Thursday, 13 October 2011

Canes Prospect Pilon to Play in U-16 Challenge Cup

The four Western Provincial Hockey Associations – Hockey Alberta, BC Hockey, Hockey Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association – in partnership with the Western Hockey League (WHL) and Moose Jaw Warriors are pleased to announce the players and coaching staff competing in the 2011 Western Canada Under 16 Challenge Cup.

The Western Canada Under 16 Challenge Cup will be held at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, SK, October 27 – 30, and will feature the highest rated players in the Under 16 age category representing the four Western Provinces of Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The four team round robin tournament format will assist the four Western Provincial Hockey Associations in evaluating these top prospects for future Program of Excellence competitions.

Each Provincial Team was selected by a committee within each of the four Western Provincial Hockey Associations following evaluation camps held throughout this past summer and consist of 20 players – two goalies, six defenceman and 12 forwards. Of the 80 players selected to compete in the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, 69 are top WHL prospects selected in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft including BC’s Jake Virtanen, selected 1st overall by the Calgary Hitmen; Alberta’s Brycen Martin, selected 2nd overall by the Swift Current Broncos, Saskatchewan’s Ryan Pilon, selected 3rd overall by the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and Manitoba’s Jordan Thomson, selected 4th overall by the Kamloops Blazers. In total, 20 1st round selections from the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, and 16 2nd round picks were selected to compete.

The first ever Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup was held in Blackfalds, Alberta in 2009 and was highly successful due largely to the support of the local community and Hockey Alberta. Of the 80 players who competed in the event in 2009, 50 are now playing in the WHL including top rated prospects for the 2012 NHL Draft; Matt Dumba (Red Deer Rebels), Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat Tigers), Derek Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks), Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oil Kings) and Morgan Reilly (Moose Jaw Warriors). These same five players recently helped Canada’s National Under 18 team to a Gold Medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament held this past summer.



  1. It's great to see so many Cane draft picks on this roster. Even our 7th Round pick made the team! Good for him!

    This particular time is going to show whether Preston knows what he is doing as a GM or not. The Canes are short-handed due to injuries and so far, Preston hasn't done anything to shore that up except to call up Duke. I'm curious how long Sutter and Merkley will be out. If they are out for an extended period of time (and nobody in the Cane's management is talking about it), Preston will need to act sooner rather than later.

    According to Preston's interview on Global Sports, the goalie issue is being dealt with. He hasn't dealt with the overage situation very well. Traded for Marantz and then trade him away. Seemed a waste of time and effort for Preston. Not sure what he was thinking there? He already knew he had a goalie problem.

    I'm curious to see how Preston does at this particular time. They can't afford to keep losing games. They're winless in 6 and need a win in Kootenay or at least at home against Swift Current. His action (or inaction) could help turn this around or send them further into the basement. If Sutter and Merkley are going to be out for a while, then the team needs a forward who get a forward who can contribute on the scoresheet AND in the dressing room by the end of this weekend. Preston wears both GM and Coach's hats and I want to see if he knows what he's doing as a GM.


  2. Couldn't agree more. Having gone to 30+ games for the past 15 seasons or so, there's only been "real" reason to be excited for 2 of those years. At least during those years there was a stand out guy like Nathan Barrett, Jeremy Jackson, Brent Seabrook, etc. It seems like there is just potential to get excited over now. This is good and all, but after a while it's easy to see why people lose interest.

  3. I totally disagree with Kip. I think re-building years are exciting... We've only had 10 in a row..

  4. I looked up Pilon's stats in the Midget league he plays in and they are very good. I believe he is one of the top half dozen scoring D-man in the entire league, along with being the top 15 year old/rookie scoring D-man. He is only 14 years of age and seems to be a potential world clas player. He is also huge for his age. Pilon is about 6'1" and 175 lbs.

  5. Pillon will be the best talent we have ever had.
    Book it!