RED DEER – Seven Alberta Elite Hockey League players will represent the province at the 2021 WHL Cup with Team Alberta U16 Male.
Hockey Alberta announced the Team Alberta U16 Male roster on Tuesday, with goaltenders Christian Francis (St. Albert U18 AAA Raiders) and Madden Mulawka (MLAC U18 AAA), defencemen Harrison Brunicke (Calgary U18 AAA Royals) and Marek Howell (Calgary U18 AAA Royals), and forwards Nathan Free (Calgary U18 AAA Royals), Carter Klippenstein (Lethbridge U18 AAA Hurricanes), and Allen Sherpa (Calgary U16 AAA Royals) representing the AEHL.
With no Alberta Cup this year due to COVID-19, the selection process had a different look in 2021. Nearly 400 2006-born Albertans attended Summer Selection Camp in Red Deer in August, and 72 were invited back for Fall Selection Camp in September. From there, the roster was narrowed down to a shortlist, where players were scouted individually to create the final Team Alberta Roster.
“As always, we had an incredibly talented group of Albertans to select from this year,” said Hockey Alberta’s Manager of Elite Male Hockey, Michael Kraichy. “Our staff did a fantastic job navigating the changes and challenges that this year brought our way, and we are confident in this group’s ability to compete at the WHL Cup.”
Joining Kraichy on the team staff are: Serge Lajoie (Head Coach), Alex Mandolidis (assistant coach), Kyle Tapp (assistant coach), James Poole (video coach), Derek Purfield (goalie coach), Brent Gaudreau (therapist), Dave Campbell (equipment manager), Bobby Fox (head scout), and Barry Medori (Coach Mentor).
Alberta’s Minor Hockey Associations are well-represented amongst the team, with eight different associations represented on the roster: Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Nanton, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, Sylvan Lake, and Wainwright.
The 2021 WHL Cup will feature the highest-rated players in the under-16 age category from the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The four-team round robin tournament is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for players.
While the WHL Cup usually features many players who were recently selected in the WHL Draft, this year’s tournament will happen prior to the WHL Draft, which will happen on Thursday, December 9.
The WHL Cup is made possible through financial support provided by the WHL and Hockey Canada.
The 2021 WHL Cup runs October 20-24 at the Peavey Mart Centrium (unless indicated) in Red Deer. Team Alberta’s schedule can be found below:
- Wednesday, October 20, 7:00pm vs Manitoba
- Thursday, October 21, 7:00pm @ Saskatchewan
- Friday, October 22, 12:30pm at British Columbia
- Saturday, October 23, 12:30pm – Semi-Final 1
- Saturday, October 23, 3:15pm – Semi-Final 2 (at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre)
- Sunday, October 24, 10:00am – Bronze Medal Game
- Sunday, October 24, 1:00pm – Gold Medal Game