The B.C. and Alberta hockey people today released the list of players who will comprise Team Pacific at the annual World Under-17 Challenge after Christmas. Team Pacific is always almost all WHLers and this year is no exception, as all but four players on the roster are currently playing in the WHL - and the four who aren't, two of them would be if they had chosen to report to their teams.
Payton Lee (Vancouver Giants)
Jordan Papirny (Edmonton SSAC AAA midget - property of Brandon Wheat Kings)
Ryan Gagnon (Victoria Royals)
Joe Hicketts (Victoria Royals)
Brandon Hickey (Spruce Grove Saints Jr A - property of Tri-City Americans)
Brycen Martin (Swift Current Broncos)
Dysin Mayo (Edmonton Oil Kings)
Riley Stadel (Kelowna Rockets)
Josh Thrower (Calgary Hitmen)
Conner Bleackley (Red Deer Rebels)
Carson Bolduc (Prince George Cougars)
Reid Duke (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
Thomas Foster (Vancouver Giants)
Ryan Graham (Saskatoon Blades)
Ryan Gropp (Penticton Vees Jr A - property of Seattle Thunderbirds)
Tanner MacMaster (Camrose Kodiaks Jr A - property of Spokane Chiefs)
Ty Mappin (Everett Silvertips)
Brayden Point (Moose Jaw Warriors)
John Quenneville (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Matt Revel (Saskatoon Blades)
Tyler Sandhu (Everett Silvertips)
Jake Virtanen (Calgary Hitmen)
Gropp and MacMaster did not report to Seattle & Spokane's training camps this past fall, choosing to play Junior A instead. They were those two teams' 1st round bantam picks in 2011 and would almost certainly be in the WHL had they chosen to.
Any day now, the Saskatchewan and Manitoba people should release the list of names of players on their joint entry, Team Western. Team Western usually has fewer WHLers and more midget players and this year should be no exception since there are only 15 1996-born players from Saskatchewan or Manitoba in the WHL this year in total.
A few other WHL notes from the past few days now....
- changes continue in Red Deer, where owner / president / general manager Brent Sutter has donned the only hat he doesn't already wear. Coach Jesse Wallin was fired yesterday and Sutter is taking over behind the bench.
- Sutter also made a player move, sending home overage forward Charles Inglis. The Rebels will try to trade Inglis but I really wonder how much of a market there is for a guy who has worn out his welcome with three organizations now. Inglis was leading the Rebels in scoring this year so the fact that the Rebels decided they were a better team without him than with him, just speaks volumes in my view. He's obviously a good player on the ice but does any team in the league really want to take on the headache?
- the Rebels replaced Inglis on their roster by adding 19 year old former Blazer and Tiger, Rhyse Dieno, from the SJHL
- a few other overage moves lately too: Regina has added former Hurricane/Silvertip/Tiger defenceman Alex Theriau. The Tigers released him last week when he came off the injured list, as he gave them too many overagers. The Pats have an opening for an overager now, at least temporarily, as defenceman Colton Jobke is on the long-term injured list.
- same situation in Prince George, where the Cougars have added overage forward Ryan Hanes, a former Kamloops Blazer. Hanes takes Brock Hirsche's spot among the Cougars' overage trio after Hirsche was put on the long term injured list.
- and Vancouver announced today that 19 year old import forward Marek Tvrdon is out for the season with an arm/shoulder injury. Losing Tvrdon dashes any hopes the Giants may have had of trading Tvrdon to a contender for more picks and prospects.