75 CHL Players to Compete in 2012 World Under-17 Hockey ChallengeNovember 23, 2011 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
A total of 75 players from the Canadian Hockey League are represented on Canada's five regional teams including the host Team Ontario with 22 OHL players, Team Pacific with 22 WHL players (representing Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon), Team West with 12 WHL players (representing Manitoba, Nunavut, Saskatchewan), Team Quebec with 11 QMJHL players, and Team Atlantic with eight QMJHL players (representing New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island).
"This is an important tournament for Canada's young, up-and-coming players, as it is their first opportunity to impress scouts in best-on-best competition," said Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada's head scout for the men's Program of Excellence. "Hockey fans in Ontario can expect the cream of the crop from this age group to be on the ice in Windsor, LaSalle and Tecumseh."
The 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge features 10 teams - the five from Canada are joined by teams from the Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, Sweden and the United States. The teams are split into two groups, with each team playing four preliminary games before the playoff round.
International rosters will be announced closer to the start of the tournament.
The 27-game tournament will be centred out of the WFCU Centre, home of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires, but will feature games at the Vollmer Culture & Recreation Complex in LaSalle and at Tecumseh Arena. In addition, two communities, Amherstburg and Essex, will host pre-competition games along with the three tournament venues.
The gold medal game will be held Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. ET and will be shown on TSN/RDS, Hockey Canada's official broadcasters. All other games at the tournament, including both semifinals and the bronze medal game, will be available through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com.
Ten-game facility ticket packages are on sale in Windsor, LaSalle and Tecumseh. Packages can be purchased for $186.95 in Windsor and $166.91 in LaSalle and Tecumseh. CLICK HERE for ticket information.
The 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will bring together the top players in the world born in 1995 or later. The regional under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men's Under-18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men's Team.
Since the first World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (then known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, more than 1,100 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including nine of the last 11 first-overall selections (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011).
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