CALGARY, Alta. – As Team Canada prepares for the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Denmark next month, the team is staging in Riga, Latvia, for a pre-tournament camp with 22 players following the addition of Pierre-Luc Dubois (Columbus Blue Jackets/Blainville-Boisbriand Armada), Curtis McElhinney (Toronto Maple Leafs), 2016 gold-medalist Ryan Murray (Columbus Blue Jackets/Everett Silvertips), and Vancouver Canucks goaltending prospect Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires), who have been added to the camp roster.
DiPietro was drafted 64th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2017 NHL Draft. The 18-year-old won the 2017 Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires, earning a nod as top goaltender and was named to the tournament’s all-star team. That same season he was also a finalist for the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player and OHL Goaltender of the Year awards. DiPietro played for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, and played for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship. He’s also competed internationally at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Amherstburg, Ont. native played to a 29-21-3-1 record with a 2.79 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 56 games with Windsor this season. His seven shutouts led the league and give him 15 in his OHL career, one shy of the league’s all-time record.
DiPietro joins five OHL graduates on the roster including Josh Bailey (NY Islanders/Windsor Spitfires), Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers/Barrie Colts), Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers/Erie Otters), Darnell Nurse (Edmonton Oilers/Soo Greyhounds) and Ryan O’Reilly (Buffalo Sabres/Erie Otters).
The player selections were made by the management group for the 2018 IIHF World Championship – co-general managers Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Montreal) and Martin Brodeur (Montreal/St. Louis), along with Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada – in consultation with the coaching staff consisting of head coach Bill Peters (Three Hills, Alta./Carolina), associate coach Mike Yeo (North Bay, Ont./St. Louis), and assistant coach Bob Boughner (Windsor, Ont./Florida).
Seven of the players announced for this year’s team earned gold medals with Team Canada in either 2015 (Eberle, Ekblad, O’Reilly, Schenn) or 2016 (McDavid, Murray, O’Reilly), while three skated to a silver medal in 2017 (O’Reilly, Parayko, Schenn).
Canada opens the 2018 IIHF World Championship on Friday, May 4, against the United States in Herning, Denmark. Preliminary-round games wrap up on May 15 and during that time, Canada will also face off against the host Danes, Finland, Germany, South Korea, Latvia, and Norway. The bronze- and gold-medal games will take place on Sunday, May 20.
TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners will carry 64 and 31 games, respectively. TSN Radio will also broadcast all of Canada’s games; check your local listings for schedule and network details.
Team Canada has won gold at two of the last three IIHF World Championships, going undefeated during the 2015 tournament in the Czech Republic and shutting out Finland in the gold-medal game in 2016 in Russia. Last year, Canada skated to silver after falling to Sweden in the gold-medal game in Cologne, Germany.
Since 1931, Canada has won the world championship 20 times – not counting the years when the Olympic Winter Games gold medallist was also considered world champion. Canada has also collected 12 silver and six bronze medals in that timespan.
For more information on Canada’s National Men’s Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.