CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has added forward Nicholas Porco (Saginaw Spirit) to the list of the nation’s top under-18 hockey prospects gathering in Calgary beginning July 28 who will vie for a spot on Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team competing at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton and Red Deer Aug. 6-11.
Porco played for Team Canada White at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C., finishing fourth.
He replaces Massimo Rizzo (Burnaby, B.C./Penticton, BCHL), who is unable to attend selection camp due to injury.
In all, 44 players are set to attend the selection camp hosted in Calgary, including four goaltenders, 14 defencemen, and 26 forwards who are developing in the CHL and CJHL. Three of those players were part of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team that competed at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship in Russia last April, going undefeated in preliminary-round action (Byram, Lafrenière, Robertson).
Newly rebranded as the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, the annual tournament is one of the only true, best-on-best competitions for this age group. While the event is being co-hosted in Edmonton and Red Deer, Canada will play all of its games out of Rogers Place in Edmonton, except for a pre-tournament game against the Czech Republic slated for 7 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the brand-new Servus Arena in Red Deer.
Canada won last year’s edition of the event in Breclav, Czech Republic, besting the host team 4-1, with a squad that included 18 players who were selected in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in June. When all of the picks were in, 77 alumni of the event were selected by NHL Clubs – 19 first-rounders, in fact – including seven of the top-10 picks.
Canada has won gold 21 times in 27 years of summer under-18 competition.
For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, and the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, please visit HlinkaGretzkyCup.com, or follow through social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter.com/HC_Men.