Canada’s Andrew Ebbett celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the game between Team Canada and HC Davos at the 91st Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. (Melanie Duchene/Keystone via AP)

BCHL alumni named to Canadian men’s Olympic hockey roster

Vernon’s Andrew Ebbett amongst the B.C. players named to Olympic team

Three BCHL alumni were named to the Canadian men’s hockey team for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games.

Andrew Ebbett (Vernon, B.C./SC Bern, NLA), being the most notable as the first-ever player signed by the B.C. Hockey League’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. He led the team in scoring in their inaugural 2001-02 season. The forward went on to play for the Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA and played in 224 NHL games (Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins).

Related: Ebbett waiting, hoping for Olympic call

Other BCHL alumni that made the Olympic team include defenceman Chay Genoway (Morden, Man./Lada Togliatti, KHL) who spent one year (2005-06) with the Vernon Vipers. Gilbert Brulé (Edmonton/Kunlun Red Star, KHL) also spent a year playing in the BCHL with the now-defunct Quesnel Millionaires (2002-03).

“This team we had to think about when putting it tougher what kind of team, what our identity wanted to be and a lot of it came down to wanting to be a very hard team to play against. The Olympics there is going to be very talented teams there, obviously the pressure of the big stage but we did want to have what we always considered the Canadian way to be a big part of our team, the favour of our team,” said Team Canada general manager Sean Burke.

The coaching staff said they expect to have a very mobile defence, some size and a lot of skill up front.

“But more than anything we have got the character throughout our lineup that gives us that opportunity to play that way and be a very hard team for everybody else to play against,” said Burke.

Although the leadership group has not been named for the Olympics, Ebbett could be a good contender. His two goals spurred a come from behind win in the semi finals of the Spengler Cup. Ebbett also had an assist in the championship game to help Canada to a 3-0 win over Switzerland. It was Ebbett’s second Spengler Cup win, as he was also part of the Canadian contingent that won the event the year before.

“We have a number of guys that are leaders, and every guy on this team will be a leader in their own right. But we will have a group of four or five guys and we haven’t gone through the process yet of naming a captain but we are fortunate we have lots of good leaders on this team,” said head coach Willie Desjardins.

The other B.C. player on the roster is Stefan Elliott (Vancouver/HV71, SHL). He spent five years in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades and played in 84 NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche, Arizona Coyotes and Nashville Predators.

Canada is traditionally a force to be reckoned with in men’s hockey, winning 13 medals, nine of them gold, since the first Olympic hockey tournament was held at Antwerp 1920. The team is looking to three-peat as gold medallist Olympic Winter Games, having won back-to-back tournaments at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.

Team Canada opens its Olympic schedule on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, when it meets Switzerland in Group A. The gold-medal game is set to take place on Feb. 25.

· Goaltenders: Justin Peters (Blyth, Ont./Kölner Haie, DEL), Kevin Poulin (Montreal/Medvescak Zagreb, EBEL), Ben Scrivens (Spruce Grove, Alta./Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL);

· Defencemen: Stefan Elliott (Vancouver/HV71, SHL), Chay Genoway (Morden, Man./Lada Togliatti, KHL), Cody Goloubef (Oakville, Ont./Stockton, AHL), Marc-André Gragnani (L’Île-Bizard, Que./HC Dinamo Minsk, KHL), Chris Lee (MacTier, Ont./Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL), Maxim Noreau (Montreal/SC Bern, NLA), Mat Robinson (Calgary/CSKA Moscow, KHL), Karl Stollery (Camrose, Alta./Dinamo Riga, KHL);

· Forwards: René Bourque (Lac La Biche, Alta./Djurgårdens IF, SHL), Gilbert Brulé (Edmonton/Kunlun Red Star, KHL), Andrew Ebbett (Vernon, B.C./SC Bern, NLA), Quinton Howden (Oakbank, Man./HC Dinamo Minsk, KHL), Chris Kelly (Toronto, Ont./Belleville, AHL), Rob Klinkhammer (Lethbridge, Alta./Ak Bars Kazan, KHL), Brandon Kozun (Calgary/Lokomotiv Yaroslav, KHL), Maxim Lapierre (Brossard, Que./HC Lugano, NLA), Eric O’Dell (Ottawa/HC Sochi, KHL), Mason Raymond (Cochrane, Alta./SC Bern, NLA), Derek Roy (Rockland, Ont./Linköping HC, SHL), Christian Thomas (Toronto/Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL), Linden Vey (Wakaw, Sask./Barys Astana, KHL), Wojtek Wolski (Toronto/Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL).

Just Posted

Anglers furious over VIP fishing trip

DFO, SkeenaWild both investigating legality of FN research licence to fishing party

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Visibility improvements coming for Prince Rupert’s downtown streets

Work on McBride Street and Second Avenue intersections, crosswalks, will take place this fall

Pipeline challenger says his feelings are irrelevant

The prospect of a federal review has Kitimat and Terrace businesses and residents worried

Prince Rupert receives Softball BC’s association of the year nomination

Association could receive $1,000 and a free coaching clinic as prizes

More than 125 runners take part in Northern View Cannery Road Race

Teen Terrace runners first to finish 5km and 10km, Prince Rupert runner wins 21km race

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read