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Homegrown Talent

There will be more than one local boy which makes for a good storyline for fans and scouts to follow with Team Canada when the puck drops for the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup at Rogers Place in Edmonton and Servus Arena in Red Deer Monday.

Not only does Team Canada’s 22-man roster have a distinctly western flavor with 11 players from the Western Hockey League, that number includes five Albertans — among them, defenceman Matthew Robertson of the Edmonton Oil Kings, who’ll be playing in his home rink when Canada opens the eight-team tournament against Switzerland Monday.

Robertson, who is from Sherwood Park, Kirby Dach, Taylor Gauthier, Dylan Holloway and Peyton Krebs all made the cut at a five-day selection camp that included 44 candidates. Here’s a quick look at each of them.

KIRBY DACH

CENTRE
HEIGHT: Six-foot-four
WEIGHT: 181 pounds
HOMETOWN: Fort Saskatchewan
TEAM: Saskatoon Blades

One can only imagine how big Dach, already pushing six-foot-four, will be when he eventually grows into his frame. A member of Team Brick way back in 2010-11, Dach spent three seasons in Bantam as a member of the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers, including 2014-15 when he scored 29-71-100, Tallied 7-39-46 in 52 games with Saskatoon this season. Terrific playmaker. Full stats here.

TAYLOR GAUTHIER

GOALTENDER
HEIGHT: Six-foot-one
WEIGHT: 188 pounds
HOMETOWN: Calgary
TEAM: Prince George Cougars

When the Cougars took Gauthier 10th overall from the Calgary Bisons in the 2016 Bantam Draft, making him the first goaltender taken in the top-10 since the Tri-City Americans made Carey Price the seventh pick in 2002, it was no surprise. Gauthier had back-to-back seasons with save-percentages of .950 and .948. He got into 32 games as a 16-year-old with Prince George in 2017-18. Full stats here.

DYLAN HOLLOWAY

FORWARD
HEIGHT: Six-feet
WEIGHT: 190 pounds
HOMETOWN: Bragg Creek
TEAM: Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)

Having committed to the Wisconsin Badgers of the NCAA midway through his first midget season with the Calgary Flames of the AMHL, making him ineligible to play in the WHL, Holloway is taking a different route than most prospects – the AJHL with the Oilers in Okotoks. Holloway put up 11-16-27 in 28 games with the Oilers last season. A two-way guy who can bang. Full stats here.

PEYTON KREBS

FORWARD
HEIGHT: five-foot-11
WEIGHT: 162 pounds
HOMETOWN: Okotoks
TEAM: Kootenay Ice

If dynamic is your thing, Krebs is your guy. While he’s not big, Krebs is always around the puck and usually does something with it. Played his Bantam hockey with the Rocky Mountain Raiders and tore up the AMBHL with 74-94-168 in 60 games, including 46-56-102 in just 27 games in 2015-16. In 67 games with the Ice this season, Krebs tallied 17-37-54.  Full stats here.

MATTHEW ROBERTSON

DEFENCE
HEIGHT: Six-foot-three
WEIGHT: 195 pounds
HOMETOWN: Sherwood Park
TEAM: Edmonton Oil Kings

Robertson hasn’t had to stray far from home during his travels down hockey’s road. That won’t change now for the blueliner from the Oil Kings in this tournament. The lanky blueliner, selected seventh by the Oil Kings in the 2016 Bantam Draft from the Sherwood Park Flyers, also played midget in Sherwood Park. After playing seven games with the Oil Kings in 2016-17, he tallied 7-17-24 in 67 games last season. He’s the younger brother of former Oil King Tyler Robertson. Full stats here.

Canada’s complete roster is here.

Previously by Robin Brownlee

  • Kuma

    Kirby Dach’s first news interview was with me when he was just about to attend the Brick Tournament. I was a reporter at the time and have followed his career closely ever since. It’s been clear since his Atom years that he’d be a star in the making.

    One point of interest: Peyton Krebs’ 168 point AMBHL season came the year after Dach’s 100 point AMBHL campaign. Dach preferred to play Midget as an underager (which he also did at the Peewee and Bantam levels) since he’d already dominated Bantam the year before by breaking Tyler Benson’s scoring record.

  • Tonya Harding Compete Level

    Awesome content. Can we get more coverage of the Hlinka Gretzky cup while it’s on? Looking to attend a couple games so it’s nice to know what I should be watching for. Dach and Krebs look like beasts.