The CHL has announced the rosters for the 2019 Canada-Russia series, which pits the top junior players from both countries against each other in a showcase as preparation for the World Juniors. The WHL, OHL and QMJHL will each enter a team for the series that takes place next month.
Leading the way are some top 2020 draft names including Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield, Justin Barron and Jamie Drysdale among many others. The event has been going on for more than 15 years now and often gives an insight into who is trending towards making an impact at the U20 tournament later on in the year.
- The roster also includes Kirby Dach, even though he is technically not back in the CHL at the moment. In fact, Chicago Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton told reporters including Scott Powers of The Athletic that giving Dach his NHL debut is “on the radar” after his AHL conditioning stint comes to an end. Dach can’t spend the whole season in the AHL due to his age, meaning the Blackhawks may eventually be forced to send him back to the CHL if they feel he’s not ready for the NHL full-time.
- Hockey Canada has also announced the 66 players that will take part in the World U17 Hockey Challenge next month. Canada will have three different teams in the tournament that also includes teams from the United States, Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. The group includes Shane Wright, the latest to be given exceptional status into the CHL. Still just 15 years old, Wright has nine points in nine games for the Kingston Frontenacs this season after dominating Toronto minor hockey—to the tune of 150 points in 72 games—last year. Eligible for the 2022 draft, he’s already being considered as a franchise-changing talent.