First of all, I was a little dissapointed to see the lack of a Bronco on the roster that was announced. However, Hockey Canada trimmed the number of players on the roster to 25 this season as opposed to 34-35 in previous years.
Despite the lack of some local flavour (besides Dean Chynoweth), the roster is very impressive which includes seven first round NHL picks and our fans are in for a treat.
Here's the news release from the WHL:
CALGARY, AB – The Canadian Hockey League and the Western Hockey League today announced the players and coaching staff competing in the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge for Team WHL.
The sixth annual ADT Canada Russia Challenge will take place November 17th to 27th, 2008 in Canada as Canadian Hockey League All-Star Teams, from each of its three member Leagues (WHL, OHL and QMJHL), take on the Russian National Junior Team in a six game series.Team WHL was selected by a special committee of WHL General Managers along with Al Murray, Hockey Canada’s Head Scout for the Canadian National Junior Team, as part of the selection process for the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships.
The complete Team WHL roster consists of 25 players – two goalies, eight defenceman and 15 forwards. Top NHL prospects for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft including Brayden Schenn (Brandon Wheat Kings), Jared Cowen (Spokane Chiefs) and Evander Kane (Vancouver Giants) will compete in the series along with seven first round draft picks from the 2008 NHL Entry including Kyle Beach (Everett Silvertips), Tyler Myers (Kelowna Rockets) and Colten Teubert (Regina Pats).The two WHL games will be hosted in the province of Saskatchewan by the Swift Current Broncos on Wednesday, November 26th and the Prince Albert Raiders on Thursday, November 27th.
Game tickets are available at the Prince Albert Raiders office (306) 764-4263 and at the Swift Current Broncos office (306) 773-1509 Ext. 1.Since the introduction of the ADT Canada Russia Challenge in 2003, Team WHL has posted a 9-1 record against the Russian National Junior Team, outscoring their opponent 52-17. Overall the Canadian Hockey League has a 25-5 record during the ADT Canada Russia Challenge.
The WHL also announced today that Canadian National Junior Team Assistant Coach Willie Desjardins of the Medicine Hat Tigers will serve as Head Coach while the 2007-08 WHL Coach of the Year Don Nachbaur, of the Tri-City Americans, will act as Assistant Coach. Also, Broncos General Manager/Head Coach Dean Chynoweth will be an Assistant Coach during the Swift Current game and Raiders General Manager/Head Coach Bruno Campese will serve as Assistant Coach for the Prince Albert game.
“We are looking forward to bringing this major international series to two of our long standing small markets in Saskatchewan,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison, “It is the only time our top Canadian Players in the WHL have the opportunity to compete against their historic rivals from Russia.”
Last year the CHL posted a 4-2 record during the series and have won the past five ADT Canada Russia Challenges which has coincided with the Canadian National Junior Team going on to win four straight gold medals at the World Junior Championship.2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge
Schedule of Games
Game 1 – Monday, November 17 in Sydney, NS
Game 2 – Wednesday, November 19 in Saint John, NB
Game 3 – Thursday, November 20 in Guelph, ON
Game 4 – Monday, November 24 in St. Catherines, ON
Game 5 – Wednesday, November 26 in Swift Current, SK
Game 6 – Thursday, November 27 in Prince Albert, SK
All six games will be broadcast nationally on Rogers Sportsnet with RDS televising both games from the QMJHL.The following is the list of WHL players participating in the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge:
Bast, Jason Moose Jaw Moose Jaw, SK
Beach, Kyle* Everett Kelowna, BC
Benn, Jamie Kelowna Victoria, BC
Boychuk, Zach* Lethbridge Airdrie, AB
Broda, Joel Moose Jaw Prince Albert, SK
Calvert, Matt Brandon Brandon, MB
Eberle, Jordan* Regina Regina, SK
Ennis, Tyler* Medicine Hat Edmonton, AB
Kane, Evander** Vancouver Vancouver, BC
Kozun, Brandon Calgary Calgary, AB
Sceviour, Colton Lethbridge Red Deer, AB
Schenn, Braydon** Brandon Saskatoon, SK
Sonne, Brett Calgary Maple Ridge, BC
Sylvester, Dustin Kootenay Kelowna, BC
Tyrell, Dana Prince George Airdire, AB
Club: Hometown:Aulie, Keith Brandon Rouleau, SK
Cowen, Jared** Spokane Allan, SK
Hamonic, Travis Moose Jaw St. Malo, MB
Hickey, Thomas* Seattle Calgary, AB
Myers, Tyler* Kelowna DeWinton, AB
Negrin, John Kootenay Vancouver, BC
Spurgeon, Jared Spokane Edmonton, AB
Teubert, Colten Regina White Rock, BC
Goaltenders (2): Club: Hometown:
Pickard, Chet* Tri-City Americans Winnipeg, MB
Tokarski, Dustin Spokane Watson, SK*
First round pick 2008 NHL Entry Draft**
1991 birth-dates eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft