Year: 2018 (page 2 of 25)

Four Nation Cup Day 1 Recap

By Donna SpencerThe Canadian Press

Melodie Daoust scored a pair of goals in Canada’s 6-1 win over Sweden at the Four Nations Cup women’s hockey tournament Tuesday.

Sarah Fillier scored in her national-team debut and Laura Stacey scored short-handed for the host country at the SaskTel Centre.

Captain Marie-Philip Poulin and Hamilton defender Laura Fortino rounded out the scoring for Canada.

Rebecca Johnson assisted on three goals. Goaltender Shannon Szabados stopped 17 of 18 shots for the win.

Emma Nordin scored a power-play goal for Sweden in the third period. Goaltender Lovisa Selander, 22, stopped 46 of 52 shots in her first start for her country.

Canada, U.S. rivalry continues

Canada meets defending champion United States in a preliminary-round game Wednesday.

It will be their first meeting since the Americans edged the Canadians 3-2 in a shootout for Olympic gold in February.

The two countries with the best records at the conclusion of the round robin meet in Saturday’s final. The third and fourth seeds will play for bronze.

Former national-team defender Ylva Martinsen has taken over as coach of a young Swedish side that has five teenagers on its Four Nations roster.

The Swedes struggled to generate sustained pressure in the offensive zone against Canada. Erika Grahm put a shot off Canada’s post in the first period.

Americans defeat Finland with balanced attack

Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. scored five unanswered goals in the second period to down Finland 5-1.

Brianna Decker, Hilary Knight, Sarah Brodt and Dani Cameranesi each had a goal and an assist for the U.S. Cayla Barnes also scored for the Americans.

Maddie Rooney, who backstopped the U.S. to gold in Pyeongchang, South Korea, turned away nine of 10 shots for the win over the Finns.

Veteran netminder Noora Raty was the busier of the two goalies, repelling 44 of 49 shots in the loss. Emma Nuutinen scored Finland’s lone goal.

Bellerive nets winner as Team WHL triumphs in Kamloops

By chlcanadarussia.ca

Kamloops, BC – Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Jordy Bellerive (Lethbridge Hurricanes) scored the third period game winner as Team WHL took a 2-1 victory in Game 1 of the 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops, BC.

The closely-matched contest saw Russia outshoot the WHL for just the third time in the 16-year history of the event, taking a 28-23 edge in the shooting column as Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders) made 27 saves for the win.

Entering action with a point in all 17 games he’s played this season, Brett Leason (Prince Albert Raiders) stretched that streak to 18 when he set up Bellerive for the game winner at 10:31 of the third period.

“We adapted. The puck was bouncing at the start,” said Team WHL captain Josh Brook (Moose Jaw Warriors). “We had a lot of chances at the start, we came out hot and they got a couple chances after but we took the game back in the third.

“It was a good win and we just have to build off that tomorrow.”

After a furious pace opened the first period, the two teams exchanged goals as top 2019 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes) opened the scoring for Team WHL.

Jett Woo’s (Moose Jaw Warriors) point shot attempt was blocked, causing the puck to fall loose in the slot where a waiting Cozens snapped it past Russia’s Daniil Tarasov with six minutes to go.

Russia needed just 26 seconds to draw even though as captain and Boston Bruins prospect Pavel Shen wristed a clean shot past Scott off the rush. Stepan Starkov drew the lone assist on the goal as things were knotted at one after one.

Things slowed down in the second but Tarasov used his big 6-foot-4 frame when called upon to keep the score even into the third period where WHL scoring leaders Leason and Trey Fix-Wolansky (Edmonton Oil Kings) helped break the offensive silence.

Stationed to the left of Tarasov’s goal, Bellerive put a quick release on a Leason pass from below the goal line, snapping a shot inside the far post past Tarasov as 4,438 at the Sandman Centre looked on.

A late Russian penalty would stall their comeback momentum as Team WHL held on for a 2-1 win, giving the CHL a 3-0 series lead in points to start things off.

Russia’s Daniil Tarasov made 21 saves in the loss, keeping victory within his team’s reach with a number of high quality saves on the night.

Vegas Golden Knights prospect Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks) earned Player of the Game honours for Team WHL, registering four shots on goal in the win. Russian goal-scorer Pavel Shen was recognized with Player of the Game honours for his club.

The CHL has now won the opener in nine of the 16 years the series has been played, and has gone on to claim victory in the event in each of the eight past instances.

Team WHL returns to action on Tuesday at the Langley Events Centre as Vancouver Giants standouts Bowen Byram and David Tendeck will play from the comforts of home when the puck drops at 10:00 PT.

How A Team Of Incredible Ladakhi Women Hockey Players Broke India’s Ice Ceiling

https://o.aolcdn.com/images/dims?quality=80&thumbnail=970%2C&image_uri=https%3A%2F%2Fs.yimg.com%2Fos%2Fcreatr-uploaded-images%2F2018-11%2Fb57a25d0-dfa1-11e8-bfdd-36cdc290485f&client=cbc79c14efcebee57402&signature=16af38b958fd5aa91a970564e3531730fa6dd285
Team India poses during the 2018 Challenge Cup of Asia in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo:Ice Hockey Association of India)

By Sam Goldman – Huffpost

LADAKH, Jammu and Kashmir — Some nights in the winter of 2013, Rigzen Yangdol and a dozen of her peers at the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh school would bundle up and trudge out of their hostel into the frigid Himalayan air. From the bathroom, a stone’s throw away from the main building, the students would fill buckets with water, haul them down a short slope, and empty them onto a dirt field.

Three hours later, at midnight, the women, in their late teens and early twenties, would return to their buckets and repeat the process, making sure to fill in the patches they had missed. Then again at 2 a.m., when the temperature would dip to –20°C.

Once the entire surface was under a thin sheet of water, they would finally go to bed. And when daylight rolled around, they would pick up their donated hockey sticks, put on their donated shoes and drag the small goals out across the rough ice of their own DIY rink. After Rigzen’s first winter at SECMOL, things got a little easier: a pipe now spurts out the water that will freeze over the field.

“It was quite tough,” Rigzen, now 23, recalled as she sat on a log next to the dirt field. In her hand was a little black notebook with Andrew Ference, a former Canadian ice hockey player, on the cover. Winter was over, and a pickup football match had just ended. Nowadays, she and her peers pass, steal and shoot the puck under the direction of a Canadian coach. Many of the players make up not just SECMOL’s ice hockey clubs, but also India’s national women’s ice hockey team.

In a country of 1.4 billion people, it is Ladakh—a region of fewer than half a million that is accessible only by plane during the year’s snowiest months—that has produced every member of the women’s national ice hockey team. That, too, with frozen ponds, borrowed equipment and a few lakhs in funding from the government—less than the Jump Rope Federation of India.

