Layton Ahac has made the cut for Team Canada West and will not be available to the Prince George Spruce Kings for the next two weeks.
The 17-year-old Prince George Spruce Kings defenceman is among 14 B.C. Hockey League players who cracked the 22-player roster and will get a chance to defend the gold medal Canada West won last year at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge in Bonneville, Alta., Dec. 9-16.
Ahac, a native of North Vancouver who has been recruited to play for Ohio State University next season, has 17 assists in 31 games for the Spruce Kings this season.
Two other Spruce Kings defencemen were invited to the team tryouts in Calgary which started Monday. Nick Bochen, 17, attended the camp but did not make the team. Dylan Anhorn, 19, was asked to attend the tryout but suffered a concussion in Saturday's game against the Langley Rivermen at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena and is on the injured list.
Five players from the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL are on the Canada West roster, including forwards Alex Newhook, Alexander Campbell and Riley Hughes, and defencemen Jeremie Bucheler and Carter Berger.
The other BCHL'ers who made the team were: Forwards - Massimo Rizzo and Jim Silye (both Penticton Vees), Mathieu Gosselin (Merritt Centennials), Harrison Blaisdell (Chilliwack Chiefs), Ethan Leyh (Langley Rivermen), Alex Swetlikoff (Vernon Vipers); Defenceman - Mason Snell (Penticton).
Canada West beat the United States 5-1 last year in the championship game in Truro, N.S.
The tournament has been reduced from its usual six-team format to five teams. Each team will play each other once in the round-robin tournament which includes Canada West, Canada East, the U.S., Czech Republic and Russia.