Hockey Canada: 2016 U-17 & U-18
Hockey Canada announced their invitation lists for their summer development programs, and have selected three young men from the Hamilton Bulldogs. Matthew Strome and MacKenzie Entwistle have been invited to train for the Under-18 program, where they will work towards the goal of being selected to represent Canada at the U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, one of the premiere international junior tournaments. The Ivan Hlinka is an essential opportunity for major junior players to make a strong impression on both NHL scouts, but especially Hockey Canada going forward in their young career.
Strome and Entwistle are two of 44 CHL players who been invited to the camp. The tournament is August 8th to 12th and the team will be trimmed down to a roster of 20 skaters and two goalies. Strome and Entwistle both have been through the process, and are familiar with their competition for ice-time. They both represented Canada last fall in the Under-17 tournament in Dawson Creek, BC, playing for Team Black and Team Red. Not only are they familiar with the process, but the team’s Head Coach has seen each of them play consistently. Paul McFarland is the Head Coach of the Kingston Frontenacs. Kingston was hands down the best team in the OHL’s Eastern Conference, and in all of their matchups Hamilton truly pushed them. McFarland likely has been left with a very positive impression of both players in their rookie season.
Hockey Canada simultaneously announced their roster invitations for their Under-17 development camp, including promising Bulldogs prospect Connor Roberts. Like his future linemates, Roberts will be a bit familiar with the Hockey Canada process as he represented the nation at the Under-16 Youth Olympics. Given Roberts’ ability and leadership potential, it is possible that he’ll be a featured player on one of the three teams that represent Canada in the fall.
Bob McKenzie – “The World U-17 Challenge is arguably the first big international tournament for many of the world’s best teenage players. Its alumni is a who’s who of NHL superstars….the players who star at this U-17 event are the ones who’ll represent their countries in the WJC, as early as the 2016 tourney and beyond”. (Source)
Roberts is the lone Bulldogs prospect to represent Canada this year, as the Bulldogs spent some of their higher picks on American prospects in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.
Extremely proud and honoured to be invited to the U-18 Team Canada Camp! Big thank you to everyone that has helped me get here!🍁🏒
— Mackenzie Entwistle (@5twisty5) June 20, 2016
Extremely honoured to be selected for @HockeyCanada U18 camp 🇨🇦🇨🇦🏒
— Matt Strome (@Mstrome16) June 20, 2016
Extremely honoured to be selected for the u-17 camp in Calgary!! Thanks for the opportunity!🍁@HockeyCanada
— Connor Roberts (@10robertshky) June 22, 2016
Featured Image: Dennis Pajot / Hockey Canada Images