Not many internationally competing ice hockey players regularly practice outdoors; few do so at 12,000-feet elevation; even fewer on homemade ice. So when the team went on to win a pair of games in 2017 at Asia’s biggest ice hockey tournament, it was so unexpected that players, referees and spectators alike were in tears when the Indian national anthem was played.

Organized women’s ice hockey in Ladakh was only 15 years old at that point. The vast majority of the players’ practice occurs on natural ice, which lasts less than two months. But after the two wins, the team became an international sensation of sorts: They met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in February, four-time Olympic ice hockey gold medallist Hayley Wickenheiser dropped by with equipment and coaching advice and numerous online news sites swooped in to make videos introducing India’s Cinderella team to the world.

“Because there’s so much talent despite everything—there’s so much energy in Indian sport at the grassroots level—that if anyone wants to turn it around, they can turn it around,” said sports journalist Sharda Ugra. “You’ve created this competitive ice hockey team out of nothing. We don’t even have a rink. But people just do it because they just love to play, they love to be out there.”

An uncertain investment

Like everywhere else, women’s sport in India has grown in the shadow of men’s sport. A handful of Anglo-Indian women competed in Wimbledon in the first half of the 20th century, and the first female Indian Olympians swam and ran in the 1952 Helsinki Games. Of the 28 medals the country has won at the Summer Olympics, five have gone to women. Athletes of either gender are dependent on the government and their own sports’ federations for funding and competition opportunities. But women have to fight their way through another thick layer of deeply ingrained social expectations.

“I think the paradigm for any girls growing up in much of the society is ultimately marriage,” said Madhumita Das, a gender and sports researcher in Delhi. “And that’s seen as, I think, the most important piece in any woman or girl’s life.”

Ladakhis enjoy a greater degree of gender equality than their compatriots elsewhere in India, but female role models combining sport, career, and family are few and far between.

“Knowing that maybe this is my first and last opportunity, you put your maybe 200% into it,” Das said of women in sports. For girls who want to continue a sporting career, “you have to prove at all times … that, yes, your investment is important, and your investment is a gainful investment.”

The Early Years

https://o.aolcdn.com/images/dims?quality=80&thumbnail=970%2C&image_uri=https%3A%2F%2Fs.yimg.com%2Fos%2Fcreatr-uploaded-images%2F2018-11%2Fb972dea0-df9e-11e8-bf9f-c23917133d51&client=cbc79c14efcebee57402&signature=d1089a25693aec70f19c79e66b5e7184ffd297bbLadakh’s original class of ice hockey players. (Photo: Mepham)

When winter arrives in Ladakh, the roads from the rest of the subcontinent close and ponds like Gupuks, just outside Leh, and Karzoo, in the heart of town, freeze over.

“You can’t play cricket, you can’t play football—ice hockey’s the only option,” said Jigmet Angchuk, general secretary of the Ladakh Winter Sports Club, which organizes and oversees most ice hockey play in the region.

How did the sport reach Ladakh, though? Around 1969, Tonzang, the last living army man from Ladakh’s original class of ice hockey players, told me over butter tea and biscuits that some soldiers discovered a curious bladed shoe in an army storage facility. The shopkeeper told them you could traverse the ice with it. But that was silly—the blade would cut through the surface and plunge the wearer into the frigid water.

“I told him that I think it’s some kind of a fancy door handle,” Tonzang recalled. But they came around after seeing a picture in a book of someone achieving the feat.

So Tonzang and company nailed what figure-skate blades they could find onto the bottom of their army boots and rounded up field hockey sticks and balls. In 1972, they introduced inter-brigade tournaments near the Chinese border. The sport saw its first civilian teams eight years later.

“We were not aware of the rules in those days,” Tonzang said. “Rules were made keeping in mind we had no equipment. After a point, the goalkeeper started using cricket pads for safety.” Proper pads and helmets were forced onto the players in 2006, the year Tonzang, now 67, retired from the sport.

The Ladakh Winter Sports Club estimates some 10,000–12,000 Ladakhi youth play ice hockey in one form or another. At the biggest championship game, held in January each year, thousands crowd around Karzoo pond, some climbing trees for a better view. Equipment, gear and coaches arrive each year from Canada. (The rumour goes that in the comparatively wealthy, ice hockey-obsessed country, athletes use their gear once before donating it to places like Ladakh.) The only full-scale ice rink in India—in Dehradun—has been closed for several years because the authorities claim it is too expensive to maintain. The ice there, smoothed by a ice-resurfacing machine, called a Zamboni, is different than that of a frozen pond, where the surface is harder, coarser and sounds roughly like tearing cardboard as skates carve scars into it.

Birthplace

The main campus of SECMOL—the boarding school that was the birthplace of organized Indian women’s ice hockey—is a 15-minute drive east out of Leh, down a winding road that tracks the Indus River, past the razor-wire-enclosed military facilities, the Gupuks pond shore, and a handful of houses topped by colourful lines of Buddhist prayer flags.

The alternative school was founded in 1988 for Ladakhi students who were struggling in regular government schools—especially those from poor, rural backgrounds. Between the hostel, dirt football field and student-run shop are wonders of sustainability: a bicycle pedalled to power a washing machine, a subterranean house domed by the shell of an old van, and giant concave mirrors that concentrate light and heat to boil water in an adjacent kitchen (If this sounds familiar, it’s because Aamir Khan’s character in 3 Idiots was loosely inspired by Sonam Wangchuk, SECMOL’s founder.) In the main hall, a soft-spoken student pointed out shelves of plaques and trophies commemorating the local and international successes of homegrown men and women ice hockey players.

In the early 2000s, women were already performing on the ice, but in the more traditionally “feminine” sport of figure skating. Women’s organized ice hockey was born on the dusty grounds of the campus in 2002, when Wangchuk, an engineer, brought in a Western instructor and bags of skates from abroad. Thin pieces of metal were fastened to long pieces of wood to make sticks. A patch of dirt turned into a skating surface, and a goal was made from wood scraps. The girls gingerly scooted around—”knees bent, ass out!” as the instructor called out—and fell repeatedly.

One of the girls urging on her peers was Stanzin Dolker, who began carving out her place in local sporting history in 2003, when the Ladakh Winter Sports Club barred women from competing.

“Like they said, ‘Women can’t play hockey—this hockey is only for the men,'” Stanzin, now 36, told me over tea in a quiet second-floor coffee shop near Leh’s main market. A physical education lecturer in Turtuk, near the Pakistan border, Stanzin speaks with a soft calmness a librarian would be jealous of.

