NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) announced on Sunday that defenceman Ryan Ellis (Freelton, Ont./Windsor, OHL) was named captain with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, NY (USA) from December 26, 2010 through January 5, 2011.
Ellis will be taking part in his third World Junior Championship, having won gold in 2009 and silver in 2010. He is only the seventh player in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence history to represent Canada at three IIHF World Junior Championships, joining Jay Bouwmeester (2000-02), Jason Spezza (2000-02), Jason Botterill (1995-97), Martin Lapointe (1991-93), Eric Lindros (1990-92) and Trevor Kidd (1990-92). The native of Freelton, Ont. is also the co-leading top scoring defenceman of all-time with Canada’s National Junior Team, with 14 points (tied with Alex Pietrangelo).
Ellis is the 31st captain all-time with Canada’s National Junior Team, since 1982 and the start of the Program of Excellence (Note - two captains in 1998) and the 11th captain from Ontario and 10th from the OHL.
Ellis serves as captain of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, and won Memorial Cups with Windsor in 2010 and in 2009.
Hockey Canada’s senior director of hockey operations and national teams Scott Salmond, along with head coach Dave Cameron (Kincora, PEI/ Mississauga St. Michael’s, OHL) and the coaching staff also announced the alternate captains: Jared Cowen (Allan, Sask./ Spokane, WHL), Calvin de Haan (Carp, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) and Brayden Schenn (Saskatoon, Sask./Brandon, WHL).
Canada’s National Junior Team will continue to be based in Niagara Falls, Ont. through December 24, 2010, before moving to Buffalo. All of Canada’s on-ice sessions at Niagara Falls’ Gale Centre are open to the public free of charge. The full on-ice schedule is posted at www.HockeyCanada.ca
Canada’s National Junior Team will play in three pre-competition games in southern Ontario prior to the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, December 26 to January 5 in Buffalo, N.Y., including games against Switzerland (December 20 in Oshawa), against Sweden (December 21 in Toronto) and against Finland (December 23 in Kitchener). While the games in Oshawa and Kitchener are sold out, there are still tickets available for the game in Toronto on December 21.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)