The Western Hockey League has announced its rosters for the four team participating in the 2021 WHL Cup, beginning on Wednesday, October 20 in Red Deer, AB. In partnership with B.C. Hockey, Hockey Alberta, Hockey Saskatchewan and Hockey Manitoba, each 20-player provincial team has been released.
Featuring the top 2006-born players from across western Canada, the WHL Cup is an opportunity for young WHL hopefuls to strut their stuff in advance of the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft, held online on Thursday, December 9.
Running from October 20-24, the five-day event will see each participating team face off against each of the other provinces in back-to-back-to-back days in round robin format, before semifinal and championship games are played in the final two days to determine a winner and final standings.
Games will be played at the home of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels, in the Peavey Mart Centrium, as well as the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer Polytechnic. The WHL Cup is long known as the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for the participating players.
Manitoba’s 20-player roster is listed below. The breakdown sees two goaltenders, six defencemen and 12 forwards, with 15 players playing on Winnipeg-based teams during the 2021-22 hockey season. 10 players also hail from Manitoba’s capital city.
FROM THE WHL:
This year will mark the ninth year of the event. The first ever WHL Cup was held in Blackfalds, Alta., in 2009 and featured four of the top eight players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft. In 2011, the Moose Jaw Warriors and Hockey Saskatchewan hosted the event at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Sask. In 2012 and 2013, the tournament was hosted in Calgary at Father David Bauer Arena, the home of the WHL. From 2015 through 2019, the WHL Cup was hosted in Calgary at the Markin MacPhail Centre.
As five-time champions at the tournament, Alberta will boast another strong roster with representation from across the province, including seven players from Calgary and six players from Edmonton. Defencemen Charlie Elick (Calgary) and Keith McInnis (Red Deer) will anchor the blueline, with Brock Souch (Edmonton) fuelling the offense up front.
Team British Columbia
After claiming bronze in 2019, B.C. will field a strong roster once again, including five players from Surrey. Forwards Jordan Gavin (Surrey) and Cayden Lindstrom (Fort St. John) will take aim as B.C. looks for a return to the gold medal game in 2021.
A silver medal finish in 2019 proved Manitoba can compete with the best. In search of gold in 2021, the Keystone Province will be powered by 10 players hailing from Winnipeg, including defenceman Jonas Woo. Lockport’s Cole Bilous will also help to steady the blueline for Team Manitoba.
A historic gold medal finish in 2019 puts the target prominently on Team Saskatchewan in 2021. Looking to defend its WHL Cup title, Saskatchewan will rely on nine players from Saskatoon, including defenceman Tyson Buczkowski and forward Trae Wilke.
The majority of players participating in the event will be selected in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft, or will go on to be listed by WHL Clubs. The WHL Cup, formerly known as the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, has been sponsored since 2009 by the Western Hockey League.
2021 WHL Cup – Event Schedule
Wednesday, October 20
Game 1 – British Columbia at Saskatchewan – 4 p.m. MT
Game 2 – Manitoba at Alberta – 7 p.m. MT
Thursday, October 21
Game 3 – British Columbia at Manitoba – 4 p.m. MT
Game 4 – Alberta at Saskatchewan – 7 p.m. MT
Friday, October 22
Game 5 – Alberta at British Columbia – 12:30 p.m. MT
Game 6 – Saskatchewan at Manitoba – 3:15 p.m. MT (Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer College)
Saturday, October 23
Semifinal 1 – 12:30 p.m. MT
Semifinal 2 – 3:15 p.m. MT (Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer College)
Sunday, October 24
Bronze Medal Game – 10 a.m. MT
Gold Medal Game – 1 p.m. MT
* all games at Peavey Mart Centrium unless otherwise indicated