/Soo Greyhounds)
Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)

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.

SPORTSNET’S SAM COSENTINO PROVIDES HIS SELECTION CAMP INSIGHTS:

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