A pair of "exceptional" junior hockey players will join forces for Ontario when the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is held in Victoriaville and Drummondville, Quebec.
The 10-team tournament, scheduled Dec. 29, 2012, through Jan. 4, 2013, features five clubs from Canada, along with teams from the United States, Finland, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden. A total of 18 players who had at one time participated in the 2012 World U-17 Hockey Challenge were selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh last June.
Highlighting Ontario's roster are 2014 draft-eligible defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts and 2015 draft prospect Connor McDavid of the OHL's Erie Otters. Both players were granted exceptional player status by Hockey Canada to be eligible for their respective OHL Priority Selection drafts. Ekblad was promptly drafted No. 1 by the Colts in 2011 and McDavid was chosen first by the Otters in 2012.