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In My Own Words: Noah Warren

The Gatineau Olympiques defenceman and 2020 Youth Olympics bronze medallist talks about his future in the game, and the role he hopes to play in making hockey more diverse

Noah Warren
February 23, 2021

Like a lot of junior hockey players, I have big goals for my hockey career. But there’s one that’s more important to me than anything else.

I want to be a role model for young Black kids.

I’ve dealt with racism in hockey. I’ve been called names on the ice. And it’s hard. I learned to use the hateful words as motivation for my own game, to prove the haters wrong.

It’s encouraging to see that leagues and federations are taking tangible steps to remove racism from the game, but I’m motivated to do what I can to make the game a better place. To make it safer and more welcoming for everyone, regardless of the colour of their skin. I want to follow in the footsteps of players like Anthony Duclair and P.K. Subban, and hopefully join in the work being done by the Hockey Diversity Alliance.

The world has seen a lot of change in the last year, and I want to be part of that change. I may only be 16, but I want my voice to be heard – now and in the future.


It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say I was born to be an athlete. My grandfather, Raynald Boutin, played in the QMJHL with Chicoutimi in the 1960s. My father, Claude, played through Midget [now U18] and was a swim coach, and my mother, Magalie, was a nationally ranked swimmer.

I played everything growing up; I swam, and I played soccer, tennis and basketball. But there was nothing like hockey for me. From the first time I got on the outdoor rink with my friends, I knew that was where I belonged. It fed my passion for the game, and I’ve still got that passion today.

My path hasn’t been much different than so many other players across the country. I started out in MAHG here in Quebec, and just worked my way up. I played for a few LHAs in and around Richelieu, finishing my minor hockey career with the Riverains du Collège Charles-Lemoyne in the LHMAAAQ.

I will admit, I wasn’t very good when I started. But I always wanted to be better. I watched older players and told my dad I wanted to be as good as them. So, he helped make that happen. We trained during the season and during the summer to make me a better player.

It didn’t hurt that I had a huge growth spurt when I was 10 years old. After that I moved from forward to defence to take advantage my size, and today I’m 6-foot-5 and 209 pounds.

I had a couple of great seasons with Charles-Lemoyne, which helped me get selected eighth overall by Gatineau in the QMJHL Draft last June. I was actually the fourth pick by the Olympiques in the first round – the team picked first, second, fourth and eighth. It has been an interesting rookie season thanks to COVID-19. We had our camp in the fall, but the season has been a lot of stops and starts. It has been a challenge, but there is a lot to look forward to.

Without a doubt, my career highlight came last January when I was selected to represent Canada at the Winter Youth Olympic Games. I have watched the Olympics imagining myself wearing the Maple Leaf, and to do it at 15 years old was a dream come true.

We won bronze, which was great, but it was all about the experience. I had been to Europe for hockey before, but this was so much different. To play against the Russians and the Americans, to measure myself against the best players in the world … it opened my eyes to what I needed to work on.

I hope that’s just the first international experience I’ll have. It was disappointing to have the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge cancelled this season because of the pandemic, but I know there will be other opportunities.


Every up and down I’ve had in the game has helped me learn my strengths and my weaknesses. My size is definitely a positive. I’m a big body who likes to play physical. I have a heavy shot, but I need to get it on net more. And I can make better decisions.

But the best part is I’m only 16. I know I’m going to get better and gain more confidence.

Hopefully, I’ll hear my name called at the NHL Draft in the summer of 2022, hopefully, I’ll have a career in the National Hockey League, and hopefully – as I said earlier – I’ll have a role in continuing to make hockey a more diverse and inclusive game.

I’m excited to look to the future. For myself, for my family and for the Black players who will follow me.

Jaques ready for what comes next

After a decorated academic and athletic career at Ohio State University, Sophie Jaques is using her place in the game – with Team Canada and in the PWHL – to inspire the next generation

Jonathan Yue
February 21, 2024

Sophie Jaques had plans to pursue a career in civil engineering.

Instead, the 23-year-old finds herself living out her dream as a professional hockey player with PWHL Minnesota.

“It’s been a really exciting time for women’s hockey,” Jaques says. “It’s been great to play alongside the best players in the world and learn from all their experiences.”

Jaques was born in Toronto and grew up in the city's west end, where she developed an early love for hockey.

“I started playing hockey at Rennie Park by my house,” she recalls. “I really liked it, so my parents put me in a learn-to-play program and I fell in love with the game from there.

“I remember always having a smile on my face and enjoying the time with my friends, enjoying hot chocolate and those little things like jumping into the snowbank after the Zamboni came off the ice.”

While attending Silverthorn Collegiate in Etobicoke, Jaques played three seasons with the Toronto Aeros of the Provincial Women's Hockey League — now called the Ontario Women's Hockey League — winning league championships in 2016 and 2018.

Jaques recalls spending countless hours working on her game throughout her early years.

“I went to a lot of shooting clinics when I was younger, working on my shot in the backyard, and I think that helped take my shot to the next level and [it is] something I continue to use every time I step on the ice now.”

That level of commitment is what helped set Jaques apart, whether it was hockey or academics — something that became extremely evident in her five seasons at Ohio State University.

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Making history at OSU

Jaques’ teammates and coaches in Columbus describe her as an easygoing and brilliant student-athlete, but it was on the ice where her character and strength shone through with the Buckeyes.