So the women protested, right there on the ice. They sang protest songs about women being excluded while the men could continue to play. They made a banner and dashed around the rink with it.

“If I don’t do anything in sport, then my life will become half,” Stanzin would go on to tell a Swedish film crew, that chronicled her journey from a group figure-skating performer during the intermissions of men’s games to Ladakh’s foremost female ice hockey player in a documentary On Thin Ice. “That’s why I have to shout. That’s why I have to protest,” Stanzin said.

The “ban” on women’s games eventually petered out, and in 2005, Stanzin and her SECMOL classmates boarded a bus and caravanned through icy mountains to Kargil. An exhibition game was held, and they got the thumbs up to bring women from Kargil back to Leh for a championship tournament. They played in blue and grey tracksuits with beaten-up sticks, on hard, abraded ice that looked like the cratered surface of Saturn’s icy moon, Enceladus. Slipping and falling was common, and only the goaltenders wore helmets and pads.

Fast forward nine years to 2014, and female hockey players were still so rare that Stanzin could barely pull together enough skaters for two teams. She had to ask the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company—an all-women’s travel agency in Leh—to spare players to even hold a competition.

“After the completed tournament, I called all the women and the captains, and told them there is no one to support us,” she said. “We have to do better. So we have to make an association.”

The following year, in 2015, after rounding up the requisite dozen founders necessary to submit the organisational paperwork, the Ladakh Women Ice Hockey Foundation was born.

Today, Winter Sports Club officials estimate bigger towns like Leh have eight to 10 men’s clubs alone, which play up to six tournaments, depending on available funds and the type of club. There are currently four teams on the women’s side—one more than the minimum needed to hold a tournament. The foundation and SECMOL acquire and distribute most of the women’s gear and raise funds. Men, said Stanzin, have had to adjust their attitudes.

“Before that, they were saying, ‘Women can’t play, no they can’t, men are the real players,'” she said. “But now, time has changed, and women are really very strong, and they are flying on the ice.”

On 21 January 2016, SECMOL took down its arch rival, Siachen, 4–3 in a local championship game held by the Sports Club and the Leh District government at Karzoo pond.

“The day is not far when they will make Ladakh proud at the international level,” Tashi Dolma, a Leh government official and chief guest that day, said after the match.

https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2018-11/bb7b6df0-dfa0-11e8-bfcb-8008e3b59deeThe 2015 IHAI national women’s championship at Karzoo Pond in Leh.
(Photo:Ladakh Winter Sports Club)

Wanting more

For years, Disket Angmo was among Leh’s figure skating girls who performed during the intermissions of men’s games. The Delhi University literature student, one of the smallest athletes on the ice, originally put on skates at the insistence of her father, a policeman and Winter Sports Club member who passed away in 2014. He dragged his daughter and son to club events during their long winter breaks from school.

Disket initially skated just to appease him, but his initial encouragement laid the foundation for the 22-year-old’s international sporting career. “I think it’s all because of him,” she said.

Once Disket began skating, some women approached the soon-to-be left defender, looking for players to round out their ice hockey teams. Even though it was not uncommon for young Ladakhi women to take to figure skating, the costumes sometimes received an uncomfortable level of attention. It’s one reason why ice hockey, with its bulky, gender-neutral attire, became a compelling option. “I think there’s less criticism in hockey,” she said. “So that’s why I turned to hockey.”

Her older brother, Tsewang Gyaltson, was already a star on the men’s side. She went first to him for guidance.

“He’d be like, ‘no, no, it’s not for girls’,” Disket said. Later, when the women’s national team was formed in 2016, ‘even he was like, ‘Yeah, you should practice’.”

Some players learned to skate with older siblings, trekking out to the nearest frozen pond to turn their wobbling into confident strides. Others’ initial encounters with the sport were more akin to that of Tonzang, the army man. “I could never imagine a skate could look like this,” one woman recalled. Each went on to join clubs and compete in tournaments, but even with their limited knowledge of ice hockey’s official rulebook and even more limited competition experience, many wanted something more.

Team India

Seven years after the men’s team first played internationally, the Ice Hockey Association of India held try-outs for a women’s squad. They looked to Ladakh for players.

Tsetan Dolma was at SECMOL when she heard that she had been selected for the first national team.

“I was like, ‘No, don’t joke’.” Surely a 20-year-old with little experience hadn’t made the roster. Someone else approached her. Same news, same reply: “‘No, don’t joke’.” Finally, Tsetan, now 23, believed it: Two years after picking up the sport, the right defender was headed to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF’s) 2016 Challenge Cup of Asia in Taipei.

But it wouldn’t be Indian women’s ice hockey without another hiccup. A number of players, born and raised in one of the country’s most remote regions, didn’t have passports. A few didn’t make it to Taipei.

Tsetan scrambled to acquire the documentation, receiving some help from her SECMOL mentors, and spending entire days in government offices. The team headed to Delhi for practice on a miniature rink, and Tsetan finally got her passport there. “I was able to get nine passports done in two days,” said Harjinder Singh, head of the ice hockey federation, “which is a record in the history of India.”

For many of the women, Taipei was their first foreign trip. The size of a full-scale rink awed them; Tsetan reckoned it was double the size of Delhi’s cramped rink. But there was another hitch. Tsetan and her teammates were used to the unofficial Ladakhi rules of play. “Yes, I know how to play ice hockey,” she clarified, “but I didn’t know the rules and regulations IIHF has that we must know as players of a national team.” Those had to be picked up over the course of India’s four matches.

Then there was the ice itself. The 21 seasoned skaters found themselves slipping and sliding on the slick artificial surface like they were new to the sport. “First of all, we just had to figure out how to be on the ice,” Disket said. “It was so slippery. The ice was so different that you couldn’t even manage to get the puck on the stick.” Then, goaltender Noor Jahan had to borrow a spare stick from her Taiwanese counterpart after hers broke. She’d later discover her thumb would stick out of a hole in her blocker.

India—its uniform alternating between blazing saffron and deep blue—kicked off the five-team Challenge Cup of Asia on 22 March 2016, 14 years after the first organised game in Ladakh. Disket, Tsetan and crew suffered an 8–1 drubbing at the hands of Singapore. The next day, Thailand hammered the young squad 12–1. Things got worse when Disket fractured her leg in a freak accident. “It was bad,” she said. “It was really bad.” That was when the tears started. “First of all, they’re losing games,” she said of her teammates. “And then they don’t know anything about this game … and then people are getting hurt. It was very emotional.”

The following day: Chinese Taipei piled on with a shutout, 13–0. Team India had its best showing on 25 March, but still lost to Malaysia 6–3. The squad left Taipei outscored 36–8.

