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Benson and Ronning Named to Team WHL
WHL Network

The Vancouver Giants would like to congratulate forwards Tyler Benson and Ty Ronning on being named to Team WHL for the upcoming 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series.

Benson and Ronning will play alongside other top players from around the WHL against Team Russia on Monday, November 7th, in Prince George and Tuesday, November 8th, in Edmonton.

Benson, the Giants’ captain and an Edmonton Oilers second round pick, has scored five goals and five assists in eight games this season while Ronning, who went to the New York Rangers in the seventh round, has snagged four goals and six assists in 10 games.

See below for the full press release from the Western Hockey League.

CALGARY, AB – The Western Hockey League, in collaboration with the Canadian Hockey League, Prince George Cougars, Edmonton Oil Kings and Hockey Canada, announced today the roster for Team WHL, which will compete against Team Russia at the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series.

 

Team WHL will face Team Russia in Game 1 of the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series in Prince George, B.C. on Monday, November 7th, before continuing on to Edmonton for Game 2 on Tuesday, November 8th. The Ontario Hockey League will host Games 3 and 4, while the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will welcome the festivities surrounding Games 5 and 6.

 

Team WHL’s roster is laced with NHL prospects yet again this season, including 10 players who were selected in the first two rounds of the NHL Draft. Highly-touted 2017 NHL Draft prospects Nolan Patrick (Brandon Wheat Kings/Winnipeg, MB) and Cal Foote (Kelowna Rockets/Engelwood, CO) also cracked the roster for Team WHL as players look to move closer to earning a spot on Team Canada at the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship in December.

 

Prince George Cougars forward Jansen Harkins, a second round pick of the Winnipeg Jets, will have the opportunity to suit up for Team WHL in front of a hometown crowd when the series opens in Prince George on November 7th.

 

When the series shifts to Edmonton on November 8th, a total of five local players will suit up against Team Russia including Edmonton native and Oilers prospect Tyler Benson (Vancouver Giants). Giorgio Estephan (Lethbridge Hurricanes/Edmonton, AB), Sam Steel (Regina Pats/Sherwood Park, AB), Brendan Guhle (Prince Albert Raiders/Sherwood Park, AB) and Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips/Sherwood Park, AB) will also have the opportunity to take to the ice in front of family and friends.

 

For more information, including how to purchase tickets, please visit chlcanadarussia.ca.

 

TEAM WHL ROSTER

 

Forwards

Player Hometown DOB WHL Club NHL Draft
Tyler Benson Edmonton, AB 15-Mar-1997 Vancouver Giants EDM 2016 (Round 2, 32)
Dillon Dube Cochrane, AB 20-Jul-1998 Kelowna Rockets CGY 2016 (Round 2, 56)
Giorgio Estephan Edmonton, AB 3-Feb-1997 Lethbridge Hurricanes BUF 2015 (Round 6, 152)
Jansen Harkins North Vancouver, BC 23-May-1997 Prince George Cougars WPG 2015 (Round 2, 47)
Brett Howden Oakbank, MB 29-Mar-1998 Moose Jaw Warriors TBL 2016 (Round 1, 27)
Nick Merkley Calgary, AB 23-May-1997 Kelowna Rockets ARI 2015 (Round 1, 30)
Nolan Patrick Winnipeg, MB 19-Sep-1998 Brandon Wheat Kings Eligible 2017
Ty Ronning Burnaby, BC 20-Oct-1997 Vancouver Giants NYR 2016 (Round 7, 201)
Deven Sideroff Summerland, BC 14-Apr-1997 Kamloops Blazers ANA 2015 (Round 3, 84)
Tyler Soy Cloverdale, BC 10-Feb-1997 Victoria Royals ANA 2016 (Round 7, 205)
Sam Steel Sherwood Park, AB 3-Feb-1998 Regina Pats ANA 2016 (Round 1, 30)
Austin Wagner Calgary, AB 23-Jun-1997 Regina Pats LAK 2015 (Round 4, 99)

 

Defencemen

Kale Clague Lloydminster, AB 5-Jun-1998 Brandon Wheat Kings LAK 2016 (Round 2, 51)
Cal Foote Engelwood, Colorado* 13-Dec-1998 Kelowna Rockets Eligible 2017
Brendan Guhle Sherwood Park, AB 29-Jul-1997 Prince Albert Raiders BUF 2015 (Round 2, 51)
Connor Hobbs Saskatoon, SK 4-Jan-1997 Regina Pats WSH 2015 (Round 5, 143)
Noah Juulsen Abbotsford, BC 2-Apr-1997 Everett Silvertips MTL 2015 (Round 1, 26)
Parker Wotherspoon Surrey, BC 24-Aug-1997 Tri-City Americans NYI 2015 (Round 4, 112)

*Dual citizen

 

Goaltenders

Carter Hart Sherwood Park, AB 12-Aug-1998 Everett Silvertips PHI 2016 (Round 2, 48)
Connor Ingram Imperial, SK 31-Mar-1997 Kamloops Blazers TB 2016 (Round 3, 88)

 

Each of the three CHL member Leagues assembled a selection committee, working closely with Hockey Canada, to select the players for this year’s series. This year, Team WHL will be coached by Tim Hunter (Moose Jaw Warriors) who will also serve as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. Edmonton Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton will serve as assistant coach for Team WHL.

 

The six-game series features regional league teams of Canadian National Junior Team candidates competing against the Russian National Junior Team. For the third straight season, the event will open with two games in the WHL.

 

Since the event first began in 2003, CHL teams have played to an overall record of 54-18-6 against Team Russia.  The competitiveness of the rivalry has grown in recent years with four of the last six series decided in the final game.  Russia earned their first series victory in 2010 and have since alternated annual series victories with the CHL who earned the 2015 title by a 12-3 margin in points.

 

The event is an integral part of the identification process for Team Canada prior to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.  Canada was represented at this season’s World Junior in Finland by 21 CHL players who competed in this series in 2015, while 13 members of Team Russia’s series entry also competed in Helsinki earning a second straight silver medal.

 

The 2016 CIBC Canada Russia series is supported by CHL associate sponsors Cooper Tire, autoTRADER.ca and Sherwin-Williams.  All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

 

2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule:

Game 1 – Monday November 7 at Prince George, BC

Game 2 – Tuesday November 8 at Edmonton, AB

Game 3 – Thursday November 10 at North Bay, ON

Game 4 – Monday November 14 at Hamilton, ON

Game 5 – Tuesday November 15 at Chicoutimi, QC

Game 6 – Thursday November 17 at Baie-Comeau, QC

 

For event information please visit chlcanadarussia.ca.

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