“Things come naturally for Sophie,” says Nadine Muzerall, women’s hockey head coach at Ohio State. “Seeing her maturity grow over the years, her confidence was a big piece of that growth, and finding success on the ice, she became a leader.”

As a rookie in 2018-19, she led all OSU rookies with 21 points (6-15—21) before topping that with 24 points (9-15—24) as a sophomore.

After posting just two goals and four points in 20 games during the COVID-affected 2020-21 season, Jaques exploded as a senior. her 59 points (21-38—59) in 38 games rank as the second-most by a defender in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) history and the most in Ohio State history. Her contributions led the Buckeyes to their first NCAA national championship and put the women’s hockey world on notice.

“It finally all just clicked that season,” says Jaques. “I developed more confidence in myself, and it allowed me to play at my best. The next season, I wanted to prove that it wasn’t a one-off season, that it wasn’t a fluke that senior season, and that I could play that way."

Jaques returned for a fifth year and picked up right where she left off. Not only did she earn a fellowship from OSU to fund her final year to complete her master’s degree in civil engineering, Jaques put up another 48 points (24-24—48) in 41 games, becoming the first Black woman and only the 10th Canadian to be awarded the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the best women’s hockey player in the NCAA.

“She’s one of the best defencemen to play college hockey and the fact that she joined before OSU was number one in the country, and she helped build this program, that says a lot about her character and being a builder,” Muzerall says.

Jaques filled her trophy case at Ohio State; in addition to the Kazmaier Award, she was a two-time First Team All-American, two-time WCHA Defender of the Year, WCHA Player of the Year, WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete and a four-time member of the WCHA All-Academic Team.

In 2022, she won the Arthur Ashe Jr. Female Sport Scholar of the Year, an honour presented to a minority woman who has distinguished herself in her academic and athletic pursuits..

“I’ve coached a lot of people who had success, but I’ve very rarely coached someone as successful as Sophie,” says Muzerall. “In terms of point production as a defenceman, she’s the only person from Ohio State and all its respected programs to win the Arthur Ashe award, and she humbly accepted it. She was receiving national recognition, not just as a hockey player, but as a brilliant student-athlete, and that has never been done before.”

Reaching out to the community

Jaques’ achievements on and off the ice as a student-athlete only grew the game as her influence and leadership were felt among the young girls and boys in the community.

After finishing her college career last spring, Jaques returned home to Toronto to team up with Saroya Tinker to host the first Black Girl Hockey Club Canada summer camp, sharing her knowledge and experience with the next generation in the community she grew up in.

“At the beginning, it was something that I didn’t really know was happening, but I’m grateful to be in the position where I can inspire others,” Jaques says. “I want to help get more girls into hockey, and hopefully break down more barriers surrounding the game. It’s incredible to know now that I can play a small part in continuing to grow the game.”

Her reach only grew last November when she made her debut for Canada’s National Women’s Team in Los Angeles during the Rivalry Series.

“It was an incredibly grateful feeling to represent my country,” Jaques says. “Playing alongside someone like Jocelyn Larocque, who I watched when I was a young girl, and being around all those girls who have been pioneers for the women’s game, to finally get the chance to wear that jersey with that group, was incredible.”

Emma Maltais, who played with Jaques at Ohio State, was more than happy to welcome her friend to the national team. Before the game, it was Maltais who handed Jaques her Team Canada jersey.

“Sophie’s been dreaming of that moment for a long time,” says Maltais. “She’s so humble and for someone who is so good, there’s a calmness to her while she plays at such a high level. She’s so driven as a person too, in athletics and academics, and that speaks a lot to her as a person and her willingness to go the extra mile to find success.”

Trailblazer once again

After her outstanding college career, Jaques made history by becoming the first-ever Black player and the first Buckeye to be drafted into the PWHL when she was taken 10th overall by Boston — something that wasn’t even an option for her a year ago.

She made history once again earlier this month by being part of the very first PWHL trade when she was dealt to Minnesota.

“I'm really grateful that this year, it is a sustainable league with liveable wages so that I could pursue hockey,” she says. "With the PWHL being here, it helps with the next generation of Black hockey players see representation and show them that it is possible and keep them motivated in their journeys."

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Questions & Answers with Esther Madziya

The Hockey Canada communications manager opens up about her career path, working in sports media as a minority woman and what she’s telling the next generation

Jason La Rose
February 07, 2024

If you’re a working media member that has covered Canada’s National Women’s Team over the last four years, you know the name Esther Madziya.

But if you’re not and you don’t, you should.

A Hockey Canada communications manager, Madziya was part of the staff with the Olympic gold medal-winning team at Beijing 2022, sandwiched around a pair of IIHF Women’s World Championship gold medals, spending weeks and months on end in bubbles and quarantines during the COVID-19 pandemic, away from family and friends, with that singular golden goal in mind.

Outside of her Team Canada work, Madziya is an integral part of the Hockey Canada family, and was recognized for her contributions with the Hal Lewis Award as the organization's staff person of the year for the 2018-19 season.

To celebrate National Women and Girls in Sports Day and Black History Month, sat down with Madziya to talk about her journey and how the industry has evolved for minority women.

HC: How did you get your start in sports media?

EM: I went to SAIT [the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary] and took the broadcast journalism program. The program has evolved since then, but it was called CTSR – Cinema, Stage, Television and Radio. And then you could specialize in whatever you wanted to do.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do at school. Way back when, I wanted to get into accounting, which is not my jam at all, but I always liked sports. And I thought, ‘You know what, maybe I want to get into sports.’ So I took the broadcast program at SAIT, with the hope of getting into sports broadcasting and one day maybe being on TSN.

