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Prospects Named to 2016 World Junior Teams

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE - The San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) today announced that several prospects have been selected to represent their country at the 2016 World Junior Championship tournament, set to begin in Helsinki, Finland, on Dec. 26. Forward Rourke Chartier has been named to Team Canada while forwards Timo Meier (@MeierTimo) and Noah Rod (@Noah2718) have been named to Team Switzerland.

The 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held in Helsinki, Finland from Dec. 26, 2015 to Jan. 5, 2016. Select games from the tournament will be televised in the United States on the NHL Network.

In 2014, Chartier won a gold medal at the Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic as a member of Canada's U18 team, registering one assist and a +2 rating in five games.

Chartier has recorded six goals and three assists in 10 games for Kelowna this season. Last season, he ranked 1st on his team (3rd in the league) in goals (48) and 2nd in points (82). He led the Rockets to the WHL Championship and was named CHL Sportsman of the Year.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was selected by the Sharks in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

The 19-year-old Meier represented Switzerland at the 2015 World Junior Championship, where he finished T-3rd on the team in assists (4) to go along with a +2 rating. Meier was selected as one of Switzerland's top players in the tournament by a panel of coaches.

This season for Halifax of the QMJHL, Meier has posted 36 points (11-25=36) in 23 games as the team captain. Meier ranks 3rd in team scoring and has been named a player of the game five times for the Mooseheads. Last season he was awarded the Michael Bossy Trophy, given to the QMJHL player judged to be the best prospect.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound native of Herisau, Switzerland, was selected by the Sharks in the first round (9th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

In six games at the 2015 World Junior Championship, Rod tallied six points (3-3=6) and was named a top player for his country. He will be appearing for the second time on the Swiss National team.

Rod, 19, has 11 points (7-4=11) in 28 games for Genève-Servette HC in Switzerland's highest professional league this season. Last year was Rod's first full season in Switzerland's highest professional league where he was the youngest player to appear in 38 games.

The 6-foot, 195-pound native of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, was selected by the Sharks in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.

In addition, two Sharks prospects recently competed in the Division I Group A U20 World Championship. Forward Rudolfs Balcers and defenseman Karlis Cukste played for Latvia, which won the round robin tournament and will be promoted to the World Jr. Championship next year.

The 18-year-old Balcers posted one goal, one assist and led his team with 19 shots on goal in five tournament games. He also represented Latvia at the 2015 World Junior Championships, where he finished the tournament with two points (2-0=2) and a +2 rating in five games. At the 2014 U-18 World Junior Championships, Balcers helped Latvia win a gold medal while registering two assists and a +3 rating in five games.

Balcers has posted 19 points (12-7=19) in 23 games for the Stavanger Oilers in Norway's highest professional league. He currently ranks 1st in goals, 4th in points and 3rd in plus/minus (+18). Last season, Balcers was the youngest player to appear in a full season on Stavanger and helped the team win the Norwegian Championship.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound native of Liepaja, Latvia, was selected by the Sharks in the fifth round (142nd overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Cukste was named the tournament's Best Defenseman, posting three assists and a +5 rating in five games. In addition, he won a bronze medal with Latvia at the World Championships last year, scoring three points (1-2=3) in five games. More so, he finished T-2nd on Latvia in points (six in six games) at the U-18 World Championships.

This season Cukste, 18, has three points (1-2=3) in 12 games for the Chicago Steel of the USHL. Last year for HK Riga of the MHL, the defenseman scored 15 points (7-8=15) in 56 games.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of Riga, Latvia, was selected by the Sharks in the fifth round (130th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

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