Vancouver Giants defenceman Colton Roberts has made the roster for Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge scheduled for next month in Langley.
Roberts was chosen as a member of Team Canada Black, alongside Tyson Buczkowski of the Prince George Cougars, Josh Fluker and Clarke Caswell of the Swift Current Broncos, Jordan Gavin of the Tri-City Americans, Lynden Lakovic of the Moose Jaw Warriors, and Cole Pearden of the Prince Albert Raiders.
“The Vancouver Giants are pleased with the opportunity Colton has earned from his hard work, dedication and solid play in the WHL,” said Giants General Manager Barclay Parneta. “It will be a great experience playing at the international level. He will have a ton of support from Giants fans, family and friends. The Vancouver Giants wish him the best of luck at this prestigious event.”
“I’m very excited about this tournament, it is a dream come true to wear and play in my country’s colours,” said Roberts. “I cannot wait for this opportunity to happen.”
Originally selected by the Giants with the 11th overall selection in the 2021 WHL prospects draft, the 6 ft. 4 in. right-shot blueliner is the reigning Canadian Sport School Hockey League defenceman of the year. Roberts scored his first WHL goal on October 1, in Seattle against the Thunderbirds.
In 31 games with the Delta Hockey Academy’s U17 Prep program, the Maple Ridge-born Roberts managed nine goals and 36 assists for 45 points, to go with 48 penalty minutes.
The showcase of future stars, some of the world’s best 16-year-old hockey players, runs Nov. 3-12 at Langley Events Centre and Sungod Arena in Delta.
Seven teams will battle for the championship, including three Team Canada squads (Black, Red and White), Czechia, Finland, Sweden and the United States. Each team will play six preliminary-round games, followed by a medal round.
Langley Events Centre will host 16 games, including three all-Canadian matchups and both medal round games on Nov. 12. Seven games will be played at Sungod, beginning with Team Canada White facing Sweden on Nov. 3.
“Each team will play at least one game in Langley and Delta, ensuring that fans in both communities can watch some of hockey’s brightest young stars,” Hockey Canada promises.
Ticket details are posted at hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/tickets.
The bronze and gold medal games will take place on Nov. 12 at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. local time, respectively, with television coverage on TSN.
The annual tournament was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
Since it all began in 1986, more than 1,600 NHL draft picks have played in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup, the tournament has featured future stars Patrick Kane, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Alex Ovechkin, among others.
Previous recent Vancouver Giants to represent Canada at the U-17 level include Mazden Leslie (2021), Ty Halaburda (2021), Justin Sourdif (2018) and Bowen Byram (2017).
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