OHL This Week for May 28 to June 5, 2017

Toronto, ON – It’s the final edition of ‘OHL This Week’ for the 2016-17 season!  All of the champions have been crowned, the action on-ice is complete, but  another season is just around the corner.

Here’s a look at what’s been happening around the league:
WINDSOR SPITFIRES ARE 2017 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS:

For the third time in franchise history the Windsor Spitfires are Mastercard Memorial Cup champions. Fourth-year veteran Aaron Luchuk scored the game winner 5:07 into the third period as the host Spitfires defeated the OHL champion Erie Otters 4-3 before a capacity crowd of 6,519 at the WFCU Centre. Read more / Highlights / Photo Gallery

SPITFIRES CELEBRATE MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP TITLE:

Less than 72 hours after hoisting the Memorial Cup on home ice, the Windsor Spitfires took the streets to celebrate the franchise’s third championship with fans, parading the prestigious trophy down Ouellette Avenue. They couldn’t have asked for better weather either as the sun shone down on the lengthy caravan that greeted supporters down a stretch headed toward the banks of the Detroit River. Watch

LOTS OF #MCMEMORIALCUP LOVE FOR @SPITSHOCKEY:

Social media provides a platform to share moments and emotions with the world. The Windsor Spitfires 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup title flooded digital devices with content celebrating the team’s historic win on home ice. Read more

DiPIETRO DELIVERED FOR SPITFIRES:

2017 NHL Draft prospect Michael DiPietro led the Windsor Spitfires to the ultimate prize with a sensational Mastercard Memorial Cup performance. The native of nearby Amherstburg hoisted the Memorial Cup on home ice while also becoming one of the few 17-year-olds to earn the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s most outstanding goaltender. Read more

SADNESS SHADOWS SUCCESS AS OTTERS REFLECT ON SEASON:

While the home team celebrated on the ice, the OHL champion Erie Otters reflected on a disappointing end to an otherwise successful season. The legacy this group of Otters players leaves behind is considerable. The much talked-about four 50-win campaigns, two OHL final appearances and one Robertson Cup speak for themselves. When the dust settles, as many as a half-dozen Otters are expected to one day suit up in the NHL. Read more

OHL TAKES CLEAN SWEEP OF MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP AWARDS & ALL-STARS:

Erie Otters teammates Dylan Strome and Anthony Cirelli along with Windsor Spitfires goaltender Michael DiPietro all received Mastercard Memorial Cup awards while DiPietro and five other OHL players were named to the tournament all-star team. Read more

DeBRINCAT, McNIVEN, SUZUKI, McGILL AND CHMELEVSKI EARN CHL AWARDS:

Erie Otters forward Alex DeBrincat, the Owen Sound Attack trio of Michael McNiven, Nick Suzuki and coach Ryan McGill as well as Ottawa 67’s forward Sasha Chmelevski all earned CHL Awards handed out at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor. Read more / Photo Gallery

22 OHL PLAYERS INVITED TO 2017 NHL SCOUTING COMBINE:

22 OHL players have been invited to the 2017 NHL Scouting Combine that is being held from Monday May 29th to Saturday June 3rd at First Niagara Center and the nearby Harbor Center in Buffalo, NY. The list of OHL invitees includes 16 forwards, five defencemen and one goaltender. OHL talent represents 21% of the 104 players invited to attend the event. Read more

ETHAN KEPPEN COMMITS TO FIREBIRDS:

The Flint Firebirds have received a commitment from 2017 first round (10th overall) selection Ethan Keppen. A native of Whitby, Ont., Keppen earned 35 points (14G, 21A) in 33 games played last season with the Toronto Nationals Minor Midget AAA Hockey Club. Read more

TOP PICKS ROWE AND PERROTT COMMIT TO KNIGHTS:

The London Knights have received commitments from 2017 first round (18th overall) selection Lucas Rowe and second round (34th overall) pick Andrew Perrott. Rowe helped lead the Mississauga Reps to an OHL Cup Championship when they defeated the Toronto Nationals by a 3-2 score.  Rowe will wear number 21 for the Knights this season. Perrott spent last season playing for his hometown Detroit HoneyBaked 16U, where the 6’0” 195-pound defenceman recorded 25 points in 46 games.  Perrott will wear number 24 for the Knights this season. Read more

CLARKE AND ANDREE COMMIT TO 67’s:

The Ottawa 67’s have received commitments from 2017 first round (6th overall) selection Graeme Clarke and 2016 12th round selection Cedrick Andree. An Ottawa native, Clarke was touted as the best pure goal scorer in the draft and prior to his first development camp with the hockey club, Clarke was on the gold medal-winning team at the OHL Gold Cup. Andree was a twelfth round selection in 2016 and spent the past year playing in the United States at The Gunnery Prep School and also practiced with the 67’s at various points throughout the year. Read more

