Josh Brook will get his first chance to wear the Team Canada jersey next month.
The Moose Jaw Warriors’ rookie defenceman was one of 66 players named to the three Canadian national teams for the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
“I’m very excited, I’m pumped to be able to represent my country on one of the three teams, and it’s very exciting,” said Brook after receiving the news on Friday.
The tournament will be held Nov. 1-Nov. 7 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C.
Canada switched to the format of sending three national teams, instead of five regional teams last year. They will face off with the United States, Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Finland over the course of the week-long tournament.
The players were selected after attending the Hockey Canada Summer Showcase at the end of July in Calgary. Brook feels he was able to put together a strong showing then and has carried that over into the start of his first season with the Warriors.
“I’ve just been working hard and show what I’ve got and I guess they saw what they liked,” said Brook.
The tournament will feature the top 16-year-old players from across the world. Brook said he’s looking forward to seeing how he measures up against the best.
“I get to see all the players around the world at my age and see what I’m up against,” he said. “You’re always measuring yourself up against other players because you want to be the best and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
With four games under his belt with the Warriors so far this season, Brook has fit in well at the major junior level in his rookie season. He has two assists and has been solid defensively.
Brook feels his defensive game is where he needs to improve the most and he taking part in a high-level tournament like this is a good place to try and push for that next level.
“I need work on getting stronger, battling harder and winning puck battles,” said Brook.
“Defensive zone is my biggest area that I need to work on the most, I need to do better there. It’s about winning battles, being more patient and making better plays.”
Each team plays three round robin games at the tournament before the playoff round. There was 20 players from the Western Hockey League named to this year’s team.
“It’s definitely going to be a good experience and I’m just going to try to work on improving the best I can,” said Brook.
The Roblin, Man. native will depart for the tournament later this month. The gold medal game goes on Saturday, Nov. 7.