Canada's national men's under-18 team that will compete at next week's World U18 Championship in the Czech Republic was announced on Wednesday. Up to three additional players will be added prior to the start of the tournament.
The roster includes players born in 1994 or earlier whose teams are no longer competing in the Canadian Hockey League playoffs with their respective club teams. Many of Canada's players will be among the top selections at June's NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.
"As a coaching staff, we are looking forward to getting together with the players we have chosen and working towards our goal of a gold medal for Canada," said Team Canada head coach Jesse Wallin. "A number of these players have previous international experience through the Program of Excellence at the under-17 and under-18 levels. That experience will prove invaluable in the Czech Republic."
Canada's roster includes 10 players from the Ontario Hockey League, seven players from the Western Hockey League and three players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Six players helped Canada's national men's summer under-18 team capture the gold medal at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in August 2011 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Canada's roster also includes 10 players who took part in the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie, Man., and four players who competed at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ont.