ARTHUR KALIYEV COMMITS TO BULLDOGS:

The Hamilton Bulldogs have received a commitment from 2017 second round (26th overall) selection Arthur Kaliyev. The Russian-born Kaliyev played last season for the Detroit Compuware U16 where he scored 13 goals and 5 assists, for 18 points in 19 games. He then went on to lead the team to the USA Hockey Youth Tier 1 U16 National championship where he led the tournament in scoring. Read more

IAN MARTIN COMMITS TO ICEDOGS:

The Niagara IceDogs have received a commitment from 2017 third round (51st overall) selection Ian Martin. The 5-foot-10 forward shined in Minor Midget this past season, posting 15 goals in just 22 games as a member of the Ajax-Pickering Raiders. Read more

OTTERS PROSPECT DEVELOPMENT CAMP JUNE 3-4:

The OHL champions welcome prospects to the city this weekend for the club’s annual Development Camp which includes fitness testing, on-ice sessions, and scrimmages at Mercyhurst Ice Center.  All on-ice activities are open to the public.  For more information visit ottershockey.com.


OHL COACHES CONFERENCE SET FOR JUNE 3RD:

The 2017 OHL Coaches Conference is under a month away, taking place on Saturday June 3rd on the campus of UOIT in Oshawa. Many of the guest speakers for the 4th annual installment of the day-long conference have been confirmed and will provide minor hockey coaches the opportunity to learn from OHL, AHL, and NHL personnel in an interactive professional development day. Read more

OHL ALUMNI GOLF TOURNAMENT FAST APPROACHING:

The 2017 OHL Alumni Association Golf Tournament is fast approaching! The 2nd annual event is set to take place on Monday June 5th at the Devil’s Pulpit, one of Canada’s most acclaimed private golf clubs located in Caledon, Ont. This event is one of several networking events focused on bringing together former players from all generations.  Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Gudbranson Stem Cell Research Grant, which helps fund research for Stem Cell Treatments. Space is limited! Read more

BIG FATHER’S DAY SAVINGS AT OHLSHOP.COM

Don’t miss out on Father’s Day deals at OHLShop.com! Until Father’s Day use the promo code ‘DAD25’ to get a 25% discount off the full men’s collection. Visit OHLShop.com to get in on the savings.

2017-18 OHL REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE:

The 2017-18 Ontario Hockey League regular season schedule will be announced the week of June 5 beginning with home opener details published on Monday afternoon, followed by a full schedule release on Tuesday morning.  Keep track of the action online using #OHLOpeningWeek.

ALUMNI NOTES:

14 OHL graduates competing in Stanley Cup Final: A total of 14 OHL graduates, eight from the Pittsburgh Penguins and six from the Nashville Predators, will battle in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final of the NHL Playoffs. The Western Conference champion Predators advanced to their ever first Stanley Cup Final following a series win over the Anaheim Ducks. Nashville has had strong OHL alumni contributions from defencemen Ryan Ellis (Windsor Spitfires) and P.K. Subban (Belleville Bulls) while forwards James Neal (Plymouth Whalers) and Austin Watson (London Knights) have also factored into the team’s success. Predators captain Mike Fisher (Sudbury Wolves) has been limited by injuries of late while defenceman Yannick Weber (Kitchener Rangers) has skated in all 16 of the club’s playoff contests. Read more

22 OHL graduates competing in Calder Cup Final: A total of 22 OHL graduates, 12 from the Grand Rapids Griffins and 10 from the Syracuse Crunch, will battle in the 2017 Calder Cup Final of the AHL Playoffs. The Western Conference champion Griffins advanced to their first Calder Cup Final since 2013 with a 4-1 series victory over the San Jose Barracuda. Graduate Eric Tangradi (Belleville Bulls) is tied for the Grand Rapids team lead in playoff scoring with 15 points (2-13–15) while Tyler Bertuzzi (Guelph Storm) has also been impressive with 13 points (6-7–13). The Eastern Conference crunch advanced to their first Final since 2013 with a 4-1 series victory over the Providence Bruins. Graduates Slater Koekkoek (Windsor Spitfires), Jake Dotchin (Barrie Colts) and Dominik Masin (Peterborough Petes) have been regulars on the Syracuse blue line. Read more

4 Former OHL officials working 2017 Stanley Cup Final: Four former OHL officials have been assigned to work the Stanley Cup Final of the 2017 NHL Playoffs. Referees Dan O’Halloran and Kevin Pollock are joined by OHL playing and officiating graduate Scott Cherrey and Brad Kovachik on the lines.

