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Firebirds Kuwabara, Prospect Brown Invited to Canada's Virtual National Under-17 Development Camp

June 25, 2020 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Flint Firebirds News Release

Toronto, Ont. - Flint Firebirds Associate Coach Ryan Kuwabara and prospect Aaron Brown are among Hockey Canada's invited personnel to its virtual national under-17 development camp, set for July 19-25 at the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, presented by TELUS.

12 goaltenders, 37 defensemen and 64 forwards will be split into six teams for the week-long virtual camp, participating in a variety of sessions with a focus on player development through online education.

"We'd like to congratulate both Ryan and Aaron on receiving an invite to Hockey Canada's virtual national under-17 development camp," said Flint Firebirds Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Barclay Branch. "This is an incredible honor and we couldn't be happier for both families."

Kuwabara, 48, played a critical role behind the Firebirds bench this season, en-route to recording the best campaign in club history. The Firebirds set franchise records for most points in a season (82), wins (40), home wins (20), road wins (20), most goals scored (4.35 per game average), most power-play goals (499) and fewest penalty minutes (566). Additionally, the Firebirds broke a franchise record for overall longest winning-streak (15 games) and longest road winning-streak (12 games), not losing a OHL contest in 33 days.

"This is an honor and a privilege to be named to Canada's Under-17 coaching staff," said Flint Firebirds Associate Coach Ryan Kuwabara. "It's a special feeling anytime you can represent your country on the national level and look forward to working with the staff and players throughout the event."

Brown was a the third-round selection (52nd overall) in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. The Belleville, Ont. native played his youth hockey for the Quinte Red Devils AAA Hockey Team in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association-Eastern Triple-A (OMHA-ETA). Brown played an integral role in leading the Red Devils to back-to-back OMHA championships, including a top-four finish in three of the major four tournaments, while also placing among the top three defenders in points in three of the top four major tournaments this past season at the Minor Midget level. A 6-foot-1, 170-pound blue liner, Brown recorded 49 points (14G, 35A) including 40 penalty minutes in 67 games with the Red Devils last season. Brown was awarded as an honor roll student and was also tabbed as "Athlete of the Year" at Eastside Secondary School in Belleville.

The list of players invited includes 49 OHL prospects consisting of 30 forwards, 16 defensemen and three goaltenders. All 17 eligible first round 2020 OHL Priority Selection choices received invitations while a total of 35 prospects on the list have committed to OHL member teams for the 2020-21 season.

Additionally, a number of OHL coaches and hockey operations support staff have been assigned roles with Teams Black, Red and White ahead of the annual showcase. Most prominently, Saginaw Spirit head coach Chris Lazary will lead Team Red behind the bench as head coach. Guelph Storm associate coach Chad Wiseman will serve as an assistant coach with Team White and Flint Firebirds associate coach Ryan Kuwabara will be an assistant with Team Black.

"The national under-17 development camp is the first stage in introducing these athletes to the Program of Excellence, and it is a great opportunity for them to develop as players and learn what it takes to wear the Maple Leaf," said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams with Hockey Canada. "Our three under-17 teams are very fortunate to have these nine experienced coaches, and we know our coaching and support staffs will embrace the opportunity to guide the development of the top young players in Canada."

Kuwabara recently completed his first season as an associate coach with the Flint Firebirds (OHL) after two seasons (2017-19) as an assistant with the Saginaw Spirit (OHL). He served as a video coach with Team Canada White at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and was a guest coach at U17 camp in 2019. As a player, Kuwabara competed in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games and five IIHF World Championships with Japan.

49 OHL Prospects Invited to Canada's Virtual National Under-17 Development Camp

^ - indicates first round 2020 OHL Priority Selection choice

* - indicates player committed to OHL member team for 2020-21 season

Goaltenders (3):

Domenic DiVincentiis (North Bay Battalion)

Nolan Lalonde (Erie Otters)*

Jackson Parsons (Kitchener Rangers)*

Defencemen (16):

Aaron Brown (Flint Firebirds)

Michael Buchinger (Guelph Storm)*

Jorian Donovan (Hamilton Bulldogs)^*

Jackson Edward (London Knights)*

George Fegaras (Kitchener Rangers)

Isaiah George (London Knights)

Matthew Jovanovic (Saginaw Spirit)

Jacob LeBlanc (Kitchener Rangers)*

Alec Leonard (Niagara IceDogs)*

Tnias Mathurin (North Bay Battalion)*

Donovan McCoy (Peterborough Petes)^*

Matthew Morden (Sarnia Sting)

Ty Nelson (North Bay Battalion)^*

Shawn Ramsey (Peterborough Petes)

Spencer Sova (Erie Otters)^*

Madden Steen (Owen Sound Attack)

Forwards (30):

Sam Alfano (Peterborough Petes)*

Owen Beck (Mississauga Steelheads)*

Gavin Bryant (Owen Sound Attack)*

Ben Bujold (London Knights)^*

Aidan Castle (Oshawa Generals)^

Carson Christy (Mississauga Steelheads)*

Brody Crane (London Knights)*

Kocha Delic (Sudbury Wolves)*

Justin DeZoete (Peterborough Petes)*

Adam Fantilli (Saginaw Spirit)^

Pano Fimis (Niagara IceDogs)^*

David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)^*

Cedrick Guindon (Owen Sound Attack)^*

Hunter Haight (Barrie Colts)^*

Beau Jelsma (Barrie Colts)

Jake Karabela (Guelph Storm)*

Zakary Lavoie (Mississauga Steelheads)^*

Andrew LeBlanc (Kitchener Rangers)^*

Paul Ludwinski (Kingston Frontenacs)^*

Cooper Matthews (Barrie Colts)

Bryce McConnell-Barker (Soo Greyhounds)^*

Ryan McGuire (Guelph Storm)*

Ryder McIntyre (Sarnia Sting)*

Nicholas Moldenhauer (Ottawa 67's)^

Matthew Poitras (Guelph Storm)^*

Lucas Ross (Erie Otters)*

Landon Sim (London Knights)*

Colton Smith (London Knights)*

Brady Stonehouse (Ottawa 67's)

Dalyn Wakely (North Bay Battalion)*

Hockey Operations Staff:

Management Group - James Boyd (Ottawa 67's)

Scout (Ontario) - Rob Simpson (London Knights)

Scout (Ontario) - Darrell Woodley (OHL Central Scouting)

Team Black Assistant Coach - Ryan Kuwabara (Flint Firebirds)

Team Black Equipment Manager - Clayton Johns (Barrie Colts)

Team Red Head Coach - Chris Lazary (Saginaw Spirit)

Team Red Goaltending Consultant - Charlie McTavish (Ottawa 67's)

Team Red Athletic Therapist - Chris Trivieri (Niagara IceDogs)

Team Red Physician - Dr. Wanda Millard (London Knights)

Team White Assistant Coach - Chad Wiseman (Guelph Storm)

Team White Mental Performance Consultant - Ashwin Patel (Guelph Storm)

Team White Athletic Therapist - Andrew Sachkiw (North Bay Battalion)

Team White Video Coordinator - Noah Bucholtz (Peterborough Petes)

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