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Surrey’s Jordan Gavin to wear Team Canada hockey jersey at Hlinka Gretzky Cup

‘Representing your country is always an honour,’ says 16-year-old centre, with Tri-City Americans
Jordan Gavin in action during the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge tournament at Langley Events Centre in November 2022. (Contributed photo: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada)

Surrey’s Jordan Gavin will again wear Canadian colours on ice, this time in Europe.

The 2006-born centre is among 24 hockey players named to the national men’s U18 team for the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, which starts Monday, July 31, in Trencin, Slovakia and Breclav, Czechia.

Team Canada will aim to defend gold at the week-long tournament, which ends with medal-round games on Aug. 5.

Gavin, who lives with his family in the Morgan Creek area, got the call from Hockey Canada brass back on July 12.

“I heard that calls were going out that day and it was pretty nerve-wracking, but I was just super excited when my phone started ringing,” he recalled.

“I knew the tournament was coming up, and yeah, I was hoping I could make it and play for my country. It’s obviously pretty cool for me.”

Gavin is among four B.C.-raised forwards on Team Canada, along with Chetwynd’s Cayden Lindstrom, North Vancouver’s Carson Wetsch and Victoria’s Ollie Josephson.

Last winter, in his rookie season with the WHL Tri-City Americans, Gavin scored 22 goals and added 32 assists in 54 games.

Back in April 2022, just a few months after Tri-City picked him second overall in the WHL Entry Draft, he became the youngest player in Americans franchise history to score a goal, as an affiliate call-up while still at Delta Hockey Academy.

Last week, Gavin was reached on the phone before he and his Team Canada ‘mates flew to Budapest, Hungary, for some pre-tournament practices and games.

• RELATED: South Surrey pals are opponents on different Canadian teams at World U17 Hockey Challenge.

He played with some of them, and battled others, last November during the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, a 10-day tournament at Langley Events Centre and North Delta’s Sungod Arena. Three teams of Canadians were involved in the competition, which drew hockey scouts from around the world.

“It was special playing in front of my family and everything,” Gavin said. “Obviously representing your country is always an honour — a really cool experience.

“I missed a couple of games, and I think a lot of our team actually got sick,” he added. “A couple of guys went home. I missed a couple of games but then came back. I was lucky enough to at least get some games in.”

Gavin turns 17 this November, which means he isn’t eligible for the NHL Draft until June 2025.

“I get an extra year to kind of work on everything and develop and get in the gym and do all that kind of stuff,” he noted. “So, you know, I kind of see it as an advantage and, yeah, I think I just have to keep working and then see what happens in that year.”

For this national team member, it seems playing hockey wasn’t always his first priority.

“My mom tells me I didn’t really like it at the start, that I’d rather just, like, stay home and watch TV and play with toys and stuff,” Gavin said with a laugh. “Obviously I started to love it when I was maybe six or seven and ever since then, I’ve just fallen in love with it.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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