I ended up getting a job in radio. I did a practicum in Lethbridge, which is my hometown, at the radio station. The station also had the broadcast rights to Lethbridge Hurricanes games, so I was covering the intermission reports and updating scores and stats, and it just evolved from there.

HC: What was the landscape like in sports media for women when you came out of university?

EM: At that the time, there weren't a lot of women in sports. There was also not a lot of diversity, in broadcasting and in sports in particular.

Growing up, my parents always said, ‘No matter what happens, you are going to have to work harder than the next person. You're going to have to prove yourself all the time, because you are a woman and because you are a minority. Nothing's going to come easy for you.’

So that was just something that always stuck with me. And I remember some of my colleagues at SAIT, as we got closer to graduation, saying that it would be easier for me to get a job because I was a woman and a minority, which I didn’t necessarily agree with. But if being a woman and being a minority was going to get my foot in the door, then you know what, I'll accept it. But at the same time, if I can't do my job, it's not going to keep the door open very long.

It was just the reality of, you're going to have to work twice as hard as the next person if you want to have any opportunities. That was just something that always stuck with me.

HC: You’re coming up on nine years with Hockey Canada later this week; what was the career path to get here?

EM: I worked at the radio station in Lethbridge for four years, working the morning show and doing intermission reports with the Hurricanes. I moved into television at Global Lethbridge for a few years, and in 2002 was lucky enough to get a position as a sports reporter at Global Saskatoon. I focused on a lot of university sports, did men's and women's hockey, reporting on those. That was my beat. Canadian Junior Football, I covered the Saskatoon Hilltops. I covered volleyball, curling – learned a lot about curling – covered a lot of SJHL hockey, minor hockey, all that kind of stuff.

In 2010 there were cutbacks, and the industry as a whole was changing, so I decided to go home to Lethbridge. I went back to the radio station, started doing the morning show again, which I never thought I’d do, and was involved with Hurricanes games on both TV and radio.

A year later, the Hurricanes’ communications manager took another job in the Western Hockey League, and the team offered me the position. I was with the team for four years before the Hockey Canada position came open, and I started in February 2015.

HC: You’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing athletes, travel to amazing places, have a front-row seat to Canadian hockey history. What is that like?

EM: Honestly, it's hard to describe, because unless you're in it, you can't even really describe it. But never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that I'd have the opportunities that have come my way. I never would have imagined that I would have gone to some of the places that I've gone, had the opportunity to work with some of the athletes that I've worked with, had the opportunity to cover events, whether it’s from the event side or being embedded with a team.

I think the other piece that makes it special is what it means to my family. My family is incredibly proud of just seeing that this kid who, when she was younger, probably didn't always have the greatest focus on her studies, is doing what she's doing now.

There are times when I’ve hosted a press conference, and my family tells their friends, ‘That's our kid. That's my sister. That's my daughter.’ They're so proud of that, and that means the world to me, but I also know that I've always tried to be really respectful and try to work hard, and do right by the Madziya name. It means a lot to them, just as much as it means to me.

HC: You’ve mentioned your family a few times, and the influence they’ve had on you. How important has that support system been as you’ve progressed through your career?

EM: No matter what I wanted to do with my life, they've always just been in my corner. And I think for any kid to have their parents say, ‘We're so proud of you, no matter what you do. We see the work that you do,’ it's a cool thing.

Our last name is Madziya. We're the only Madziya family here in Canada, and they're really proud of that. Their support just means a lot, because they've always been there. My mom always says, ‘Look at the opportunities that you've been given, look at the jobs that you've had, and appreciate that. And even though there might be some hard times along the way, those hard times strengthen you and they're the reason that you keep having the opportunities that come your way.’

HC: To be one of the faces of Team Canada with national and international media… does that carry a little more weight, mean a little more, because you’re a minority woman?

EM: Absolutely, because there still is a little bit of, ‘Do I really belong here?’ In the back of my mind, there is still that little bit of… watch how you walk, watch how you carry yourself, watch how you're dealing with somebody, watch how you're dealing with other media, because if you offend somebody, it’s pretty easy to say, ‘Well, it was her.’

In the back of my mind, I'm always still thinking about working twice as hard. I just don't want to make any missteps, because I feel like somebody is just waiting for me to make a mistake to say, ‘See, that person can't do it. She's not qualified. She was just a token hire.’

Those things still play in the back of my mind. I don't think those things will ever not play in the back of my mind.

HC: Women’s hockey has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and you’ve been able to see it up close. What has that been like to watch the game evolve?

EM: It’s pretty cool to see, because there's a lot of hard work that's gone into growing the game, and you see how passionate the athletes are, but you also see how passionate the staff is. So seeing where it's at and seeing so many people work so hard, that brings me a lot of joy, because they had their dreams when they were a little girl. And to see where things are at and to see the things that they've been able to do and accomplish, but to also get a front row seat to it, is pretty cool.

And I think one of the neatest things for me is that because I've been here nine years and have worked up and down the National Women’s Program, and at national events like the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, I’ve been able to see players from 16, 17, 18 years old through to the national team, and see the difference they’re making now. It’s pretty cool to see that progression – as hockey players and as women.

HC: Throughout your career in the media industry, how have you seen the doors open for women, and for minorities?

