CALGARY, Alta. - Hockey Canada announced Friday the 17 men's hockey players born in 1996 nominated to the Canadian Olympic Committee to represent Canada at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, taking place Jan. 13-22, 2012.
Canada's players were assembled from nominations from Hockey Canada's 13 Branches to form a long list. The roster was then selected via a random draw from this long list, with at least one player from each of Hockey Canada's 13 Branches, to form the 17-player roster. Each branch submitted three players to the nomination list: a goaltender, defenceman and forward.
2012 Winter Youth Olympic Men's Nominations
In addition to one player from each branch, Canada's entry includes two from BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, Hockey Quebec and the Ontario Hockey Federation, the most populous branches. Canada's Youth Olympic roster consists of two goaltenders, six defencemen and nine forwards.
"On behalf of Hockey Canada and our branches, I would like to congratulate the 17 players nominated today," said Brad Pascall, vice-president of hockey operations/national teams for Hockey Canada. "This event will be a unique cultural experience, as well as a memorable hockey event for all the athletes involved at the Winter Youth Olympic Games."
The 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games will be the first of its kind, bringing together young athletes from around the world to participate in a unique cultural experience and international sporting competition. The first-ever Summer Youth Olympic Games took place in Singapore in August 2010, with Canada capturing 12 medals.
The men's hockey event features five countries - Austria, Canada, Finland, Russia and the United States - who will play in a round robin format.
Upwards of 1,100 athletes from more than 60 countries are expected to come together in Innsbruck, which previously hosted both the 1964 and 1976 Olympic Winter Games and will become the first city in history to host three different Olympic events.
Hockey Canada announced last week that Jim Hulton (Kingston, Ont.) and Curtis Hunt (North Battleford, Sask.) will serve as co-coaches of Canada's men's team for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Canada's Men's Youth Olympic team will gather in Toronto on Jan. 8 and fly as a group Jan. 9 to Austria.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)