Merkley named to Canada’s U-18 team

WHL rookie of the year one of 22 players Canadians to play next week at Ivan Hlinka Memorial

Nick Merkley will wear his country’s colours next week in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia.

The 17-year-old centre for the Kelowna Rockets was one of 22 players named this week to Team Canada for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Under-18 tournament, from Aug. 11 to 16.

Merkley is coming off a stellar debut season with the Rockets, as he was named the WHL’s rookie of the year. The Calgary native scored 25 goals and added 33 assists in 66 games during the regular season. He then added 17 points in 14 playoff games.

Canada has won the annual summer under-18 tournament six consecutive years, and 18 of 23 tournaments since 1991.Canada will face the Czech Republic in a pre-tournament game in Breclav on Saturday, Aug. 9 before opening the tournament against Switzerland on Monday, Aug. 11. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals on Friday, Aug. 15, with the gold medal game scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 16.


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