EM: It's like night and day. The industry has changed for the better. There are more opportunities, more doors opening up today. I think a lot of organizations have looked at their product and asked, ‘Is our TV program, is our news program, is our sports program indicative of what the rest of Canada looks like?’ Because it has to, otherwise you're not going to connect with people and you're going to lose them.

There are so many different avenues today. There are podcasts and influencers and so many other things that people are doing on their own. You're seeing a lot more women in different roles. And we're seeing a lot more of that because it's about hiring the best person that's out there.

HC: What advice do you have for women, or minorities, that want to get into sports but maybe don't feel like they have a path?

EM: If that's what you want to do, pursue it. Don't let anybody stop you. Somebody may say no, a door may close, but it's not no forever, and there's going to be another opportunity. Obviously if somebody says no, it cuts deep, but it just means not right now. Know that you belong there just as much as the next person. At the end of the day, everybody puts their pants on the same way.

So, pursue what you want to do. Don't take no for an answer, do your research, be confident and go in knowing that you know that you can do the job. Treat people with respect, and you'll hopefully get that respect back. Nobody should ever tell you that you don't belong.

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Canada White atop podium at 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

United States takes silver medal, Sweden wins bronze

November 12, 2023

CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island – For the first time since 2015, Canada White has won the gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, needing overtime to get past the United States 2-1 in the gold medal game Saturday night at a sold-out Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.

Cameron Schmidt (Prince George, BC/Vancouver, WHL) was the overtime hero for the Canadians, chasing down a loose puck in the neutral zone and tucking a backhand around U.S. goaltender Patrick Quinlan 9:18 into the extra period.

“I kind of just blanked out, I just went to the backhand and it found its way in,” said Schmidt.Obviously this team was thrown together, but building that bond from the start and carrying it to the end of this tournament was a big thing. These are my brothers for life, and it was an amazing experience.”

Canada White took the early lead just 98 seconds into the game when Joby Baumuller (Wilcox, SK/Brandon, WHL) redirected a centring pass from Ethan Czata (Brampton, ON/Niagara, OHL) past Quinlan.

It remained a one-goal game until 9:49 of the third period when Charlie Trethewey pulled the Americans even on the power play. The cross-border rivals would trade chances, but the game would need overtime to decide a champion, setting up the Schmidt heroics.

“We really talked about wanting to get better every game,” said Canada White head coach John Dean (Don Mills, ON/Sault Ste. Marie, OHL). “I was very fortunate to experience a very difficult game at the [2023 IIHF U18 World Championship]. As coaches we’re learning as well and my first game in Switzerland we lost 8-1 and we ended up winning a bronze medal. I took some notes from the coach at the time, Jeff Truitt, on how to handle it and stay even keel and realize you don’t win a gold medal in the first game.

“The message to the rest of the group was we’re going to get better every single day. We went to overtime five times, only won one game in regulation; these guys went into the final game and had experienced everything – blowing leads, comebacks, shootouts, overtime wins, coaches being upset and being happy. They went through it all so I couldn’t ask for a better tournament because they got to experience it all and I think there’s a lot of growth here.”

Sweden earns bronze medal

In the bronze medal game on Saturday afternoon, Sweden used a three-goal second period to defeat Czechia 6-3.

Czechia held a slim one-goal advantage after the opening frame on a power-play goal from Tomas Poletin. A shorthanded tally by Milton Gästrin midway through the second period pulled the Swedes even. They would add two more before the period ended to lead 3-1.

The Czechs would add a pair of goals just over a minute apart, but a goal by Ivar Stenberg at 3:39 held up as the eventual game-winner.

Following the gold medal game, the tournament all-star team was announced. 

Forward: Émile Guité (Chambly, QC/Chicoutimi, LHJMQ) - Canada White
Forward: Gavin McKenna (Whitehorse, YT/Medicine Hat, WHL) - Canada Red
Forward: Will Moore - United States
Defence: Matthew Schaefer (Stoney Creek, ON/Erie, OHL) - Canada White
Defence: Charlie Trethewey - United States
Goaltender: Jack Ivankovic (Mississauga, ON/Mississauga, OHL) - Canada White 

For more information on the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit or follow through social media on Facebook and X.

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“My superpower”

He may be hard of hearing, but William Lacelle hasn’t let that stop him from earning a spot between the pipes at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Nicholas Pescod
November 03, 2023

William Lacelle is not your ordinary goaltender.

That’s because the 15-year-old puck-stopper from Quebec has something many high-level athletes don’t.

“I call it my superpower,” Lacelle says.

What Lacelle is referring to is the fact he is hard of hearing — 100 per cent deaf in his left ear and 50 per cent in his right — and it has, in many ways, helped him become a standout goalie with the Lions du Lac St-Louis of the Ligue de développement du hockey des M18 du Québec.

“I use my hearing disability as a superpower. I use it to my advantage,” he says.

Lacelle, who was named the LDHM18AAAQ’s player of the year last season, and his superpower will be on display at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I., as a member of Team Canada Red.

“It's just an honour to be representing Canada … and representing Quebec,” says Lacelle, who won’t turn 16 until Boxing Day and is the youngest of the 44 players wearing the Maple Leaf, “It’s an amazing feeling.”


Born in Baie d'Urfé, Quebec, a community about 30 minutes west of Montreal, Lacelle has what is known as sensorineural hearing loss in both his ears — resulting in difficulties hearing, particularly in louder environments.

