CALGARY — Hockey Canada has released its 26-player roster for the upcoming Karjala Cup is it continues to build its first Olympic team without NHL players since 1992.
Former NHL forwards Rene Bourque, Wojtek Wolski, Mason Raymond and Derek Roy and goaltender Ben Scrivens will lead a group of Canadian players almost entirely based in Europe.
The roster was selected by management and coaching staff of Canada's national men's team, led by general manager Sean Burke and head coach Willie Desjardins, following two week-long competitions in Russia in August.
The Karjala Cup, a warmup tournament ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics, takes place Nov. 8-12 in Helsinki and Biel, Switzerland and will see Canada face off against Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland.
"We are bringing together a group of players who are on our radar for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games as part of our ongoing evaluation process, with the goal of fielding the best possible team next February," Burke said in a statement.
The NHL decided earlier this year not to interrupt its 2017-18 season to allow players to participate in the 2018 Olympics, which will be held February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Forwards — Rene Bourque, Lac La Biche, Alta., Djurgardens IF (SHL); Gilbert Brule, Edmonton, Kunlun Red Star (KHL); Andrew Ebbett, Vernon, B.C., SC Bern (NLA); Matt Ellison, Duncan, B.C., Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL); Matt Frattin, Edmonton, Barys Astana (KHL); Quinton Howden, Oakbank, Man., Dinamo Minsk (KHL); 29 Rob Klinkhammer, Lethbridge, Alta., Ak Bars Kazan (KHL); Brandon Kozun, Calgary, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL); Eric O'Dell, Ottawa, HC Sochi (KHL); Mason Raymond, Cochrane, Alta., SC Bern (NLA); Derek Roy, Rockland, Ont. Linkoping HC (SHL); Dylan Sikura, Aurora, Ont., Northeastern University (HE); Christian Thomas, Toronto, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL); Wojtek Wolski, Zabrze, Poland, Kunlun Red Star (KHL)
Defence — Jesse Blacker, Toronto, Kunlun Red Star (KHL); Simon Despres, Laval, Que., HC Slovan Bratislava (KHL); Chay Genoway, Morden, Man., Lada Togliatti; Geoff Kinrade, Nelson, B.C. Kunlun Red Star (KHL); Chris Lee, MacTier, Ont., Hockey Canada; Maxim Noreau, Montreal, SC Bern (NLA); Mat Robinson, Calgary, CSKA Moscow; Karl Stollery, Camrose, Alta., Dinamo Riga (KHL); Zach Whitecloud, Brandon, Man. Bemidji State University (WCHA)
Goaltenders — Justin Peters, Blythe, Ont., Kolner Haie (DEL); Ben Scrivens Goaltender, Spruce Grove, Alta. Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)