The Western Hockey League, in collaboration with the Canadian Hockey League, Kelowna Rockets, Kamloops Blazers and Hockey Canada, announced the roster for Team WHL which will compete against Team Russia in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series.
Team WHL will face Team Russia in Game 1 of the 2015 Canada Russia Series in Kelowna, BC on Monday, November 9th and will continue the series on Tuesday, November 10th with Game 2 in Kamloops, BC. The OHL will host Games 3 and 4 while the QMJHL will conclude the series as hosts for Games 5 and 6.
Team WHL’s roster boasts hometown talent this season. Kamloops, BC products Joe Hicketts (Victoria Royals) and Ryan Gropp (Seattle Thunderbirds) will suit up for Team WHL in Game 2 on November 10th while the Kelowna Rockets will be represented by current Rockets Rourke Chartier and Nick Merkley in Game 1 on November 9th.
The roster also boasts a total of eight first round NHL Draft selections including Jake Debrusk (Swift Current), Mathew Barzal (Seattle), Noah Juulsen (Everett) and Nick Merkley who were chosen in the first round this past year.
Each of the three CHL member Leagues assembled a selection committee, working closely with Hockey Canada, to select the players for this year’s series. This year, Team WHL will once again be coached by 2014 WHL Coach of the Year Dave Lowry (Victoria Royals) who will also serve as head coach for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon Wheat Kings) and Don Hay (Kamloops Blazers) will be the assistant coaches for Team WHL. Scott Hoyer (Kelowna Rockets) and Colin “Toledo” Robinson (Kamloops Blazers) will handle athletic trainer duties for both games.
Should Jake Virtanen (Calgary Hitmen / Vancouver Canucks) be returned to the WHL prior to the start of the series, he will be added to Team WHL’s roster.
|Player||Hometown||WHL Club||NHL Draft|
|Barzal, Mathew||Coquitlam, BC||Seattle Thunderbirds||NYI 2015, Round 1, 16th|
|Bleackley, Conner||High River, AB||Red Deer Rebels||COL 2014, Round 1, 23rd|
|Chartier, Rourke||Saskatoon, SK||Kelowna Rockets||SJS 2014, Round 5, 149th|
|DeBrusk, Jake||Edmonton, AB||Swift Current Broncos||BOS 2015, Round 1, 14th|
|Gropp, Ryan||Kamloops, BC||Seattle Thunderbirds||NYR 2015, Round 2, 41st|
|Harkins, Jansen||North Vancouver, BC||Prince George Cougars||WPG 2015, Round 2, 47th|
|Hawryluk, Jayce||Roblin, MB||Brandon Wheat Kings||FLA 2014, Round 2, 32nd|
|Merkley, Nick||Calgary, AB||Kelowna Rockets||ARI 2015, Round 1, 30th|
|Patrick, Nolan||Winnipeg, BM||Brandon Wheat Kings||Eligible 2017|
|Point, Brayden||Calgary, AB||Moose Jaw Warriors||TBL 2014, Round 3, 79th|
|Pollock, Brett||Sherwood Park, AB||Edmonton Oil Kings||DAL 2014, Round 2, 45th|
|Quenneville, John||Edmonton, AB||Brandon Wheat Kings||NJD 2014, Round 1, 30th|
|Clague, Kale||Lloydminster, AB||Brandon Wheat Kings||Eligible 2016|
|Fleury, Haydn||Carlyle, SK||Red Deer Rebels||CAR 2014, Round 1, 7th|
|Guhle, Brendan||Sherwood Park, AB||Prince Albert Raiders||BUF 2015, Round 2, 51st|
|Hicketts, Joe||Kamloops, BC||Victoria Royals||DET (Signed as Free Agent)|
|Juulsen, Noah||Abbotsford, BC||Everett Silvertips||MTL 2015, Round 1, 26th|
|Sanheim, Travis||Elkhorn, MB||Calgary Hitmen||PHI 2014, Round 1, 17th|
|Hart, Carter||Sherwood Park, AB||Everett Silvertips||Eligible 2016|
|Sawchenko, Zach||Calgary, AB||Moose Jaw Warriors||Eligible 2016|
The schedule for the 2015 Canada Russia Series is as follows:
Game 1 – Monday, November 9 at Kelowna, BC
Game 2 – Tuesday, November 10 at Kamloops, BC
Game 3 – Thursday, November 12 at Owen Sound, ON
Game 4 – Monday, November 16 at Windsor, ON
Game 5 – Tuesday, November 17 at Rouyn-Noranda, QC
Game 6 – Thursday, November 19 at Halifax, NS
The 2015 Canada Russia Series will be nationally broadcasted in its entirety live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.