CALGARY, Alta. – With Hockey Canada announcing Tuesday in 66-player roster selected to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Nov. 3-10 in Saint John and Quispamsis, N.B., five members of the Canadian Junior Hockey League were among those selected.
Earning places to represent Canada are goaltenders Tristan Lennox (Milton IceHawks, OJHL) and Joe Vrbetic (Powassan Voodoos, NOJHL) along with defenceman Ryan Helliwell (Langley Rivermen, BCHL) as well as forwards Josh Barnes (Cornwall Colts, CCHL) and Cole Sheppard (Penticton Vees, BCHL).
TRISTAN LENNOX, (G) MILTON ICEHAWKS (OJHL)
Sporting a 3.00 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage, Lennox hails from Cambridge, Ont., and has gone 2-3-0 in Ontario Junior Hockey League play to date.
Currently tied for fifth in the 22-team OJHL in save percentage, Lennox will turn 16 on Sunday, Oct. 21.
He was taken in the second round, 26th overall, by the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League in their 2018 Priority Selection.
JOE VERBETIC, (G) POWASSAN VOODOOS (NOJHL)
Set to turn 16 in just over a week, the Dunvegan, Ont., product is the youngest everyday player in the NOJHL.
In his first seven starts in league play, Vrbetic boasts a 5-2 record along with a 2.83 goals-against average along with a .939 save percentage with the latter being the fourth-best mark among NOJHL netminders.
He was drafted in the second round, 31st overall, by the North Bay Battalion in the 2018 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
RYAN HELLIWELL, (D) LANGLEY RIVERMEN (BCHL)
An NCAA Division I commitment to the University of Notre Dame in 2020-21, the 16-year-old blueliner from Vancouver, B.C., has appeared in 11 BCHL games for Langley and has six assists to his credit.
His totals place his second among Rivermen rearguards, which include a pair of two-helper performances.
JOSH BARNES, (F) CORNWALL COLTS (CCHL)
Skating for his hometown Cornwall, Ont., side, Barnes, 16, has notched a half dozen tallies and helped set-up five others for the Colts.
He presently sits second on his club in offensive numbers and is also in the same position among CCHL rookies with his 11 points.
Barnes had previously secured a NCAA scholarship to Penn State University.
COLE SHEPPARD, (F) PENTICTON VEES (BCHL)
Dressing in 12 outings for Penticton, the 16-year-old, who hails from West Vancouver, B.C., has collected a trio of assists for the Vees in the BCHL.
All three match-ups where he etched his name on the score sheet to date resulted in victories.
Sheppard is an NCAA D-I commit to Harvard to commence the 2020-21 campaign.
ABOUT THE WORLD UNDER-17 HOCKEY CHALLENGE
The 66 players will be divided into three teams – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red, and Team Canada White will compete against the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States in their quest for a gold medal.
In July, 112 players were invited to participate in Canada’s national under-17 development camp and introduced to the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence. The players chosen to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge were selected by Brad McEwen (Whitewood, Sask.), head scout for Hockey Canada, with assistance from U17 POE management group lead Martin Mondou (Grand-Mère, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL), as well as regional scouts Carl Bouchard (Quebec), Barclay Branch (Ontario), Barclay Parneta (West), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic), and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).