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 Calgary Hitmen

Wetsch and Hamilton Named to Canada U-18 Team for 2024 IIHF World Championship

April 16, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Calgary Hitmen News Release


Calgary, AB - Hockey Canada announced today that forward Carson Wetsch and defenceman Reese Hamilton have been selected for Canada's National Men's under-18 team for the 2024 IIHF World Championship. The tournament takes place April 25 - May 5 in Espoo and Vantaa, Finland.

Carson Wetsch joined the Hitmen after being drafted by Calgary 12th overall in the 2021 WHL Prospects draft. The 17-year-old finished the 2023-24 campaign with 25 goals and 25 assists for 50 points, more than doubling his point production from the previous season. The forward won a gold medal with Canada's National Men's Summer Under-18 Team at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup last August.

Calgary's first round pick (4th overall) in the 2022 WHL Prospects draft, Reese Hamilton makes the U18 squad after an impressive rookie season. Despite missing 26 games due to injury, the 16 year-old finished the season with 31 points (8g, 23a) in 42 games. This is the second time the defenceman will wear the maple lead having represented Team Canada Red at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge back in November.

The roster was selected by head scout Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB) and Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations. The evaluation process included input from goaltending consultant Justin Pogge (Penticton, BC) and analytics consultant Gianfranco Giuliano (Toronto, ON), in addition to the entire scouting staff. It includes two goaltenders, six defencemen and 11 forwards, featuring 10 players (Beaudoin, Elick, George, Greentree, Leenders, Martone, McQueen, Ritchie, Spence, Wetsch) who won a gold medal with Canada's National Men's Summer Under-18 Team at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup last summer, and one (Martone), who helped Canada win bronze at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship.

"We are excited to bring this calibre of young athletes together to begin working with our coaching staff," said Roy. "Having players who already know how to compete in a short-term tournament will also bring valuable experience and leadership to our team in our quest for a gold medal."

Prior to the start of the tournament, Canada will play a pair of pre-tournament games against Finland on April 20 and Norway on April 23. The quest for a gold medal begins April 25 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT against Sweden. Canada will also face 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 air select games, including all Team Canada games and all playoff-round games.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada's National Men's Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca.


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