After the fracture, “my mom literally told me to stop playing the game,” Disket said. “And I was so depressed—I was like, ‘Oh shit’ now, ‘this shouldn’t be happening’. I really tried to convince my mom: ‘Please, please don’t do this.'”

Goosebump moment

The players said they remained positive; they at least had to pay back those who supported them with money and equipment.

Over the following months, Disket pleaded with her mother to let her return once her leg healed. She even sent her videos from university of professional ice hockey players fighting, breaking noses and getting bloody. See all the more-horrific injuries suffered by others in the sport? As 2016 wore on, she gradually wore her mother down. “Finally, she was like, ‘Okay, let’s just see what happens.'”

After the Taipei drubbing, the team brushed up on the rules and learned the little things: how to tighten their skates, how to properly wear their pads and helmets, some of which they borrowed from their male counterparts. The Ice Hockey Association of India decided that the ponds of Leh and the tiny rink in Delhi were not enough. Frantic crowdfunding and out-of-pocket spending took the teams north to Kyrgyzstan for practice on a fully functional rink—the more slippery kind. The men spent a month prepping for Kuwait, the women half a month for Thailand.

The 2017 Challenge Cup of Asia was a seven-nation affair. The United Arab Emirates took the first game, 6–4. The following day, India headed into the third period against the Philippines up 1–0. Both squads traded goal after goal. When the clock ran out, the ladies from Ladakh had taken it 4–3. Disket’s stick went airborne.

“I couldn’t believe it was happening for real,” she said. “We were hoping we could at least get a win, and then when it happens, it’s like a dream come true, you know?”

Even a year later, the weight of the win left Disket repeatedly pausing mid-sentence in an effort to better articulate its meaning: “All the criticisms, all the hard work, suffering, the difficulty that we had gone through up until that time—it all poured out.”

This time, the tears were happy ones. Disket recalled the referees and judges crying too. The emotional peak came when the national anthem was played. “It was something out of this world,” Disket said.

“We were crying just looking at the flag,” Tsetan said. “That time, everyone was like, ‘Oh, these girls are amazing’.”

India had the next day off, but then hit the roughest stretch of its international record, falling to New Zealand, Thailand and Singapore by a combined 39–3. But the team broke through again on the final day of play in Bangkok, squeaking past Malaysia 5–4. It was a nail biter. India was up one goal with 11 seconds to go. Malaysia subbed out their goaltender for an extra attacker, but to no avail. When the final horn blew, they knew they’d hear the national anthem again. “That was a goosebump moment,” one player recalled.

Disket returned from the Challenge Cup named best player on Team India by the coach, sealing mom’s support for her playing. She gave her mother the award, which joined an increasingly decorated shelf at their home in Leh.

International attention

The celebrations started as soon as the team touched down at Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. Friends, families and fans mobbed the entrance to the one-story terminal. More celebrations awaited in many of their villages.

The success translated into a new fan base. The two international wins catapulted attendance at their local matches to levels starting to resemble that of the men. The story of how a squad of young women—lacking proper training facilities, borrowing some of their equipment from their neighbours and brothers, and operating on a tight budget—came to win those two international games was soon picked up by western media. Brief check-this-out pieces were written, and short videos were produced showing the players zipping across the scarred ice of Gupuks pond. Joining the annual contingent of Canadian coaches and equipment donations arriving in Ladakh were Wickenheiser, the four-time gold medallist, and recently retired National Hockey League (NHL) player Andrew Ference.

What international attention had been given to Indian ice hockey abruptly pivoted from the men’s team to the women—a shift that Singh, the head of the sport’s federation, doesn’t think helps the sport. The men struggle too, he pointed out. “Men are so disciplined, they have been spending money from their own pockets,” he said. “But women haven’t done that; they have always been given the thing on a platter.”

Try telling that to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, who capped off his February state visit to India by meeting with the women’s team on a tennis court in Delhi, where his son knocked around a ball with the players. “India’s national women’s ice hockey team is breaking barriers, taking on challengers, and showing girls that anything is possible,” Trudeau tweeted that day.

“None of us had ever imagined that we could have an NHL player in Leh,” Disket said. “Can you imagine—seriously—the people who you watch every day on the internet, and then they are coming to your place just to teach you, and you can see they’re real?”

But less than a month before their conga line of high fives with Trudeau, ice hockey had come to a relative standstill in Leh. Chief Executive Councilor Sonam Dawa Lonpo, head of the Leh District government, died suddenly of a heart attack. It happened during a local tournament, and all official events were called off. Practice stopped. There would be no second trip to Kyrgyzstan.

The team arrived in Kuala Lumpur for the 2018 Challenge Cup with virtually no training under its belt. The players had to get into form starting Game 1 against the UAE, which they lost 6–1. The next day, host Malaysia shut them out 5–0. Two days later, on the final day of play, India led the Philippines—the first country it had ever taken down—two goals to nothing after the first period. But the Philippines went on to score six unanswered. It was the division’s bronze medal match.

“The women, they need to improve their hockey now,” Sports Club secretary Noney Wangchok told me when we met in the lobby of Leh’s most upscale hotel. Sports officials no longer bark at women to get their sticks off the ice, but the bar still seems to be high for justifying their place in the sport. “They are improving, but I don’t know,” he said, his voice trailing off. “Women are women, after all.”

But the team lost no time wallowing in disappointment. In between school and writing poetry, between table tennis and mischievous WhatsApp messages, is a new “off ice” training regimen many players do on alternating days—practicing their technical skills, getting in some cardio at 11,500 feet. They figure if they can score two wins on only a couple months’ winter training, maybe winning the Challenge Cup of Asia isn’t out of reach.

“Chinese Taipei are good, Singapore are good,” said Stanzin, who had retired after the 2016 cup. “But it is not impossible that we can’t win from them. We can.”

Many challenges

According to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, no funding has been allocated by the central government for ice hockey since fiscal year 2014–15. Between 2011 and 2015, the sport received just Rs 3.5 lakh. According to the most recently available numbers, for 2016–17, Hockey India (which governs field hockey, the much more popular and successful variety of hockey) received Rs 12.2 crore. The All India Football Federation got Rs 9.1 crore ($1.4 million) and Rs 74.7 lakh ($115,000) was allocated to the Taekwondo Federation of India. The Bridge Federation of India—which oversees the card game competition—got Rs 8.7 lakh ($13,400) of funding that year.

