Growing up, Canadian hockey players dream of wearing the maple leaf on their chest and competing for gold at the international level. On Wednesday, Dylan Guenther received news that he’ll never forget.
The Edmonton Oil Kings rookie is one of 66 players across the country to be selected to represent Team Canada at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat and Swift Current.
“I am super excited,” said Guenther about being selected. “I’ve been waiting for the list to come out which seems to have gone on forever. I had a lot of fun at their camp, and now I am really excited that I get to represent Canada.”
Guenther and the rest of the 65 players will be divided into three teams — Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red, and Team Canada White — that will then compete against the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. Guenther was assigned to Team Canada White.
Joining Guenther on that list of 66 was his former Northern Alberta Xtreme teammate and fellow first overall pick, Matthew Savoie. Back in Midget, the two NAX products were a phenomenal pairing, combining for 129 points. They also went on to win the CSSHL championship together before heading off to junior.
Now, the opportunity has arisen for the two of them to team up again at the tournament for Team Canada White.
“We’ve been texting, and we’re both excited to play in the tournament and hopefully together,” said Guenther on the possibility of playing with Savoie.
Now in his rookie year with the Oil Kings, Guenther has started his junior career steadily with 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 12 games to begin the season. Right now, he’s playing in a bottom-six role for the Oil Kings as he continues to develop.
With him now being used with that role he’s playing with the Oil Kings and his familiarity with being an offensive threat, Guenther has become a player with a diverse skillset that Team Canada can now utilize.
“I am going to go out there, work hard, and accept the role I am given,” stated Guenther. “It’s an honour to play at that level and in the tournament, so I am going to be happy in whatever role I play.”
The 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge gets underway on November 2nd with all three Canadian teams in action.