Winnipeg – Hockey Canada has announced the names of the first eighteen players who have been invited to wear the Maple Leaf at next month’s World Men’s Championship in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany. And that group includes Center Mark Scheifele, Defenseman Josh Morrissey, and Goalie Eric Comrie of the Winnipeg Jets.
Joining that trio is Athletic Therapist Rob Milette who was also with Canada’s Gold Medal winning team at the 2015 Tournament in the Czech Republic.
Scheifele is one of five returnees from the Gold Medal winning team of a year ago in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia where he averaged a point a game with 5-4-9 in the tournament. The 24 year old was the NHL’s seventh leading scorer this past season with career highs of 32 goals and 50 assists for 82 points.
Scheifele also played for Team North America in the World Cup of Hockey last September and will be making his fifth appearance for Canada at the World Championship level. The Jets forward also played in the 2014 World Championship as well as the 2011 World U18 Championship and the 2012 and 2013 World Junior Championship Tournaments.
Morrissey, coming off an impressive rookie season in the NHL, was one of only four Jets to suit up for all 82 games. Winnipeg’s first round pick in 2013 scored six goals and added 14 assists, with 14 of those 20 points coming in the second half of the schedule.
The 22 year old Calgary Native has extensive international experience at the amateur level with Hockey Canada, starting with Canada Pacific at the 2012 World U17 Hockey Challenge. He won a bronze medal at the 2012 U18 World Championship and gold medal at the 2013 U18 World Championship. Morrissey also played for Canada at the 2014 and 2015 World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal in 2015.
Like Morrissey, Comrie will also be making his debut at this year’s World Championship Tournament. The 21 year old from Edmonton stopped 35 of 39 shots in his first NHL game earlier this month when the Jets defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road.
Comrie’s second professional season with the Manitoba Moose saw the Jets second round pick in 2013 register a 19-26-2 record with a 2.96 goals-against average and .906 save percentage for Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate.
Comrie played for Canada Pacific at the 2012 World U17 Hockey Challenge and a won a gold medal playing for Canada at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka U18 Memorial Tournament as well as the 2015 World Junior Championship.
Besides the three Jets, and the four returnees, the remainder of the roster includes defencemen Tyson Barrie (Colorado), Calvin de Haan (Islanders), and Jason Demers (Florida).
The Philadelphia Flyers will be well represented up front by Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, and Travis Konecny. Tampa Bay team mates Alex Killorn and Brayden Point, as well as Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado), and Jeff Skinner (Carolina) round out the forward ranks.
General Manager Ron Hextall and the Coaching Staff of Bench Boss Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay) along with assistants Gerard Gallant (Vegas) Dave Hakstol (Philadelphia) and Dave King will fill out the roster with additions from teams eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Canada will play a tune up game against Switzerland on Tuesday, May 2nd as part of their pre-tournament camp in Geneva before beginning preliminary round play against the Czech Republic on Friday, May 5th at 1:15 p.m. CDT in Paris.