“It’s something I’ve had my whole life,” he says. “It is a big part of who I am as a person.”

Lacelle began figure skating at an early age but switched to hockey when he was about seven years old. He first started out playing defence but that didn’t last long.

“I was always blocking shots. My dad would say ‘Oh shoot, I think we have a goalie here,’ and that’s how I got into goaltending,” recalls Lacelle.

“He was absolutely passionate about being a goalie,” says his father, Stephen Lacelle. “I bought him some little street pads and I would practice shooting on him outside and he absolutely ate it up. He just loved it.”

A year later he was between the pipes full-time and it wasn’t long afterwards that it became clear to Stephen that his son was able to see the game differently from those around him.

“I would take him to hockey games and he would see things on the ice that I couldn't believe that young kid could pick up,” says Stephen. “After games as a very young goalie, he would tell me things about the particular number of a player like ‘Daddy, that is the kid with the green tape on the top hand stick.’ He would see things that like the other kids wouldn't see. It was just innate.”

“Don’t use it as a disability, use it as a superpower”

Lacelle is coming off arguably his best season ever, finishing with a record of 18-4 and posting a league-leading 1.55 goals-against average, helping the Lions reach the LDHM18AAAQ semifinals, where they fell to the eventual national champions from Séminaire Saint-François. He also backstopped Quebec to a bronze medal at the Canada Winter Games in February and was the first goaltender off the board at the 2023 QMJHL Draft, going 10th overall to the Rimouski Oceanic. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, he also received a $2,700 bursary this spring from the Montreal Canadiens for his athletic and academic success.

"It's astonishing it's how quickly it's come together for him,” says Stephen, “For a 15-year-old, it's really inspiring, and it has all just happened so fast. If you would have told me this would happen to him seven or eight years ago, I wouldn't have believed you."

But it hasn’t always been this easy for Lacelle, whose success on and off the ice is very much the result of hard work and getting those around him to understand his situation.

“Everyone understands my problem now and they have grown to accept it. But at first, they were annoyed because I would always say ‘what?’ because I would have to hear what they say twice. So, it was challenging not only for other people, but for myself,” he says.

“It has been challenging for him for sure, especially in school but there are a bunch of things we have done for him,” adds Stephen. “But he has been very well supported by a good network of professionals at a rehabilitation centre here in Montreal and his teachers and schools, both at the primary and secondary school level, have been fabulous.”

As Lacelle has grown older, he’s taken what many would consider a disadvantage and used it to his advantage.

“I will make a save and after the whistle guys on the other team might come by and say something mean to me, but I don’t hear it. I am just focused on the game and trying to win. It’s the little things, finding strategies.”

Among the strategies Lacelle relies on is increased communication with his teammates and coaches, whether it is verbally or through hand signals.

“I always double check with my coaches to make sure I hear stuff right. Let’s say he explains a game plan. I will go see him after just to make sure I heard exactly what he said or what is happening,” he says. “So, I really just make sure I double check with my teammates.”

“The coaches at all levels have been fantastic,” adds Stephen. “We would always tell his coaches at the start of the season that William was hard of hearing just so that they were sensitized to the situation. We didn't ask for any special treatment or anything. We just wanted them to know.”

Another strategy is lip reading, which is something that Lacelle can do in both English and French.

“I pretty much grew up bilingual and because of that I have been able to adapt to both French and English teams when I need to,” he says. “So, I read a lot of lips and I think that is an advantage.”

Still there are some challenges that are unique to Lacelle.

“It is a bit challenging when the rink is very loud, when there are a lot of noises and different sounds going on and that can affect my hearing because I won’t be able to hear some of teammates calls on the ice. But, that’s where lipreading comes in.”

When asked what his advice is to others young athletes who are hard of hearing, Lacelle says the biggest thing is to block out the noise.

“Ignore what people are saying negatively about you and keep moving forward,” he says. “I have had to face … people making fun of me but the best thing you can do is ignore it. Go on the ice and show what you can do. Don’t use it as a disability, use it as a superpower.”

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Canadian rosters named for 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Forty-four players named to Team Canada Red and Team Canada White

October 23, 2023

CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada has announced the 44 players who will compete with Team Canada Red and Team Canada White at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Nov. 2-11 in Charlottetown and Summerside, PE.

The players chosen to represent their country were selected by Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB), U17 head scout, and Dave Brown (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON/Erie, OHL), U17 lead with the Program of Excellence management group, with assistance from regional scouts Rob Simpson (Ontario), Pierre Cholette (Quebec), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).

“This summer we took the first step in introducing 66 young athletes to our Program of Excellence, which included preparations for short-term international competition,” said Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations with Hockey Canada.“We are grateful for the commitment and input from our support staff to ensure our teams are ready for competition starting Nov. 2. We couldn’t be more excited for the 44 players we have selected to represent Canada at this prestigious tournament and believe they will give us the best chance to compete for a gold medal.”

Hockey Canada is also proud to recognize the teams’ support staff who will participate in this year’s tournament, with 10 individuals representing Team Canada Red and Team Canada White.

The Canadian squads are in action on opening day, Nov. 2. Canada White hosts Czechia at Credit Union Place in Summerside at 12 p.m. AT, followed by Canada Red facing Finland at 7 p.m. AT at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown. Red and White will meet in the lone all-Canadian matchup in the preliminary round on Nov. 3 in Summerside.

TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast the medal games; check local listings for details. Preliminary-round games, quarterfinals and semifinals will be available by livestream at

Fans eager to watch some of the best international players compete on Prince Edward Island can secure their seats now. Ticket packages start at $120; click here to purchase.

As a legacy of hosting the event, Charlottetown and Summerside will receive net proceeds from ticket sales to support grassroots hockey within the communities.

More than 2,000 NHL draft picks have suited up since the inception of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, including 16 first-overall draft picks since 2001 (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013; Aaron Ekblad, 2014; Connor McDavid, 2015; Auston Matthews, 2016; Jack Hughes, 2019; Alexis Lafrenière, 2020; Owen Power, 2021).

For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit, or follow along on FacebookX and Instagram.

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Coaches Named for 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

John Dean and Carl Mallette to lead the two Canadian squads.

October 06, 2023

CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada will work together with six Canadian Hockey League (CHL) coaches to guide Canada’s national under-17 teams at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown and Summerside, PE next month.

John Dean (Don Mills, ON/Sault Ste Marie, OHL), and Carl Mallette (Montreal, QC/Victoriaville, QMJHL) will serve as head coaches of Team Canada White and Team Canada Red, respectively.

Joining Dean on the Canada White bench will be assistant coaches Eric Bouchard (Montreal, QC/Shawinigan, QMJHL) and Brennan Sonne (Maple Ridge, BC/Saskatoon, WHL).

Rounding out the Canada Red staff are assistant coaches Matt Anholt (Prince Albert, SK/Lethbridge, WHL) and Norm Milley (Toronto, ON/Ottawa, OHL).

“The under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, and we are excited to welcome coaches from across the CHL to help introduce the country’s top young players to our program,” said Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of hockey operations. “All of these coaches bring a unique skill set, combining playing and international and junior hockey experience, and we look forward to the coaching staff helping deliver a world-class event for all participants.”

Dean has been head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the last five seasons (2018-23). Prior to joining the Greyhounds, he spent three seasons (2014-17) as an assistant coach with the OHL’s North Bay Battalion. Dean also served as an assistant and head coach of the North York Rangers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) for five seasons (2009-14) and as assistant general manager and head coach of the OJHL’s Toronto Patriots for two (2017-18). He made his international coaching debut at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge, serving as video coach for Team Canada East, and won a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Mallette has been the head coach of the Victoriaville Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for the past three seasons (2020-23), prior to which he was an assistant coach with the team for three seasons (2017-20). He also served as an assistant coach with Team Canada Red at the 2021 Capital City Challenge and Team Canada Black at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Anholt is entering his third season as an assistant coach with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Prior to that, he spent two seasons as the Hurricanes’ skills and development coach. Ahead of the 2021-22 season, Anholt added assistant general manager to his title, working alongside his father, Lethbridge GM Peter Anholt.

Bouchard was named as an assistant coach of the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes in June. This will be his second season in the QMJHL, having spent the 2022-23 season as an assistant with with the Val-d’Or Foreurs. Prior to his time in Val-d’Or, he spent three seasons (2019-22) as head coach of College Francais de Longueuil of the Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ), winning coach of the year honours in 2019-20 and 2021-22.

Milley has spent the past six seasons (2017-2023) as an assistant coach with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s and made his international coaching debut as an assistant with Team Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. He entered the coaching world after a 17-year professional playing career with stops in the NHL, AHL and DEL in Germany. He represented Canada on four occasions, including the 1998 Four Nations Cup and a trio of Deutschland Cups (2009, 2011, 2013).

Sonne is entering his third season as the head coach of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades. Prior to arriving in Saskatoon, he spent four seasons (2017-21) as head coach of Angers in the Ligue Magnus in France and three seasons (2014-17) as an assistant coach with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. Last season, Sonne earned the Dunc McCallum Trophy as WHL coach of the year.

The Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown will play host to 12 games during the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, including both medal games and a Canadian double-header on Nov. 4.

Ten games will be played at Credit Union Place in Summerside, beginning with Team Canada White facing Czechia on Nov. 2, as well as an all-Canadian matchup on Nov. 3.

Tickets are on sale now, with packages starting at $120. Click here to secure your seat.

TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast the medal games. Preliminary-round games, quarterfinals and semifinals will be available by livestream at .

For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit , or follow along on Facebook , X and Instagram .

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Schedule announced for 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Prince Edward Island to host international tournament for first time

September 06, 2023

CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada has announced the format and schedule for the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Nov. 2-11 in Charlottetown and Summerside, PE.

Six teams will compete in this year’s tournament: Team Canada Red, Team Canada White, Czechia, Finland, Sweden and the United States. Each team will play five preliminary-round games from Nov. 2-7, with the quarterfinal matchups set for Nov. 9 and the semifinals on Nov. 10.

The bronze and gold medal games will take place Nov. 11 at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. AT, respectively.

“Since this event began in 1986, more than 2,000 National Hockey League draft picks have played in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge,” said Breanne Ferris, manager of events and properties for Hockey Canada. “We cannot wait to celebrate the tournament’s first stop on Prince Edward Island with the great hockey fans of Atlantic Canada.”

Each team will play at least one game in Charlottetown and Summerside, ensuring fans in both communities can watch some of hockey’s brightest young stars.

The Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown will play host to 12 games, including both medal games and a Canadian double-header on Nov. 4.

Ten games will be played at Credit Union Place in Summerside, beginning with Team Canada White facing Czechia on Nov. 2, as well as an all-Canadian matchup on Nov. 3.