“Shoestring”, then, becomes a rather generous term for the national teams’ budgets. According to Singh, the women’s 2017 campaign—traveling to and training in Kyrgyzstan, traveling to Delhi and then to Bangkok—cost roughly Rs 35 lakh ($54,000). (The bill for the men’s team, which stayed twice as long in Kyrgyzstan and competed in Kuwait, was closer to Rs 49 lakh ($75,600).) “Player development” and sports conferences cost extra. SECMOL and the Ladakh Women Ice Hockey Foundation’s help with crowdsourcing the shortfall in government funds gave the women’s team a rare leg up.

But funding for trips to Kyrgyzstan could become even more important in the future as climate change seeps into India’s coldest region. Natural ice lasted only a month this past winter. One Ladakhi educator showed me the meticulous notes his father took daily on the weather. Temperatures in Leh today are some seven to 10 degrees warmer than the early and mid-1990s.

Construction on a proper ice hockey stadium in Leh has stalled pending funding.
Shade from the sun is expected to lengthen the life span of the eventual
ice surface, allowing a longer playing season. (Photo: Sam Goldman)

One solution is a gray concrete arena rising up from the ground near Leh’s dirt cricket stadium. Steel rods protrude from the columns and walls above the rough-cut seating and will eventually support the shade that officials expect would keep the ice frozen from October to March. Funding’s dried up, however—young cricketers currently use the floor of the stadium for batting and bowling practice. Sports Club president NA Gyapo put the completion of Ladakh’s first proper ice hockey stadium at around five years—though it could come down to one year if funding from the government or sponsors comes through.

But weather, fiscal concerns, gear acquisition and coaching opportunities are only half the story. Women in Ladakh still bring up pre- and post-sport struggles: less encouragement from parents to pursue certain paths, the pressure to get a sustainable job. Opinions among women vary whether and how much marriage, children and the attendant expectations hinder a career in sport.

“I married in 2012,” Stanzin said. “My baby’s five years old, and still I played hockey.”

What no one disputes, however, is the effect—or lack thereof—a career in ice hockey has on getting a government job, seen as virtually a lifetime of job security.

But the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the hub of Indian ice hockey, doesn’t officially recognize the sport. Lacking that recognition, for which Stanzin has lobbied unsuccessfully, is a deal breaker for the extra points athletes can earn on their merit-based civil service exams for sports-related government jobs. That means even someone with an illustrious international career—Disket, say—has no advantage when applying for a government job teaching, say, winter sports. Stanzin got her current job as a physical education lecturer after scoring well in an exam.

“I can’t give much importance to the women to say, ‘play hockey, play hockey, play hockey’,” Stanzin said. Once they get to job-application age, “they will face a lot.”

Eye on the future

Stanzin’s pragmatism hasn’t discouraged her former teammates yet. Some say they’re thinking of possibly refereeing in the future; others say their coaches give them the confidence to pursue a career in the sport. They already put on coaching camps in villages that draw as many as 70 kids each—prepping their replacements, as one player put it. Regardless, they want to hear the national anthem again—”to bring back the flag to the same position that it was before,” Tsetan said. But the most important thing, the players agree, is that folks outside Ladakh know ice hockey is played there—and that girls and women play it.

Have gender barriers been broken yet? Is this crew of unassuming athletes the role models young Ladakhi girls need? Stanzin stirred her tea in thought. “Yes, yes, it will come, it will come—change,” she said. “I’m sure it will come.”

“Sometimes in the back of your mind, it happens, like, ‘Okay, maybe it’s nothing; we’re just wasting our time’,” Disket said. But then an NHL player and a four-time Olympic gold medallist arrive in your remote corner of your country. And then you high-five the prime minister of Canada.

“I think ice hockey in the country is going to have a good future,” she said. “And I’m really positive about it, that it’s going to be great.”

World Juniors: Great Britain Junior Hockey News

By Kerry Jackson – JuniorHockey.com

Great Britain has a rich hockey history that’s relatively unknown in North America. At least one historian says the game was actually born there, specifically in Scotland, though most Canadians would quickly dispute that claim. Nevertheless, Great Britain, a founding member of the International Ice Hockey Federation in 1908, produces quality players even though there are only 68 indoor rinks in England, Scotland, and Wales combined.

Any discussion of junior hockey in Britain starts with Liam Kirk, first British-born and British-developed player to be drafted in the NHL. He was chosen in June by the Arizona Coyotes in the seventh round. The 2000 forward is playing this year for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, where he has a pair of goals and a pair of assists in 16 games.

In the 2018 U20 IIHF World Junior Championship, Kirk was Great Britain’s scoring leader in Division IIA. He finished with seven goals and seven assists in five games. Second in scoring was forward Samuel Duggan. The 1998 forward found the back of the net four times and assisted on five goals in five games. He has played five games this season with the Jamestown Rebels of the North American Hockey League.

When Duggan was in the U.S. earlier in 2018 to skate with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League, he described for the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star “the main difference” between developing in Great Britain and the U.S.

“There is such a limit on facilities and time on the ice in England for the junior players,” he said. “From my personal experience, I was lucky to be on the ice three times a week for an hour at a go, and that was a good week for me.”

Matching Duggan in points was Cole Shudra, who also had four goals and five assists but racked up 22 penalty minutes, as well. The 1998 forward has not played in North America.
The other 2000-born player on this veteran-laden team is forward Jordan Buesa. In the 2018 U20 WJC, he had two goals and four assists. He also played in the U18 tournament, where he scored three times and assisted one assist. Buesa has played one season in North America. That was in 2015-16, when he skated in the Greater Toronto Minor Midget Hockey League and had four goals and six assists for the Toronto Titans AAA club.

Great Britain’s top scoring defensemen — Edward Knaggs, Thomas Stubley, Stuart Kerry — are all 1998s and will be making their last appearance in the IIHF WJC if they are on the 2019 squad.

Britain’s goalie situation is rather interesting. Both netminders had respectable goals-against averages but rather low save percentages in the 2018 WJC. Jordan Lawday, a 1998 with has some North American experience, recorded a 2.99 GAA but an .899 save percentage in four games. In two games, 1999-born Ethan James had a 2.55 GAA with an .889 save percentage. In 10 games with the Essa Stallions in the Canadian Premier Hockey League, James is posting a 2.82 GAA and an .898 save percentage.

James is only 5’6”, below average in height for today’s goaltenders, but Stallions head coach Sylvain Cloutier says he has terrific reflexes, and is quick. James himself believes size shouldn’t matter.

“If the goalie that is 5-foot-7 can stop the puck just as well as a 6-foot-plus goalie, why shouldn’t they get the chance of going professional?” he told The Color of Hockey earlier this year.

In the two previous season, James has recorded a 2.50 GAA and .933 save percentage, and a 1.37 GAA and .949 save percentage. The latter were the best numbers in the CPJHL in 2017-18, the same year he was a first-team all-star and led his team to the league title with a 2.16 GAA and 6-1 record in the playoffs.

