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Six GTHL alumni named to Canadian rosters for 2023 World U17 Hockey Challenge

CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada has announced the 44 players who will compete with Team Canada Red and Team Canada White at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Nov. 2-11 in Charlottetown and Summerside, PE.

Of the 44 players, six are alumni of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. Jake O’Brien (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) and Luca Romano (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) will suit up for Canada Red. Canada White will feature Lev Katzin (Toronto Marlboros), Ethan Czata (Mississauga Rebels), Wesley Royston (Toronto Jr. Canadiens), and Jack Ivankovic (Mississauga Senators).

The players chosen to represent their country were selected by Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB), U17 head scout, and Dave Brown (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON/Erie, OHL), U17 lead with the Program of Excellence management group, with assistance from regional scouts Rob Simpson (Ontario), Pierre Cholette (Quebec), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).

“This summer we took the first step in introducing 66 young athletes to our Program of Excellence, which included preparations for short-term international competition,” said Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations with Hockey Canada.“We are grateful for the commitment and input from our support staff to ensure our teams are ready for competition starting Nov. 2. We couldn’t be more excited for the 44 players we have selected to represent Canada at this prestigious tournament and believe they will give us the best chance to compete for a gold medal.”

Hockey Canada is also proud to recognize the teams’ support staff who will participate in this year’s tournament, with 10 individuals representing Team Canada Red and Team Canada White.

The Canadian squads are in action on opening day, Nov. 2. Canada White hosts Czechia at Credit Union Place in Summerside at 12 p.m. AT, followed by Canada Red facing Finland at 7 p.m. AT at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown. Red and White will meet in the lone all-Canadian matchup in the preliminary round on Nov. 3 in Summerside.

TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast the medal games; check local listings for details. Preliminary-round games, quarterfinals and semifinals will be available by livestream at HockeyCanada.ca.

Fans eager to watch some of the best international players compete on Prince Edward Island can secure their seats now. Ticket packages start at $120; click here to purchase.

As a legacy of hosting the event, Charlottetown and Summerside will receive net proceeds from ticket sales to support grassroots hockey within the communities.

More than 2,000 NHL draft picks have suited up since the inception of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, including 16 first-overall draft picks since 2001 (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013; Aaron Ekblad, 2014; Connor McDavid, 2015; Auston Matthews, 2016; Jack Hughes, 2019; Alexis Lafrenière, 2020; Owen Power, 2021).

For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca.

GTHL ALUMNI 

Canada Red (2) 

  • Jake O’Brien (U16 Toronto Jr. Canadiens) 
  • Luca Romano (U16 Toronto Jr. Canadiens) 

Canada White (4) 

  • Lev Katzin (U16 Toronto Marlboros) 
  • Ethan Czata (U16 Mississauga Rebels) 
  • Wesley Royston (U15 Toronto Jr. Canadiens) 
  • Jack Ivankovic (U16 Mississauga Senators) 

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