“Our volunteers, organizers and fans are ecstatic to welcome the world to Prince Edward Island,” said tournament co-chair Tanner Doiron. “This tournament is another steppingstone for the world’s best young players on their journey to the NHL. To play host to an event of this caliber is exciting for not only our two host cities, but the entire province. Our group has been working tirelessly to make sure this event is a great success, and with the support of our fans and volunteers, we know it will be.”

Tickets are on sale now, with packages starting at $120. Click here to secure your seat.

TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast the medal games. Preliminary-round games, quarterfinals and semifinals will be available by livestream at .

For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit , or follow along on Facebook , X and Instagram .

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Hockey Canada confirms hosts for seven events

Hockey Canada confirms hosts for seven events

National and international tournaments will be hosted across five provinces in the 2023-24 season

July 27, 2023

CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada has confirmed the dates and host communities for seven events taking place during the 2023-24 season, including the return of the National Women’s Under-18 Championship.

“Today is an exciting day for Hockey Canada as we announce seven events that play a critical role in the development of men’s, women’s and para hockey athletes, coaches and staff,” said Pat McLaughlin, chief operating officer of Hockey Canada. “We hope that hosting these tournaments will help introduce new fans to the game, create lifelong memories for Canadians and have a positive impact in each community long after the medals have been handed out.”

The 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be played Nov. 2-11 in Charlottetown and Summerside, PE, marking the first time in the tournament’s 37-year history that it will be hosted in the province.

Featuring some of the best young women’s hockey players in Canada, the 2023 National Women’s Under-18 Championship will run Nov. 5-11 in Dawson Creek, BC, bringing the event back to the Peace Region for the first time since 2012.

Canada’s National Para Hockey Team will compete for gold with three other countries at the 2023 Para Hockey Cup, which will be held Dec. 3-9 in Quispamsis, NB, marking the fourth Hockey Canada event that Quispamsis has hosted.

Top Canadian and international players will be showcased at the 2023 World Junior A Hockey Challenge from Dec. 10-17 in Truro, NS, as the tournament returns to Atlantic Canada for the fourth time and to Truro for the second time.

In the spring, Canada’s Women’s U18 National Club Championship will be decided at the Esso Cup in Vernon, BC from April 21-27, while the Men’s U18 National Club Championship will be played April 22-28 in Membertou, NS.

The best Junior A teams in Canada will take to the ice at the 2024 Centennial Cup in Oakville, ON, with the Oakville Blades hosting the national championship from May 9-19.

“We are thrilled to share the list of communities that will host Hockey Canada events during the 2023-24 season,” said Dean McIntosh, vice-president of strategic partnerships and community impact. “The support we have received from host committees has been outstanding and we are confident that participants, volunteers, partners and fans will have fantastic experiences at each tournament.”

Ticket information for all seven events can be found here. Tournament schedules will be announced at a later date. 

For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit, or follow along through social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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111 players participate in Program of Excellence summer meetings

National men’s under-17 program and National Junior Team began preparations for 2023-24 season during three days of virtual meetings

July 26, 2023

CALGARY, AB - Hockey Canada is proud to recognize the 111 players that took part in the Program of Excellence summer meetings in preparation for the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Sixty-six under-17 players were selected by Alan Millar (Tottenham, ON), director of player personnel, Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB), U17 head scout, and Dave Brown (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON/Erie, OHL), the U17 lead for the Program of Excellence management group, with input from Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of hockey operations. Regional scouts Rob Simpson (Ontario), Pierre Cholette (Quebec), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario), as well as Member representatives, also provided input.

All 66 under-17 players have been drafted by Canadian Hockey League (CHL) teams, including 37 from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), 15 from the Western Hockey League (WHL) and 14 from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).

“This impressive group of athletes is an excellent representation of the talent pool in our country, and these meetings were a great opportunity to kick off a new season and begin our preparations for two major international events,” Millar said. “This was a great opportunity to introduce prospective national team players to the Program of Excellence and help prepare them for international competition.”

Forty-five under-20 players were selected by Millar and Peter Anholt (Naicam, SK/Lethbridge, WHL), the U20 lead for the POE management group, with input from Salmond and Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations.

The list includes three players who won a gold medal on home ice at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship in Halifax and Moncton (Beck, Fantilli, Korchinski), and seven who won gold on home ice at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup (Barlow, Benson, Gauthier, Ratzlaff, Ritchie, Wood, Yager). It also includes 12 players who were selected in the 2023 NHL Draft last month, including seven first-round picks (Barlow, Benson, Danielson, Fantilli, Ritchie, Wood, Yager).

Players took part in virtual meetings that covered a variety of topics, including education on the Program of Excellence, sport safety presentations, short-term international competition preparation and meetings with the Hockey Canada management group. The discussions will allow participants to continue to evolve as high-performance athletes and utilize the strengths and experience of the Program of Excellence’s leadership.

Players will continue to be evaluated through the early portion of the 2023-24 season before Canadian rosters are named for the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden.

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit, or follow along through social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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The future is now at 2023 NHL Draft

A closer look at Canadian content from Nashville – from Connor Bedard to Tyler Peddle

Jason La Rose
June 29, 2023

After another successful NHL Draft, one thing remains clear – no country develops hockey players quite like Canada.

In total, more than one-third of the players who had their names called in Nashville – 87 of 224 – hail from north of the 49th parallel. (That includes players who were born outside the country but are products of the Canadian hockey system, like No. 37 pick Ethan Gauthier.)