2017 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP FINAL:

Sunday May 28th:
Windsor Spitfires 4 vs. Erie Otters 3 – Highlights

Otters’ Dylan Strome named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the final playoff week ending May 14 scoring twice with five assists for seven points in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Strome captained the Otters to their first Robertson Cup title since 2002 defeating the Mississauga Steelheads in five games to clinch the Rogers OHL Championship Series delivering a trio of multi-point performances down the stretch.  In Friday’s Game 5 victory on home ice, Strome’s playmaking ability helped the Otters erase a 2-0 deficit chipping in three assists in the 4-3 triumph including a pass to Anthony Cirelli in overtime for the series-winning goal at 2:41 of the extra frame.  Strome also scored a goal and an assist in Monday’s Game 3 despite a 4-3 loss, then contributed another goal and assist in Game 4 on Wednesday helping the Otters claim a 5-2 win.

As OHL champions the Otters advance to the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor where they join the host Spitfires, QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs, and WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds in the 99th edition of the Canadian Hockey League’s prestigious national championship.  The Otters open competition against the Thunderbirds on Saturday.

A 20-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., Strome played four full seasons in Erie after being chosen by the Otters second overall in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.  His 2016-17 campaign included 75 points in just 35 games played followed by a post-season where he scored 14 goals and 20 assists for 34 points in 22 playoff contests.  The third overall pick of the Coyotes in the 2015 NHL Draft is the leading scorer in Otters franchise history producing 354 points in 219 regular season games and 86 points over 69 playoff games that included a stretch of four straight appearances in the Western Conference Final.

Watch video highlights of Strome and the Otters in Game 4 and Game 5 of the Rogers OHL Championship Series, along with Strome’s post-game interview moments after hoisting the Robertson Cup.

Also considered for the award this week was Carolina Hurricanes prospect Warren Foegele who earned the Wayne Gretzky ‘99’ Award as OHL Playoff MVP scoring three goals and three assists for six points in the final three games of the series, and Tampa Bay Lightning prospects Taylor Raddysh (3g, 2a) and Anthony Cirelli (2g, 3a) who each recorded five points in three games highlighted by heroic Game 5 performances that included a hat-trick for Raddysh and Cirelli’s overtime winner.  In goal, Troy Timpano made 72 saves in three games for the Otters posting a 2-1 record with a goals-against-average of 2.99 and save percentage of .889.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Playoff Players of the Week:

May 8 – May 14: Dylan Strome (Erie Otters)
May 1 – May 7: Warren Foegele (Erie Otters)
Apr. 24 – Apr. 30: Anthony Cirelli (Erie Otters)
Apr. 17 – Apr. 23: Matthew Mancina (Mississauga Steelheads)
Apr. 10 – Apr. 16: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Apr. 3 – Apr. 9: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Mar. 27 – Apr. 2: Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)
Mar. 20 – Mar. 26: Anthony Cirelli (Erie Otters)

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Regular Season Players of the Week:

Mar. 13 – Mar. 19: Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)
Mar. 6 – Mar. 12: Petrus Palmu (Owen Sound Attack)
Feb. 27 – Mar. 5: Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires)
Feb. 20 – Feb. 26: Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)
Feb. 13 – Feb. 19: Joseph Murdaca (Erie Otters)
Feb. 6 – Feb. 12: Spencer Watson (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Steelheads’ Michael McLeod named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that New Jersey Devils prospect Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 26 after recording 11 points in three games scoring five goals and six assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-8.

McLeod produced three multi-point performances last week helping the Steelheads win three straight games to become the first Central Division club to clinch a playoff berth with a 27-19-6-7 record.  The highlight of his week came Friday night scoring his second hat-trick of the season while adding three assists as first star of a 10-1 win over the Eastern Conference’s first place Peterborough Petes.  The six points were not only a career-high for McLeod, but also set a Steelheads single game record since the club’s inception in 2012-13.  McLeod’s week also included a pair of assists on Family Day in a 5-3 matinee victory over the Owen Sound Attack, and capped off by notching two goals and an assist on Saturday as second star of a 6-2 win against the Sudbury Wolves.  McLeod is the second Steelhead to earn the weekly honour in three weeks following teammate Spencer Watson.

Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

A 19-year-old from Mississauga, ON, McLeod was originally chosen by his hometown Steelheads fifth overall in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection after earning OHL Cup MVP honours for the minor midget champion Toronto Marlboros.  Through 48 games this season, the third year forward has collected the exact same offensive totals attained in 57 games played a year ago including 21 goals and 40 assists for 61 points.  The Steelheads captain and member of Canada’s National Junior Team was chosen by the Devils in the first round, 12th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Watch video highlights of McLeod and the Steelheads against the Attack, Petes, and Wolves.