In the 2019 IIHF WJC, Great Britain will play for the second straight year in Division IIA after being relegated from Division IB due to its performance in the 2017 tournament. Great Britain was the home team for the 2018 WJC, which was played in Dumfries, Scotland, finishing in a tie for second with South Korea. The 2019 tournament will be played in January in Estonia, and Britain probably has an eye on winning the gold and being promoted back to Division IB.

New coach for U.S. women

By IIHF.com

Former NHL player and assistant coach Bob Corkum has been named head coach of the U.S. women’s national team for the 2018/2019 season.

He will be assisted by Joel Johnson, the associate head coach of the University of Minnesota women’s ice hockey team, and former NHL defenceman Brian Pothier.

Corkum succeeds another former NHL player who turned to coaching. During the past two seasons Robb Stauber led the U.S. to Olympic gold in 2018 and Women’s World Championship gold in 2017.

He already got a first glimpse of women’s hockey when he worked as an assistant coach in an U22 series between the U.S. and Canada in August that the American won with a three-game sweep. There Johnson worked as head coach while at the senior women’s team the roles will be switched.

Most recently the 50-year-old was working as an assistant coach for the New York Islanders between 2013 and 2017. He had joined the Islanders after spending five seasons as an associate coach of the men’s ice hockey team at his alma mater, the University of Maine.

The U.S. will soon play at the 2018 Four Nations Cup that will take place in Saskatoon, Canada, 6-10 November 2018. Corkum’s first season will end with the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Espoo, Finland, where Team USA will play in the “upper” Group A with Canada, Finland, Russia and Switzerland.

World Juniors: Belgium Junior Hockey News

By Kerry Jackson – JuniorHockey.com

Belgium last won an International Ice Hockey Federation U20 World Junior Championship in 2014, when it took Gold in Division III and was rewarded with a promotion to Division IIB. Since then, there have been four straight fourth-place finishes. If Belgium is to medal in the 2019 WJC, the team will have to improve its defense while playing up to the high-octane standard it set in 2018 on offense.

Scoring in the 2018 WJC was relatively well spread out for the Belgians. Eight players recorded four or more points in five games, while three players had three or more goals, and three had two goals each. But the team was a -6 for the tournament, allowing 28 goals to the 22 goals it scored.

No one can blame Rino Dhondt, though. The 1998 forward was not only the team’s leading scorer with four goals and four assists, he also led the team with a +7. He was tied for fourth in overall tournament scoring and his plus-minus was the second best among the top-10 scorers.

Belgian-born Métis Roelens, who has not skated for the national team, could be the difference-maker if he plays, as some are expecting, for his country in the 2019 WJC. The 2000 center, who stands 6’4″ and weighs more than 200 pounds, and moved to North America with his family in 2012, is in his second year of elite junior hockey in Canada, skating for the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In 13 games this season, he’s scored two goals and set up five, and is nearly halfway to his total point production of last year of 15.

Forward Oliver De Croock had a strong 2018 tournament offensively, with three goals and four assists for seven points, second best on the team and good for a tie for sixth overall. But he finished with a -3. De Croock is playing in North America for the first time this season, skating with the Minnesota Blue Ox in the Premier Division of the United States Premier Hockey League. The 1999 forward has put up strong numbers so far, scoring three goals and assisting on five in 10 games.

De Croock has also created a web store, hockeyloverstore.com, in which he says he offers “good quality products with good prices.” He wants everyone to have “the chance to really find a good store” for buying hockey gear, an opportunity he didn’t have when he was younger.

Defenseman Lowie Cuylaerts, a 2000 who had five assists but no goals, and was a -1 (but a +10 in the U18 WJC), led Belgian blueliners in offense. Ben Coolen, a 2000 who plays both forward and defense, had three goals and three assists (and 24 penalty minutes), and finished even for the tournament. In the U18 tournament, Coolen had five goals and five assists, and was a +8 in five games with 16 penalty minutes. Neither Cuylaerts nor Coolen has played in North America.

The Belgians might want to rely more in the 2019 WJC on 1999 goalie Morgan Schaller. He appeared in only one game in the 2018 tournament and recorded a stellar 1.67 goals-against average and .929 save percentage for a team that gave up nearly six goals a game.

Belgium will open the 2019 WJC against Israel on Jan. 15 in Zagreb, Croatia.

World Juniors: Israel Junior Hockey News

By Kerry Jackson – JuniorHockey,com

After winning the Gold in Division III of the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation’s U20 World Championship with a 5-0 record, Israel will play this year in Division IIB. IIHF reporter Ivan Tchechankov called Israel’s Gold “a historic day for Israeli ice hockey.”

No doubt the U20 national team would like to make history again in 2019. Head coach Derek Eisler will surely rely heavily on the core of his 2018 squad, which was anchored by top scorer, captain Mark Revniaga, a 1998 who’s eligible for the upcoming tournament. In the 2018 WJC played in Bulgaria, he scored 11 goals — nearly half of the team’s entire 25-goal output — and assisted on four in five games. His 15 points led all WJC scorers, so it was no surprise the center/right wing was selected as the top forward in the tournament.

Revniaga is now in his third season playing in North America. He is currently with the Northern Colorado Eagles of the Western States Hockey League, where he has three goals and a pair of assists in five games. He’s also played with the Point Mallard Ducks of the North American 3 Hockey League, and the New York Apple Core of the Eastern Hockey League.

Finishing eighth in scoring, and second on his team, at the 2018 WJC was Israeli defenseman Tomer Aharonovich, a 1999 with two years of U20 eligibility remaining. He recorded three goals and seven assists, and was named the tournament’s top defenseman. Aharonovich played 36 games in the EHL last year with the Philadelphia Revolution and tallied five goals and 17 assists.

The next three most prolific scorers were either full-time or part-time defenseman. Itay Mostovoy, a full-time blueliner, had two goals and five assists; 1999 winger-defenseman Marom Avraham, recorded a pair of goals and four assists; and Dan Hoffman, a defenseman-left winger born in 1999, had for assists in the tournament. Mostovoy, it should be noted, is only a 2001 who will continue to develop.

Center Tom Ignatovich, who finished sixth on the team with two goals and an assist, plays a tough game. He racked up 31 penalty minutes in five games in the 2018 WJC. This year he’s playing with Revniaga in Northern Colorado and is hoping to find a NCAA team after wrapping up his junior eligibility at the end of this season.

It’s no surprise that Israel was solid in goal at the 2018 WJC. Both netminders were in the top three in save percentage and both had outstanding goals-against averages.

