Connor McDavid, selected first overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft highlights the list of prospects set to hit the ice for the Canucks Young Stars Classic.
The tournament at the South Okanagan Events Centre will showcase prospects from the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets. Over the past four Young Star Classics, over 80 players have gone on to play NHL games. Tickets for the tournament go on sale on July 10 at 10 a.m.
The Canucks roster will include four players selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft since 2012: Jake Virtanen (sixth overall in 2014), Jared McCann (24th overall in 2014), Hunter Shinkaruk (24th overall in 2013), and Brendan Gaunce (26th overall in 2012). Cole Cassels, who helped lead the Oshawa Generals to a Memorial Cup Championship this past season, will attend alongside defence prospects Ben Hutton and Jordan Subban. Guillaume Brisebois (66th overall) and Dmitry Zhukenov (114th overall) will also make their Young Stars tournament debut.
Along with McDavid, the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year, Leon Draisaitl (selected third overall in 2014) and Darnell Nurse (selected seventh overall in 2013) will play for the Oilers. Both made their NHL debuts during the 2014/15 season.
For the Flames, Sam Bennett returns for his second tournament and is joined by Emile Poirier (22nd overall in 2013) and Morgan Klimchuk (28th overall in 2013). In addition, forward Austin Carroll, who recently completed his fourth season with the Victoria Royals, and goaltender Jon Gillies, who led the Hockey East Conference in both goals against average and save percentage this past season, have been named to the roster.
The Jets roster includes two first round picks: Nikolaj Ehlers (ninth overall in 2014) and Josh Morrissey (13th overall in 2013). The list also includes 2015 World Junior Championship tournament participants Jan Kostalek (Czech Republic), Nic Petan (Canada) and Eric Comrie (Canada). 2015 second-round selection Jansen Harkins, whose 59 assists for the Prince George Cougars established a new single-season franchise record, will play. Andrew Copp, who made his NHL debut last season, St. John’s IceCaps goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, and recently acquired prospect Brendan Lemieux will also appear at the Young Stars Classic.
A limited number of six-game $60 tournament ticket packages go on sale tomorrow. This all-event package offers best value to fans. A limited number of VIP ticket packages will also be available and are $90 and $260 (plus applicable fees). For information and details on what VIP packages include please visit canucks.com/youngstars and SOEC.ca. Tickets are available online at www.valleyfirsttix.com , by phone at 1-877-763-2849, in person at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC or Wine Country Visitor Centre.
This year the festivities will include a Canucks Town Hall Breakfast as well as Minor Hockey Day, which will include a Party on the Plaza event with games, food, music and entertainment as well as skills and development camps for B.C. minor hockey players.