The Western Hockey League will be represented by six alumni on the U Sports All-Star Team set to face Canada’s National Junior Team prospects in a two-game set prior to the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.
U Sports announced the 23-player roster, featuring six WHL alumni and 22 CHL alumni, Monday morning.
Representing the WHL will be goaltenders Corbin Boes (Dalhousie) and Jordon Cooke (Saskatchewan) along with defenceman Kendall McFaull (Saskatchewan), and forwards Jamie Crooks (Alberta), Jordan DePape (Manitoba) and Elgin Pearce (Calgary).
The two-game mini-series between the U Sports All-Stars and Canada’s National Junior Team prospects will take place at the Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau, home of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Monday, Dec. 12 (7 p.m. ET) and Tuesday, Dec. 13 (1 p.m. ET). The games will serve as part of the preparation for Canada as it looks ahead to the 41st IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal (Dec. 25 to Jan. 5).
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for these 23 U Sports athletes from across the country to showcase how great of a product we have,” said Brett Gibson, head coach of the U Sports All-Star team, in a news release. “It also comes with a great responsibility to be a small part of preparation for our Canadian under-20 team in their quest for a gold medal.”
The U Sports All-Star Team will feature 12 players with previous experience in this event. Last year’s exhibition set saw the two teams split the games.
Boes, a product of Saskatoon, is in his third season with the Dalhousie Tigers after a four-year WHL career that saw him suit up for the Brandon Wheat Kings (2010-11 to 2012-13), Lethbridge Hurricanes (2013-14) and Portland Winterhawks (2013-14).
The 23-year-old goaltender leads all of U Sports men’s hockey with a .933 save percentage.
Cooke, a product of Leduc, Alta., is in his third season with the Saskatchewan Huskies after a four-year WHL career with the Kelowna Rockets (2010-11 to 2013-14).
The 23-year-old netminder is third in U Sports men’s hockey with a 1.98 goals-against average.
On the blueline, McFaull is the lone WHL alum set to suit up. A product of Rosetown, Sask., the 24-year-old McFaull is in his fourth campaign with the Saskatchewan Huskies following a four-year WHL career spent with the Moose Jaw Warriors (2009-10 to 2012-13).
McFaull was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the sixth round (155th) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and went on to serve as captain of the Warriors in his final WHL campaign.
Crooks, a product of Vermillion, Alta., is in his fourth season with the Alberta Golden Bears after a four-year WHL career that saw him skate with the Saskatoon Blades (2008-09 to 2009-10) and Chilliwack Bruins/Victoria Royals (2009-10 to 2012-13).
The 24-year-old left winger was named the Canada West WHL Graduate of the Month for October.
DePape, a 24-year-old product of Winnipeg, is in his fourth season with the Manitoba Bisons after a four-year WHL career allowed him to compete as a member of the Brandon Wheat Kings (2009-10), Kamloops Blazers (2009-10 to 2012-13) and Red Deer Rebels (2012-13).
Pearce, a product of Port Coquitlam, B.C., is in his fourth season with the Calgary Dinos after a four-year WHL career saw him suit up for the Kootenay ICE (2009-10 to 2012-13) and Medicine Hat Tigers (2012-13).
The 24-year-old centre was named the Canada West WHL Graduate of the Month for November.
Historical Results – U Sports/CIS All-Stars vs. Canadian National Junior Team Prospects
U Sports/CIS National All-Star Team
2015 – Toronto:
Game 1: CIS All-Stars (5) vs. Canada NJT (4) – SO
Game 2: Canada NJT (5) vs. CIS All-Stars (0)
CIS Selects (Schools & Conferences)
2014 – Toronto:
Game 1: Canada NJT (10) vs. CIS Toronto Selects (3)
Game 2: Canada NJT (3) vs. CIS Toronto Selects (0)
2013 – Toronto:
Game 1: CIS Toronto Selects (3) vs. Canada NJT (0)
2012 – Calgary:
Game 1: Albert CIS Selects (4) vs. Canada NJT (1)
Game 2: Canada NJT (2) vs. Canada West Selects (0)
2011 – Calgary:
Game 1: Canada NJT (7) vs. Canada West Selects (4)
2010 – Toronto:
Game 1: Canada NJT (6) vs. Ontario University Athletics Selects (2)
2009 – Regina:
Game 1: CIS Saskatchewan All-Stars (4) vs. Canada NJT (2)
About U Sports
U Sports is the national brand for University Sports in Canada. Every year, over 12,000 student-athletes and 500 coaches from 56 universities vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. U Sports also provides higher performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit usports.ca.