“Our two goalies were really, really good. Without those two guys we wouldn’t be here,” Eisler told Tchechankov after Israel had wrapped up the 2018 title.

“Without good quality goaltending you can’t win gold medals. I have the luxury to alternate good goalies every game.”

Raz Werner, a 1999, played in three games and put up a 2.00 GAA, a .934 save percentage, and one shutout. Yonatan Reisinger, played in two games, allowing only five goals for a 2.50 GAA. The 2000-born goalie, who is in the net this year for the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack in the United States Premier Hockey League’s Premier Division, recorded a .904 save percentage. Werner is playing his junior hockey this season in Sweden in the J20 Elit division.

The 2018 gold these players helped win might be the spark Israel hockey needed to move the sport to the next level.

“I think with the success this U20 team just had here, the kids back home are watching it, everybody in Israel is seeing this,” Eisler said in the interview with Tchechankov. “There are more and more projects for ice rinks and there will be more people playing hockey. So I think just the sheer volume of interest will go up.”

The 2019 Division III WJC will be played in Croatia in January. Israel will be in a field of six that includes Mexico, the Netherlands, Croatia, Belgium, and Serbia.

From Kenya to Canada: The Story of Kenya’s Only Ice Hockey Team

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News provided by Tim Hortons

In Kenya, there is only one ice hockey team, and they have nobody to play against. Every Wednesday and Sunday, the Kenya Ice Lions take to the first-ever ice rink in East and Central Africa: a 1,400-square-metre rink at the Panari Sky Center Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. Located next to Nairobi National Park, is where the Ice Lions take to the rink and play the game they love.

n Canada, it is sometimes taken for granted that Canadians can always find someone to grab a stick, find some ice and play a game. Tim Hortons heard the story about the Kenya Ice Lions and decided to share our love of the game by bringing them to the birthplace of hockey.

“In Canada – and as a company – Hockey is part of our DNA,” says Jorge Zaidan, Head of Marketing, Tim Hortons Canada. “We are so inspired by the story of the Lions. Despite having no other teams to play against, the players on the Kenya Ice Lions’ passion for the game is unwavering. Their shared passion and love of the game knows no borders.”

Moved by their love for Canada’s favorite sport, Tim Hortons flew 12 members of the senior Ice Lions team to Canada to have the opportunity to finally play their first game ever against another team. After dressing in brand new CCM hockey equipment and personalized jerseys, they discovered they were in for an even bigger surprise: Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon were joining them on the ice as teammates.

“I was honoured to be able to join the Ice Lions as they played their first game against another team,” said Sidney Crosby, captain of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. “One of the things I love about hockey is how it’s able to reach so many people from so many countries around the world and bring them together.”

“While we played alongside the Ice Lions for their first game, we know it won’t be their last,” said Colorado Avalanche star, Nathan MacKinnon. “The team’s genuine passion and excitement for hockey is contagious – they were amazing teammates and it was great to play with them.”

“It is a dream to not only have the chance to play in Canada, but to play – for the first time – in full gear alongside two of the greatest players of the game,” says Benard Azegere, captain of the Kenya Ice Lions.” When we first started playing in Kenya, we didn’t even have full equipment, but now not only do we have that, we can say we’ve played a real game with some All-Star teammates.”

Tim Hortons made a donation to Kenya’s Youth Hockey League to help ensure that the Ice Lions’ passion for the sport lives on for the next generation. Check out full video of the Kenya Ice Lions hockey game with Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon,

Chinese ice hockey star Zachary Yuen feels weight of a nation as he forges his path in Russia’s KHL

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By Patrick Blennerhassett – South China Morning Post

China-born youngster talks about adapting to life playing hockey in Russia and his hopes for representing his motherland at the 2022 Olympics

Zachary Yuen did not get to choose his heritage, but as one of ice hockey’s budding Chinese prospects the National Hockey League (NHL) is hoping will help grow the game in the Far East, he has embraced the added attention and duty to the motherland.

Yuen, 25, whose father is from Hong Kong and mother is from the Guangdong Province, was born in Vancouver (which is 43 per cent ethnically Chinese) and now plays for the Beijing-based Kunlun Red Stars, the only Chinese team in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

Yuen, who was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 2011, chose the KHL over the typical American Hockey League route (which houses the NHL’s feeder teams) to help grow the game in China.

This, of course, has placed a particularly bright spot on Yuen as the NHL tries desperately to bring forth a Chinese superstar to reach a new audience overseas.

Yuen has featured in multiple media outlets since heading overseas including GQ China twice, the Financial Times and recently walked the catwalk at a fashion show in Shenzhen.

“I definitely feel like there is a lot more responsibility and pressure being a Chinese player because I feel I have a responsibility to be a good role model for all the kids in China who have interest in hockey,” he said.

The NHL is hoping all the games it has hosted in China and the cash it spent flying in marquee draws like Wayne Gretzky and Phil Esposito will be able to piggyback off the country’s commitment to winter sports ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

State broadcaster CCTV has also televised a number of NHL regular season games and the play-offs hoping to entice more Chinese people to either play or take interest in the game.

China has literally built hundreds of ice rinks across the country and the International Ice Hockey Federation reports the game has grown from about 1,000 local players in 2017 to 12,000 today.

Yuen, who is in his third year in the KHL and is a much-coveted left-handed defenceman, is a pitch-perfect spokesperson given he is trilingual. He said even though he was born and raised in Vancouver, he was raised in a fairly traditional Chinese family.

“For me being able to also speak Mandarin and Cantonese, I’m able to really keep in touch and communicate with all the Chinese fans, and I feel like it’s a very important part to growing the sport in China.”

Yuen added his first season (2016-17) in the KHL was tough, noting it was like having “continuous jetlag”, but now he feels much more at home and knows all the Russian cities. Right now the Red Stars have five Canada-born players and eight China-born players on their roster. The team is currently 10th in the East Division of the KHL with five wins and nine losses in 14 games. Yuen has only played six games this season due to injury.

One of the points of upcoming contention between the NHL and China ahead of 2022 will be whether the league sends its players. The NHL bucked the trend in 2018 by announcing its players would stay put which boiled down to a money issue with the International Olympic Committee.

Yuen said it is “still too early to say” whether the NHL will allow its players to go to Beijing in 2022. If Yuen is still playing in the KHL it will be a no-brainer as he will definitely suit up, but if he is playing for an NHL team, the decision will be out of his hands.

“For me, I would love to be a part of Team China for the Olympics. I want to represent my mother country, and it’s definitely something I look forward to. So with regards to NHL participation in the Olympics I guess only time will tell.”

 

From the WJAC to the NHL

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By Jason La Rose – Hockey Canada

The puck dropped Wednesday night to kick off the 2018-19 National Hockey League season, and it did so with 70 alumni of the World Junior A Challenge earning spots on rosters across the league.

