Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League, in association with the Canadian Hockey League, today announced the players that will serve as captains and alternates for Team OHL competing in the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series.
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Mitchell Stephens of the Saginaw Spirit will captain Team OHL in both contests against the Russian National Junior Team on Thursday November 10 in North Bay, and on Monday November 14 in Hamilton. The 19-year-old from Peterborough was a member of Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship and has 11 points in 12 games so far this season where he serves as captain for the Spirit in his fourth campaign with the club.
Alternate captains for Team OHL in Game 3 of the series in North Bay include Anthony Cirelli of the Oshawa Generals, and Matthew Spencer of the Peterborough Petes, while Graham Knott of the Niagara IceDogs and Nathan Bastian of the Mississauga Steelheads will fulfill the roles in Game 4 in Hamilton.
All three members of Team OHL’s leadership group in North Bay are Lightning prospects from the 2015 NHL Draft where Stephens and Spencer were chosen in the second round and Cirelli in the third. A 19-year-old from Woodbridge, Cirelli also serves as captain for the Generals playing in his third OHL season where he has 23 points in 14 games so far in 2016-17. Spencer, a 19-year-old defenceman from Oakville is in his fourth season with the Petes and has four points through nine games. The trio were part of a group of 13 OHL players who participated in Canada’s National Junior Team Summer Development Camp.
Knott, a 19-year-old from Holland Landing, also attended Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase. The fourth year IceDog with 17 points in 14 games was a second round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 NHL Draft. Bastian, an 18-year-old from Kitchener, is playing in his fourth OHL season with the Steelheads where he has 16 points through 14 games and was a second round pick of the New Jersey Devils in the 2016 NHL Draft.
The CHL currently leads the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series 4-2 in points following a pair of games in the Western Hockey League. In 13 years of competition against Team Russia, the OHL carries a record of 22-3-1 including a 3-0 win in Owen Sound and a 2-1 victory in Windsor last season.
2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule:
Game 1 – Monday November 7 at Prince George, BC
Team Russia 3 vs. Team WHL 2 OT – Game Summary
Game 2 – Tuesday November 8 at Edmonton, AB
Team WHL 4 vs. Team Russia 1 – Game Summary
Game 3 – Thursday November 10 at North Bay, ON (Live at 7pm ET on Sportsnet ONE, TVA Sports 2, Next day 1:00 pm ET on NHL Network U.S)
Game 4 – Monday November 14 at Hamilton, ON (Live at 7pm ET on Sportsnet, TVA Sports 2, Next day 1:00 pm ET on NHL Network U.S)
Game 5 – Tuesday November 15 at Chicoutimi, QC (Live at 7pm ET on Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet Pacific, TVA Sports 2, Next day 1:00 pm ET on NHL Network U.S)
Game 6 – Thursday November 17 at Baie-Comeau, QC (Live at 7pm ET on Sportsnet ONE, TVA Sports 2, Next day 1:00 pm ET on NHL Network U.S)
The 2016 CIBC Canada Russia series is supported by title sponsor and Official Bank of the CHL, CIBC, and CHL associate sponsors Cooper Tire, autoTRADER.ca and Sherwin-Williams.
CIBC and the CHL have partnered to give fans the opportunity to rename the CIBC Canada Russia Series through online submissions using #CIBCRenameTheGame. From November 7-17, Canadians can vote for their favourite new name from a list of online entries by visiting http://chlcanadarussia.ca/renamethegame.