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 Moncton Wildcats

19 CHLers Named to Team Canada's Roster for the 2024 IIHF U18, Including Wildcats' Desnoyers

April 16, 2024 - Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)
Moncton Wildcats News Release


The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) is proud to announce that 19 CHL players will wear the Maple Leaf as part of Team Canada's roster at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship (see complete list below), scheduled from April 25 - May 5 in Espoo and Vantaa, Finland.

Specifically, there are 10 players from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), seven players from the Western Hockey League (WHL), and two from the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) who will represent Team Canada in their effort to win their first gold medal at this event since 2021. 11 of the 19 players named to Team Canada's roster were listed in NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings ahead of the 2024 NHL Draft earlier this morning.

Among some of the CHL forwards selected were Liam Greentree (Windsor Spitfires / OHL), Marek Vanacker (Brantford Bulldogs / OHL), and Gavin McKenna (Medicine Hat Tigers / WHL). Greentree and Vanacker led all draft-eligible skaters in the OHL this season with 36 goals, while McKenna finished second among rookie scorers in the CHL by tallying 97 points (34G-63A) in 61 games during the 2023-24 campaign. Additionally, forwards Malcolm Spence (Erie Otters / OHL), Roger McQueen (Brandon Wheat Kings / WHL), Porter Martone (Mississauga Steelheads / OHL), and Caleb Desnoyers (Moncton Wildcats / QMJHL) are among a group of projected 2025 NHL Draft first-round picks on the roster.

On the backend, Team Canada will feature three blueliners who were ranked this morning by NHL Central Scouting in Charlie Elick (Brandon Wheat Kings / WHL), Harrison Brunicke (Kamloops Blazers / WHL), and Spencer Gill (Rimouski Océanic / QMJHL). Gill, who was the top-ranked skater from the QMJHL on NHL Central Scouting's list, recorded career-highs in goals (12), assists (34), and points (46) this season. Additionally, 2023 OHL first overall pick and defenseman Matthew Schaefer (Erie Otters / OHL) will look to secure another gold medal for his country after helping Canada White to the top of the podium at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge last November.

In net, Canada will be led by Carter George (Owen Sound Attack / OHL) and Ryerson Leenders (Mississauga Steelheads / OHL), who were ranked second and tenth respectively by NHL Central Scouting ahead of the 2024 NHL Draft. Both Leenders (.909 SV%) and George (.907 SV%) led all OHL goalies in save percentage this season (min. 1600 minutes).

Projected 2024 NHL Draft first-round picks Berkly Catton (Spokane Chiefs / WHL) and Cayden Lindstrom (Medicine Hat Tigers / WHL) were invited to be a part of the team but are both unable to participate.

Former Saint John Sea Dogs bench boss and 2022 Memorial Cup champion Gardiner MacDougall will serve as the team's head coach. He will be joined on the bench by assistant coaches Travis Crickard (Saint John Sea Dogs / QMJHL), Bruce Richardson, and Ryan Smith (Spokane Chiefs / WHL) along with goaltending coach Dan De Palma (Kamloops Blazers / WHL).

Canada's quest for a gold medal at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship begins April 25 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT against Sweden. Canada will play Czechia on April 26, Switzerland on April 28, and Kazakhstan on April 30 to close out preliminary-round action. The semifinals are set for May 4 before the tournament concludes with the medal games on May 5.

TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada's official broadcast partners will broadcast select tournament games, including all Team Canada games and all playoff-round games. Check your local listings for details.

Since 2002, Canada has won four gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021), in addition to one silver (2005) and four bronze (2012, 2014, 2015, 2023).

For more information on Hockey Canada and the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along on Facebook, X, and Instagram.

19 CHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA'S 2024 IIHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER

Goaltenders (2)

Ryerson Leenders (Mississauga Steelheads / OHL)

Carter George (Owen Sound Attack / OHL)

Defencemen (6)

Kashawn Aitcheson (Barrie Colts / OHL)

Matthew Schaefer (Erie Otters / OHL)

Harrison Brunicke (Kamloops Blazers / WHL)

Reese Hamilton (Calgary Hitmen / WHL)

Spencer Gill (Rimouski Océanic / QMJHL)

Charlie Elick (Brandon Wheat Kings / WHL)

Forwards (11)

Gavin McKenna (Medicine Hat Tigers / WHL)

Marek Vanacker (Brantford Bulldogs / OHL)

Malcolm Spence (Erie Otters / OHL)

Roger McQueen (Brandon Wheat Kings / WHL)

Jett Luchanko (Guelph Storm / OHL)

Ryder Ritchie (Prince Albert Raiders / WHL)

Porter Martone (Mississauga Steelheads / OHL)

Carson Wetsch (Calgary Hitmen / WHL)

Caleb Desnoyers (Moncton Wildcats / QMJHL)

Liam Greentree (Windsor Spitfires / OHL)

Cole Beaudoin (Barrie Colts / OHL)

Berkly Catton (Spokane Chiefs / WHL) and Cayden Lindstrom (Medicine Hat Tigers / WHL) were invited, but unable to participate

Staff

Head Coach - Gardiner MacDougall (former Saint John Sea Dogs head coach)

Assistant Coach - Travis Crickard (Saint John Sea Dogs / QMJHL)

Assistant Coach - Ryan Smith (Spokane Chiefs / WHL)

Goaltending Coach - Dan De Palma (Kamloops Blazers / WHL)

Program of Excellence management group representative - Dave Brown (Erie Otters / OHL)

Athletic Therapist - Jimmy McKnight (Edmonton Oil Kings / WHL)

Team Physician - Dr. Michael Conrad (Victoria Royals / WHL)


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