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.
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.
WEIGHT: 188 pounds
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.
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.
WEIGHT: 162 pounds
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.
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
- Hey Joe
- Radio Ga-Ga
- Top 10 Oilers Who Got Away: Ray Whitney
- At Random: Coach Grier
- Top of Mind
- The Bounce: Oscar Klefbom