Top 2017 NHL Draft prospects Nolan Patrick and Callan Foote highlight the team representing the Western Hockey League for the first two games of the 2016 Canada Russia Series.
The games will be played in Prince George, British Columbia, on Nov. 7 and Edmonton on Nov. 8. The six-game Canada Russia Series is another step in picking the teams that will play for Canada and Russia at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played in Montreal and Toronto from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
Patrick, a center with Brandon who earned an A rating from NHL Central Scouting on its preliminary players to watch list, is a candidate to be the No. 1 pick at the 2017 draft. The 6-foot-3, 198-pound center has four goals and five assists in six games but has missed the past two games because of an upper-body injury.
"He reminds me of guys like Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres) or Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers) because he's not flashy but so good and smart," Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan said. "He reads the ice as well as any forward I saw in the WHL [last season]. He's a scorer and playmaker."
Foote (6-3, 213), a defenseman with Kelowna also earned an A rating from Central Scouting. He leads Kelowna in scoring with eight points, all assists, in 11 games.
"I think the best trait is his intelligence," Kelowna assistant general manager Lorne Frey said. "He's very smart. Cerebral. He makes excellent decisions with the puck. And he's a very good defender in the sense that you can tell he's been well-schooled. He's very good defensively, he moves the puck exceptionally well. He's very intelligent. He has offensive ability as well."
Two players picked in the first round of the 2016 draft were named to the roster: Brett Howden, selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning at No. 27, and Sam Steel, taken by the Anaheim Ducks at No. 30.
In addition to the games against the WHL, Russia will play two games each against teams from the Ontario Hockey League (North Bay Battalion on Nov. 10; Hamilton Bulldogs on Nov. 14) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Chicoutimi Saguenéens on Nov. 15; Baie-Comeau Drakkar on Nov. 17). Rosters for those games, as well as for Russia, will be released at a later date.
TEAM WHL ROSTER
GOALTENDERS: Carter Hart, Everett (Philadelphia Flyers); Connor Ingram, Kamloops (Tampa Bay Lightning)
DEFENSEMEN: Kale Clague, Brandon (Los Angeles Kings); Callan Foote, Kelowna (2017 draft eligible); Brendan Guhle, Prince Albert (Buffalo Sabres); Connor Hobbs, Regina (Washington Capitals); Noah Juulsen, Everett (Montreal Canadiens); Parker Wotherspoon, Tri-City (New York Islanders
FORWARDS: Tyler Benson, Vancouver (Edmonton Oilers); Dillon Dube, Kelowna (Calgary Flames); Giorgio Estephan, Lethbridge (Buffalo Sabres); Jansen Harkins, Prince George (Winnipeg Jets); Brett Howden, Moose Jaw (Tampa Bay Lightning); Nicholas Merkley, Kelowna (Arizona Coyotes); Nolan Patrick, Brandon (2017 draft eligible); Ty Ronning, Vancouver (New York Rangers); Deven Sideroff, Kamloops (Anaheim Ducks); Tyler Soy, Victoria (Anaheim Ducks); Sam Steel, Regina (Anaheim Ducks); Austin Wagner, Regina (Los Angeles Kings)