ENFIELD: A hockey player from Enfield would have been among the 46 players trying to earn on a spot on Canada’s U-18 team if COVID19 had not cancelled the 2020 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Acadie Bathurst Titan forward Riley Kidney, a product from East Hants, was selected to the team’s roster for the training camp, which was cancelled. However, Hockey Canada felt it was prudent to recognize those they had on their selection list.
Kidney finished his rookie season with the Titan with five goals and 28 assists in 59 games played. According to Elite Prospects, he is eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft.
Six goaltenders, 14 defencemen and 26 forwards were set to compete for a chance to represent Canada at the 2020 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, which was scheduled for Aug. 3-8 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., before it was cancelled April 28 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The camp roster featured 42 players who played for Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red or Team Canada White at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat, Alta., and Swift Current, Sask., last November.
“It is important for Hockey Canada to recognize the work the players and coaching staff already put in to prepare for the summer and a chance to compete for gold on home ice,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada. “It was a difficult decision to cancel the tournament, as it provides the opportunity to showcase the top under-18 players in a best-on-best international showcase.
“We want to recognize the 46 players and our three coaches for this tremendous accomplishment, and we look forward to watching all players continue to develop as they look ahead to next season and a chance to compete at the IIHF U18 World Championship.”
With the cancellation of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, focus will now turn to the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship next spring; a host city has not yet been announced. The Czech Republic and Slovakia will host the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup before it returns to Edmonton and Red Deer in 2022.