The list features representation from 10 Members, and 33 who have worn the Maple Leaf in international competition.

The red-and-white run started from the top, with two-time IIHF World Championship gold medallist Connor Bedard going No. 1 to the Chicago Blackhawks. The North Vancouver, B.C., native is just the second player from Canada’s westernmost province to be taken with the first pick, joining Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2012).

Bedard rewrote the World Juniors record book, setting all-time records for goals (17) and points (36) by a Canadian.

Adam Fantilli followed quickly behind, going to the Columbus Blue Jackets with the third pick. He had a historic 2022-23 season on the international stage, becoming just the second Canadian – after Jonathan Toews (2007) – to win gold at the IIHF World Championship and IIHF World Junior Championship in the same season.

Canadians accounted for 12 of the 32 first-round picks; that list included seven players who helped Canada win gold at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer (Barlow, Benson, Bonk, Molendyk, Ritchie, Wood, Yager) and three who earned bronze at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship (Barlow, Ritchie, Wood).

The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) was well represented among the Canadian contingent; 68 of the 87 players selected were products of CHL programs, from 39 different teams – led by six members of the WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds. The Western Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League led the way with 29 picks each, followed by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 10.

The Seattle Thunderbirds (Hanzel, Milic, Myatovic, Mynio, Ratzlaff, Sawchyn) paced all club teams with six players selected, while the Brantford Bulldogs (Brown, Lardis, Thomas, Xhekaj), Flint Firebirds (Bertucci, Day, Hay, Pitre), London Knights (Barkey, Bonk, Cowan, Julien) and Ottawa 67's (Foster, Gardiner, Mayich, Pinelli) had four apiece.


Ontario Hockey Federation (34) – Beau Akey, Cam Allen, Matthew Andonovski, Denver Barkey, Colby Barlow, Tristan Bertucci, Sebastian Bradshaw, Cole Brown, Jonathan Castagna, Warren Clark, Easton Cowan, Nathaniel Day, Adam Fantilli, Cooper Foster, Brad Gardiner, Andrew Gibson, Ethan Hay, Jacob Julien, Larry Keenan, Nick Lardis, Angus MacDonell, Ryan MacPherson, Matthew Mayich, Ethan Miedema, Alex Pharand, Luca Pinelli, Coulson Pitre, Carson Rehkopf, Calum Ritchie, Ryan Roobroeck, Konnor Smith, Patrick Thomas, Zaccharya Wisdom, Florian Xhekaj

BC Hockey (19) – Owen Beckner, Connor Bedard, Zach Benson, Luca Cagnoni, Aiden Celebrini, Andrew Cristall, Lukas Dragicevic, Terrell Goldsmith, Kaden Hammell, Jeremy Hanzel, Justin Kipkie, Connor Levis, Thomas Milic, Tanner Molendyk, Nico Myatovic, Sawyer Mynio, Austin Roest, Hoyt Stanley, Matthew Wood

Hockey Alberta (8) – Nate Danielson, Aiden Fink, Emmitt Finnie, Brett Hyland, Ty Mueller, Scott Ratzlaff, Gracyn Sawchyn, Koehn Ziemmer

Hockey Saskatchewan (8) – Noah Chadwick, Riley Heidt, Kalan Lind, Hudson Malinoski, Kalem Parker, Matthew Perkins, Caden Price, Brayden Yager

Hockey Quebec (7) – Mathieu Cataford, Ethan Gauthier, Justin Gill, Rudy Guimond, Charles-Olivier Legault, Quinton Miller, Étienne Morin,

Hockey Manitoba (3) – Carson Bjarnason, Jayden Perron, Carter Sotheran

Hockey New Brunswick (3) – Dylan MacKinnon, Matteo Mann, Bradly Nadeau

Hockey Eastern Ontario (2) – Oliver Bonk, Quinton Burns

Hockey P.E.I. (2) – Luke Coughlin, Cam Squires

Hockey Nova Scotia (1) – Tyler Peddle


2023 National Men’s Team
Adam Fantilli

2023 National Junior Team
Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Thomas Milic

2022 National Junior Team
Connor Bedard

2023 National Men’s Under-18 Team
Cam Allen, Colby Barlow, Tristan Bertucci, Carson Bjarnason, Quinton Burns, Andrew Cristall, Lukas Dragicevic, Andrew Gibson, Riley Heidt, Nick Lardis, Angus MacDonell, Étienne Morin, Alex Pharand, Caden Price, Calum Ritchie, Matthew Wood

2022 National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team
Cam Allen, Denver Barkey, Colby Barlow, Zach Benson, Carson Bjarnason, Oliver Bonk, Mathieu Cataford, Andrew Cristall, Ethan Gauthier, Riley Heidt, Kalan Lind, Dylan MacKinnon, Tanner Molendyk, Caden Price, Scott Ratzlaff, Carson Rehkopf, Calum Ritchie, Matthew Wood, Brayden Yager

2022 National Men’s Under-18 Team
Connor Bedard, Lukas Dragicevic, Adam Fantilli, Kalem Parker, Matthew Wood

2021 National Men’s Under-18 Team
Connor Bedard, Thomas Milic

2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
Charles-Olivier Legault (White), Thomas Milic (Red)

2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games
Nate Danielson, Adam Fantilli

2022 World Junior A Challenge
Aiden Celebrini (West), Aiden Fink (West), Hudson Malinoski (West)

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For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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