By Carter Brooks
Photo by Marc Smith
Brandonite Daemon Hunt will be one of two underage players on Canada's national under-18 team facing off in Sweden this week.
Hunt - the youngest player on the squad - will also be joined by Brandon Wheat Kings' defenceman Braden Schneider and Winnipeg ICE captain Peyton Krebs. The three players with Manitoba ties make up nine of the Western Hockey League players who successfully earned places on the U-18 roster. The rest of the Canadian team is comprised of players from the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and even one player from the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Hunt, who won't turn 17 until May 15th, is already listed at six-feet and 200-pounds. He has spent the past season serving alongside Roblin's Josh Brook and Winnipeg's Jett Woo on the blueline for the Moose Jaw Warriors. He had seven goals and 20 points in 57 games for the Warriors this past season, while his +21 rating trailed only Brook in terms of defensive plus/minus rating on the season.
Krebs, 17, was named team captain of the then Kootenay ICE at the start of the 2018-19 season, and backed that recognition with solid all-round play in his second full WHL season. In 64 games for Kootenay, Krebs put up 19 goals and 68 points. The speedy forward is expected to be a top-10 selection at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft taking place this June in Vancouver.
Schneider, 17, spent the 2018-19 season in Brandon, working the blueline for the Wheat Kings in his second WHL season. He handily beat his point totals from his rookie year, putting up eight goals and 24 points for the Wheaties, while registering 26 penalty minutes and finishing a +13.
The World Under-18 tournament begins preliminary play from Umea, Sweden on Thursday. Canada takes on Finland in a 12:30 PM central showdown, before doing battle with the Swiss at 8:30 AM Friday morning. Most tournament games will be available to watch on TSN.