Vernon’s Andrew Ebbett has caught the eye of those selecting Canada’s entry in men’s hockey for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
With the NHL not taking part in the Olympics, Canada’s roster will be made up mostly of pros playing in North American, on an American Hockey League contract or, like Ebbett, playing professionally in Europe.
Ebbett – the first-ever player signed by the B.C. Hockey League’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks – plays in Switzerland. He and former Vernon Vipers defenceman Chay Genoway helped Canada win the Spengler Cup international hockey tournament over Christmas in 2016.
Ebbett, Genoway and former Silverbacks defenceman Jonathan Sigalet have all been named to the Canadian roster that will play in the Sochi Hockey Open Aug. 6-9 in Sochi, Russia.
Genoway plays professionally in Russia, in the KHL, Sigalet plays in Sweden.
Also named to Team Canada are former Edmonton Oilers star Gilbert Brulé and former Vancouver Canucks star Mason Raymond.
Team Canada has also named a completely different roster for the Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov in St. Petersburg, Russia, later in August.
Both rosters are made up almost entirely of players currently skating in Europe.
“We’re going to play these two events in Augtust, hopefully finding out a lot of things that we have,” said Team Canada general manager, former NHL goalie and Olympian Sean Burke. “But we’re going to have to also find out some of the things we don’t have.”
Former Canucks bench boss Willie Desjardins has been named head coach for Canada’s Olympic team.