Barrie Colts forward Cole Beaudoin will be representing Canada at the upcoming 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup being held July 31 to Aug. 5 in Trencin, Slovakia and Breclav, Czechia.
The 17-year-old Kanata native is one of 24 players selected to help Canada’s National Men’s Summer U18 Team defend its gold medal win over Sweden last year in Red Deer.
It was Canada’s first title since 2018.
The six-foot-two, 201-pound Barrie centre had eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points in 63 games in his rookie season before helping the team reach the second round of the OHL playoffs.
Beaudoin is one of 14 forwards named to the team by Alan Miller, director of player personnel, and Cole Russell, the U18 lead for the Program of Excellence management group.
He also suited up for Canada Black at last year’s World U17 Hockey Challenge last November in Langley and Delta, B.C.
“Playing for Team Canada once again is a great honour and dream come true,” said Beaudoin, who was Barrie’s 10th overall selection in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection. “To represent not only myself, but my family and the entire country is a feeling like no other.”
Canada will be guided behind the bench by head coach Alan Letang (Sarnia Sting) and assistant coaches Kris Mallette (WHL’s Kelowna), and Sylvain Favreau (QMJHL’s Drummondville).
“We are excited to unveil this group of accomplished athletes that have earned the opportunity to represent Canada and defend our gold medal at this year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup,” Millar said. “Earning a spot to represent your country is an exciting opportunity, and we know each athlete will embrace the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf in Slovakia and Czechia later this month.”
Canada will get ready for the tournament with scheduled practices at the Ice Palace in Budapest, Hungary from July 23-27, and will face off against Hungary’s national under-20 team on July 27 at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m.
It will also take on Czechia on July 29 at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT at Fosfa Arena in Breclav as a part of its pre-tournament schedule.
Canada will open the tournament against Finland on July 31. Other preliminary round games will be against co-host Slovakia and Switzerland before the tournament concludes with the medal games on Aug. 5.
Canada has won 23 gold medals along with three silver medals and one bronze at the summer U18 competition.
All Team Canada games and select elimination and medal games will be shown on TSN and RDS. Check local listings for more details.
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