Oakville’s Ritchie, Lardis to suit up for Canada at U18 world hockey championship
Oakville natives Calum Ritchie and Nick Lardis will be representing Canada at the upcoming 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship in Switzerland.
Ritchie, a centre with the Oshawa Generals, and Lardis, a winger with the Hamilton Bulldogs, are two of 11 OHL players selected to the national team which will compete in the tournament set to take place from April 20-30 in Basel and Porrentruy, Switzerland.
“We are excited to unveil the 22 players who will wear the Maple Leaf at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship, as we believe this group brings a lot of talent and experience from the Canadian Hockey League and international competition,” said Alan Millar, Director of Player Personnel for Hockey Canada.
“We know this group is excited for the opportunity to compete for a gold medal and will represent Canada with pride in Switzerland.”
Ritchie, who is one of the top rated prospects for the 2023 NHL Draft being held on June 28-29 in Nashville, had 24 goals and 35 assists for 59 points in 59 games this season with the Generals.
The six-foot-two, 187 pound forward, had two goals and four assist for six points in five games in the Generals first-round playoff series loss to Ottawa.
Lardis, also a top prospect for the upcoming NHL draft, is coming off a strong finish to the OHL season with the Bulldogs.
The winger, who was traded to Hamilton by Peterborough at the OHL trade deadline in January, finished the year with 37 goals and 28 assists for 65 points in 69 games. Of those stats, 25 goals and 21 assists came in 33 games with the Bulldogs.
Hamilton was eliminated by the Barrie Colts in the first round of the playoffs, but Lardis led his team in scoring with five goals and five assists for 10 points in six games.
Lardis also scored twice for Canada in pre-tournament 6-5 victory over Finland on Sunday (April 16).
Canada opens the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship against Sweden on April 20 at 8:30 a.m. ET / 5:30 a.m. PT. It will also take on Germany on April 21, Slovakia on April 23, and Czechia on April 24 to round out the preliminary round before the tournament wraps up with the bronze and gold medal games on April 30.
Since 2002, Canada has won four gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021), in addition to one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).
TSN and RDS will broadcast select tournament games, including all Team Canada games.
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