Richmond forward Mathew Ward is among 20 players named to the U16 Team BC roster for the Western Hockey League (WHL) Cup, taking place October 23-27 in Calgary.
Ward, 15, was selected 15th overall in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft by the Swift Current Broncos. He played two seasons at the Delta Hockey Academy, posting 64 points, including 24 goals, in 30 games during the 2-18-19 campaign. He has since shifted to the West Vancouver Academy where he has 14 points in seven games so far this season.
The Team BC roster was finalized based on performance at this summer’s Provincial Camp and pre-season evaluations.
“Our Team BC staff has worked hard to put together a group of talented players,” commented BC Hockey Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Barry Petrachenko. “Their mix of hockey smarts, skills and size will be exciting to watch as they take this next development step at the WHL Cup.”
The WHL Cup, formerly known as the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, features the highest-rated players in the under-16 age category from the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The four (4) team round robin format is the first step in the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence (POE) and assists the four (4) western provincial hockey Branches in evaluating the top prospects in this age group for future high-performance programs.
The WHL Cup is made possible through financial support provided by the WHL. The majority of players participating in the event were selected in the WHL Bantam Draft in May 2019 and many of these top prospects will play major roles with WHL clubs in the seasons ahead.
Team BC captured the gold medal in 2012 for the first time in the history of the tournament. Their tournament finish was then followed up with a silver medal in 2013 and another gold in 2017.