Two USHL rookie standouts were named to Team Canada’s U17 World Challenge Tournament roster. Brett Budgell and Michael Vukojevic were among 66 players named to Team Canada, and will eventually be placed on Team Canada Red, Team Canada White or Team Canada Black for the tournament. The 2017 World U17 World Challenge will take place in British Columbia beginning Nov. 5, 2017.
Budgell has scored one assist in two games with the Chicago Steel this season. The uncommitted left wing is a native of St. John’s, NL. Budgell was selected in the 2017 USHL Phase I Draft by the Steel in the second round, 30th overall. Budgell previously played for the St. John’s Bantam AAA and London Jr. Knights AAA, where he scored 58 points (25-33—58) in 32 games prior to joining Chicago.
Vukojevic has one assist in three games with the Green Bay Gamblers this season. The defenseman is committed to the University of Michigan and is a native of Mississauga, ON. Vukojevic was selected in the 2017 USHL Phase I Draft by the Gamblers in the first round, eighth overall. Vukojevic previously played for the Mississauga Rebels, where he scored 35 points (11-24—35) in 51 GTMMHL games prior to joining Green Bay.
Canada Red and Canada Black both finished tops in their respective Group Standings last year, as Canada Black would go on to win the silver medal. Notable USHL players that recently played for international teams at the World U17 World Challenge include Andrei Svechnikov (Muskegon/Team Russia), Eeli Tolvanen (Sioux City/Team Finland), Shane Bowers (Waterloo/Team Canada) and Maksim Zhukov (Green Bay/ Team Russia). USA Hockey is expected to announce the Team USA roster at a later date.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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