Also considered for the award this week was Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters who scored three goals and eight assists for 11 points in four games, and 2017 NHL Draft prospect Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs with four goals and five assists for nine points in four games.  In goal, Edmonton Oilers prospect Dylan Wells of the Peterborough Petes posted a 3-0-0-0 record making 97 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.67 and save percentage of .951.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Feb. 20 – Feb. 26: Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)
Feb. 13 – Feb. 19: Joseph Murdaca (Erie Otters)
Feb. 6 – Feb. 12: Spencer Watson (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Frontenacs’ Jeremy Helvig named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jeremy Helvig of the Kingston Frontenacs is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 29 after posting a 2-0-0-1 record including two shutout victories with a goals-against-average of 1.28 and save percentage of .956.

Helvig becomes the sixth OHL netminder to claim the award this season after stopping 87 shots and helping the Frontenacs earn five of a possible six points last week.  His week began on Wednesday where the Frontenacs were on the disappointing end of a marathon matchup against the Ottawa 67’s.  Helvig stopped 29 shots in regulation and overtime before denying 12 of 14 shootout attempts in the 5-4 loss.  Helvig rebounded Friday stopping all 28 shots he faced as second star of a 3-0 victory over the Niagara IceDogs, then made 30 saves on Saturday as second star of a 1-0 triumph over the Mississauga Steelheads earning back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his career.  The Frontenacs are now fourth in the OHL’s Eastern Conference standings with a 22-17-5-3 record.

Jeremy Helvig of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

A 19-year-old from Markham, ON, Helvig is playing in his third OHL season with the Frontenacs who chose him in the third round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.  So far this season he carries a 20-14-4-2 record with five shutouts, tied for most in the league, along with the OHL’s fifth best goals-against-average at 2.62, also posting a save percentage of .910 in 41 games.  He was selected by the Hurricanes in the fifth round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

Watch video highlights of Helvig and the Frontenacs against the 67’s, IceDogs, and Steelheads.

Also considered for the award this week was Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome who became the Erie Otters all-time leading scorer following a week of eight points including three goals and five assists in three games.  In addition, New Jersey Devils prospect Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads had four goals and four assists for eight points in four games, while defenceman Jeff King of the Sarnia Sting had a goal and six assists for seven points in two games.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)

DYLAN STROME, MATHEW BARZAL, THOMAS CHABOT SELECTED TO LEAD TEAM CANADA AT 2017 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Strome to captain team on home ice, Barzal, Chabot serve as alternates

TORONTO, Ont. and MONTREAL, Que. – Dylan Strome (Mississauga, Ont./Erie, OHL), Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle, WHL), and Thomas Chabot (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Que./Saint John, QMJHL) will be leading Canada’s National Junior Team during Monday’s pre-tournament game in Montreal, and through the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, having been named by Hockey Canada as the team’s captains when the Canadian holiday tradition returns to home ice on Boxing Day.

The 22-player squad was named at the completion of a five-day selection camp in Boisbriand, Que., last week. Of its five returning players, Strome will wear the ‘C’ with Barzal and Chabot serving as alternate captains – a recognition of their on- and off-ice leadership qualities the coaching staff has recognized and the team as a whole is tapping into.

Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

“We have eight players on this team who are captains of their club teams, and numerous other associate captains, so there is an abundance of leadership,” said Dominique Ducharme, head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team. “Dylan, Mat and Thomas have been through this tournament before, and we have confidence in their ability to lead this team on and off the ice.”

For Strome, whose international experience also includes a gold medal at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup and a place on the Ontario team at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he was named a tournament all-star, the experience brings him back to his minor hockey roots; the Mississauga native and Arizona Coyotes’ 2015 draft pick grew up playing in the GTA before being drafted by the OHL’s Erie Otters of the Canadian Hockey League. Canada plays all of its preliminary-round games in Toronto, while gold will be won in Montreal.

Both Barzal, selected by the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, and Chabot, who will be on familiar ice in pre-tournament action in Ottawa who selected him 18th overall in the 2015 draft, were members of the Canadian team that captured bronze at the 2015 IIHF U18 World Championship, and Barzal also won gold at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in 2014.

The puck will officially drop on the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, a Canadian holiday tradition, on Dec. 26 in Montreal and Toronto. In its opening game, Canada will face Russia at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto at 8 p.m. ET.

Canada plays three pre-tournament games as part of the Road to the World Juniors: Dec. 19 in Montreal against Finland, Dec. 21 in Ottawa against the Czech Republic, and Dec. 23 in Toronto against Switzerland. Extensive coverage of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship is planned by TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, including Canada’s three pre-tournament games; check local listings for details.

Opportunities remain for fans to take part in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship and the Road to the World Juniors pre-tournament games; tickets to all pre-tournament games, select preliminary-round and championship-round games can be purchased online, or at all host-venue box offices.

 For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Junior Team, and the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter, as well as #WorldJuniors.