By RYAN MCCRACKEN on April 3, 2021.
He may be competing south of the border, but that won’t stop Cole Sillinger from lacing up his skates with Team Canada at the IIHF U18 World Championship later this month.
The 17-year-old Medicine Hat Tigers forward opted to compete in the USHL with so much uncertainty surrounding a potential WHL season. Sillinger held the team lead for points with 41 in 27 games – good enough for 13th in the league – heading into this weekend’s games.
While he will remain with Sioux Falls until the Stampeders finish their season, Sillinger will be on display and representing his home country alongside nine other WHL products, many of whom he played alongside or against at the IIHF World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2019.
The WHL announced Thursday that Sillinger will be joined by WHLers Thomas Milic (Seattle Thunderbirds goaltender), Tyler Brennan (Prince George Cougars goaltender), defencemen Nolan Allan (Prince Albert Raiders), Olen Zellweger (Everett Silvertips) and Carson Lambos (Winnipeg Ice), and forwards Logan Stankoven (Kamloops Blazers), Conner Roulette (Seattle Thunderbirds), Connor Bedard (Regina Pats) and Dylan Guenther (Edmonton Oil Kings).
Sillinger – a 6-foot, 187-pound Regina product – produced 22 goals and 31 assists in 48 games as a rookie with the Tigers last season and earned an A rating in NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary players to watch list.
The U18 world championships will be held in Frisco and Plano, Texas from April 26 to May 6.