Pens Elite Alum Cade Webber to play in 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Augustby Pittsburgh Penguins @penguins / Media Release
Cade Webber, a Meadville, Pa. native who played for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite AAA hockey program between 2013 and '16, was chosen to represent Team USA at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, which will be played August 6-11, 2018 in Red Deer and Edmonton, Alberta.
Webber, 17, is the first player from the Penguins Elite program to suit up for the Americans in a major international tournament. The 6-foot-5, 194-pound defenseman has played his last two seasons at The Rivers School, a prep school in Massachusetts. When Webber skated for Penguins Elite, he was coached by currents Pens' assistant coach Mark Recchi.
Webber, who has already committed to play collegiately at Boston University, was chosen with the fifth-overall selection by the Madison Capitols in the 2017 United States Hockey League Futures Draft. That same year, he was also chosen in the 11th round by the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires. Webber has participated in national USA Hockey select camps each of the past three years.
Team USA plays its first preliminary game on Monday, August 6 at 9:00 PM ET against the Czech Republic. For a complete U.S. schedule, plus tournament coverage, visit this link:https://teamusa.usahockey.com/page/show/4247790-2018-hlinka-gretzky-cup.
According to USA Hockey's press release announcing the team, the tournament has been newly rebranded as the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, an annual event held each August for national under-18 teams from around the world. It's one of the few best-on-best international competitions for this draft-eligible age group, and it represents the first major event on the scouting calendar each season for NHL talent evaluators. Eight members of the 2017 U.S Team were chosen in the 2018 NHL Draft. In all, 77 alumni of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup were selected by NHL clubs, including seven of the top 10 picks and 19 first-rounders.
Before this year, the tournament had been known as the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup since 2007. It originally debuted in 1991 as the Phoenix Cup. The '07 change was made to honor Hlinka, a legendary player and coach at the international level who passed away in a car accident in 2004. Hlinka, a Czech native, won bronze (1972) and silver medals (1976) representing Czechoslovakia as a player, before coaching the Czech Republic to a gold medal in 1998, the first Olympic Games to feature NHL players. Hlinka coached the Penguins for one-plus year in 2000-01, leading the Pens to the 2001 Eastern Conference Final following Mario Lemieux's midseason return.