Pickard named to "Team WHL" For Canada-Russia Challenge - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pickard named to "Team WHL" For Canada-Russia Challenge

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CALGARY, AB - The Canadian Hockey League and the Western Hockey League today announced the players and coaching staff competing in the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge for Team WHL.

The sixth annual ADT Canada Russia Challenge will take place November 17th to 27th, 2008 in Canada as Canadian Hockey League All-Star Teams, from each of its three member Leagues (WHL, OHL and QMJHL), take on the Russian National Junior Team in a six game series.

Team WHL was selected by a special committee of WHL General Managers along with Al Murray, Hockey Canada's Head Scout for the Canadian National Junior Team, as part of the selection process for the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships.

The complete Team WHL roster consists of 25 players - two goalies, eight defenceman and 15 forwards.  Top NHL prospects for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft including Brayden Schenn (Brandon Wheat Kings), Jared Cowen (Spokane Chiefs) and Evander Kane (Vancouver Giants) will compete in the series along with seven first round draft picks from the 2008 NHL Entry including Kyle Beach (Everett Silvertips), Tyler Myers (Kelowna Rockets) and Colten Teubert (Regina Pats).

The two WHL games will be hosted in the province of Saskatchewan by the Swift Current Broncos on Wednesday, November 26th and the Prince Albert Raiders on Thursday, November 27th.  Game tickets are available at the Prince Albert Raiders office (306) 764-4263 and at the Swift Current Broncos office (306) 773-1509 Ext. 1.

Since the introduction of the ADT Canada Russia Challenge in 2003, Team WHL has posted a 9-1 record against the Russian National Junior Team, outscoring their opponent 52-17.  Overall the Canadian Hockey League has a 25-5 record during the ADT Canada Russia Challenge.

The WHL also announced today that Canadian National Junior Team Assistant Coach Willie Desjardins of the Medicine Hat Tigers will serve as Head Coach while the 2007-08 WHL Coach of the Year Don Nachbaur, of the Tri-City Americans, will act as Assistant Coach.  Also, Broncos General Manager/Head Coach Dean Chynoweth will be an Assistant Coach during the Swift Current game and Raiders General Manager/Head Coach Bruno Campese will serve as Assistant Coach for the Prince Albert game.

"We are looking forward to bringing this major international series to two of our long standing small markets in Saskatchewan," commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison, "It is the only time our top Canadian Players in the WHL have the opportunity to compete against their historic rivals from Russia."

Last year the CHL posted a 4-2 record during the series and have won the past five ADT Canada Russia Challenges which has coincided with the Canadian National Junior Team going on to win four straight gold medals at the World Junior Championship.

2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge Schedule of Games

Game 1 - Monday, November 17 in Sydney, NS
Game 2 - Wednesday, November 19 in Saint John, NB
Game 3 - Thursday, November 20 in Guelph, ON

Game 4 - Monday, November 24 in St. Catherines, ON
Game 5 - Wednesday, November 26 in Swift Current, SK

Game 6 - Thursday, November 27 in Prince Albert, SK

All six games will be broadcast nationally on Rogers Sportsnet with RDS televising both games from the QMJHL.

The following is the list of WHL players participating in the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge:

Forwards (15):                                      Club:                                        Hometown:

Bast, Jason                                          Moose Jaw                               Moose Jaw, SK

Beach, Kyle*                                         Everett                                      Kelowna, BC                            

Benn, Jamie                                          Kelowna                                    Victoria, BC

Boychuk, Zach*                                     Lethbridge                                Airdrie, AB

Broda, Joel                                           Moose Jaw                               Prince Albert, SK

Calvert, Matt                                         Brandon                                    Brandon, MB

Eberle, Jordan*                                     Regina                                      Regina, SK

Ennis, Tyler*                                          Medicine Hat                             Edmonton, AB

Kane, Evander**                                    Vancouver                                Vancouver, BC

Kozun, Brandon                                    Calgary                                     Calgary, AB

Sceviour, Colton                                   Lethbridge                                Red Deer, AB

Schenn, Braydon**                                Brandon                                    Saskatoon, SK

Sonne, Brett                                          Calgary                                     Maple Ridge, BC

Sylvester, Dustin                                   Kootenay                                  Kelowna, BC

Tyrell, Dana                                           Prince George                           Airdire, AB

Defence (8):                                          Club:                                        Hometown:
Aulie, Keith                                           Brandon                                    Rouleau, SK

Cowen, Jared**                                     Spokane                                   Allan, SK
Hamonic, Travis                                    Moose Jaw                               St. Malo, MB

Hickey, Thomas*                                   Seattle                                      Calgary, AB

Myers, Tyler*                                         Kelowna                                    DeWinton, AB

Negrin, John                                         Kootenay                                  Vancouver, BC

Spurgeon, Jared                                   Spokane                                   Edmonton, AB

Teubert, Colten                                      Regina                                      White Rock, BC

Goaltenders (2):                                    Club:                                        Hometown:

Pickard, Chet*                                       Tri-City Americans                     Winnipeg, MB

Tokarski, Dustin                                     Spokane                                   Watson, SK

* First round pick 2008 NHL Entry Draft

** 1991 birth-dates eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft

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Cory Flett



Western Hockey League

#1 - 3030 Sunridge Way NE

Calgary, AB, T1Y 7K4