The United States led the way with 19 alumni in the NHL, followed by Russia (12), Canada West (12), Canada East (11), Sweden (eight), the Czech Republic (five), Denmark (two) and Switzerland (one).

The Canada West and United States contingents both included players who won gold at the World Junior A Challenge; 25 players in all – eight Canadians and 17 Americans – stood atop the podium, with U.S. forwards Craig Smith (2007 and 2008) and Kyle Connor (2013 and 2014) to only players to hoist the trophy twice.

The list of alumni also included eight players who earned MVP honours – Kyle Turris (2006), Scott Mayfield (2010), Devin Shore (2011), Vinnie Hinostroza (2012), Nick Schmaltz (2013), Nikolaj Ehlers (2014), Tyson Jost (2015) and Andrei Svechnikov (2016) – and 14 WJAC all-stars.

Twenty-eight of the NHL’s 31 teams had at least one alumnus on their 23-man roster, led by the Colorado Avalanche with five; Boston, Columbus, Detroit, the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington had four each.

In addition to the 70 who cracked the rosters, five alumni started the season on the injured list with the respective teams, and may or may not join the NHL roster once they’re deemed healthy.

WORLD JUNIOR A CHALLENGE ALUMNI ON SEASON-OPENING NHL ROSTERS

Oliver Bjorkstrand – Columbus Blue Jackets (Denmark, 2014)
Brock Boeser – Vancouver Canucks (United States, 2014)
Drake Caggiula – Edmonton Oilers (Canada East, 2011)
Dennis Cholowski – Detroit Red Wings (Canada West, 2015)
Kyle Connor – Winnipeg Jets (United States – 2013-2014)
Austin Czarnik – Calgary Flames (United States, 2010)
Evgeni Dadonov – Florida Panthers (Russia, 2006)
Jacob de la Rose (injured) – Montreal Canadiens (Sweden, 2011)
Casey DeSmith – Pittsburgh Penguins (United States, 2010)
Nic Dowd – Washington Capitals (United States, 2009)
Sheldon Dries – Colorado Avalanche (United States, 2012)
Ryan Dzingel – Ottawa Senators (United States, 2010)
Nikolaj Ehlers – Winnipeg Jets (Denmark, 2014)
Jesper Fast – New York Rangers (Sweden, 2009)
Tanner Fritz – New York Islanders (Canada West, 2008-2009)
Derek Grant – Pittsburgh Penguins (Canada West, 2008)
Vinnie Hinostroza – Arizona Coyotes (United States, 2011-2012)
Ben Hutton – Vancouver Canucks (Canada East, 2011)
Zach Hyman – Toronto Maple Leafs (Canada East, 2010)
Calle Jarnkrok – Nashville Predators (Sweden, 2009)     
Nick Jensen – Detroit Red Wings (United States, 2009)
Luke Johnson – Chicago Blackhawks (United States, 2012)
Tyson Jost – Colorado Avalanche (Canada West, 2014-2015)
Vladislav Kamenev (injured) – Colorado Avalanche (Russia, 2013)
David Kampf – Chicago Blackhawks (Czech Republic, 2012)
Ondrej Kase (injured) – Anaheim Ducks (Czech Republic, 2012)
Alexander Kerfoot – Colorado Avalanche (Canada West, 2011-2012)
Jujhar Khaira – Edmonton Oilers (Canada West, 2011)
Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning (Russia, 2010)
Dean Kukan – Columbus Blue Jackets (Switzerland, 2010-2012)
Dmitry Kulikov – Buffalo Sabres (Russia, 2007)
Sean Kuraly – Boston Bruins (United States, 2011)
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Washington Capitals (Russia, 2008)
Johan Larsson (injured) – Buffalo Sabres (Sweden, 2009)
Elias Lindholm – Calgary Flames (Sweden, 2011)
Hampus Lindholm – Anaheim Ducks (Sweden, 2011)
Scott Mayfield – New York Islanders (United States, 2010)
John Moore – Boston Bruins (United States, 2008)
Vladislav Namestnikov – New York Rangers (Russia, 2009)
Riley Nash – Columbus Blue Jackets (Canada West, 2006)
Patrik Nemeth – Colorado Avalanche (Sweden, 2009)
Valeri Nichushkin – Dallas Stars (Russia, 2011)
Joakim Nordström – Boston Bruins (Sweden, 2009-2010)
Dmitry Orlov – Washington Capitals (Russia, 2008)
Colton Parayko – St. Louis Blues (Canada West, 2011)
David Pastrnak – Boston Bruins (Czech Republic, 2012)
Matthew Peca – Montreal Canadiens (Canada East, 2010)
Neal Pionk – New York Rangers (United States, 2013)
Mike Reilly – Montreal Canadiens (United States, 2011)
Evan Rodrigues – Buffalo Sabres (Canada East, 2010)
Joakim Ryan – San Jose Sharks (Sweden, 2010)
Justin Schultz – Pittsburgh Penguins (Canada West, 2008)
Jordan Schmaltz – St. Louis Blues (United States, 2010-2011)
Nick Schmaltz – Chicago Blackhawks (United States, 2013)
Jaden Schwartz – St. Louis Blues (Canada West, 2008)
Devin Shore – Dallas Stars (Canada East, 2011)
Dominik Simon – Pittsburgh Penguins (Czech Republic, 2011)
Jaccob Slavin – Carolina Hurricanes (United States, 2012)
Brendan Smith – New York Rangers (Canada East, 2006)
Craig Smith – Nashville Predators (United States, 2007-2008)
Reilly Smith – Vegas Golden Knights (Canada East, 2008)
Libor Sulak – Detroit Red Wings (Czech Republic, 2011)
Troy Stecher – Vancouver Canucks (Canada West, 2011-2012)
Andrei Svechnikov – Carolina Hurricanes (Russia, 2016)
Evgeny Svechnikov (injured) – Detroit Red Wings (Russia, 2013)
Cam Talbot – Edmonton Oilers (Canada East, 2006)
Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues (Russia, 2008)
Kyle Turris – Nashville Predators (Canada West, 2006)
Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning (Russia, 2011)
Mikhail Vorobyov – Philadelphia Flyers (Russia, 2014)
Jakub Vrana – Washington Capitals (Czech Republic, 2012)
MacKenzie Weegar – Florida Panthers (Canada East, 2011)
Alexander Wennberg – Columbus Blue Jackets (Sweden, 2011)
Scott Wilson – Buffalo Sabres (Canada East, 2010)
Valentin Zykov – Carolina Hurricanes (Russia, 2011)

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