Men’s hockey team named for Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games

CALGARY (December 20, 2023) – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s men’s hockey team selected to compete at the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

The Team Canada men’s hockey team for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games is:


Mateo Beites (Sudbury, Ont./Barrie, OMHA-U16)
Colin Ellsworth (Aurora, Ont./York Simcoe, OMHA-U16)
Carter Esler (Okotoks, Alta./Okotoks, AEHL-U18)

Cameron Chartrand (Saint-Lazare, Que./Bishop Kearney Selects, USHS)
Callum Croskery (Oakville, Ont./Oakville, OMHA-U16)
Ryan Lin (Richmond, B.C./Delta Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18)
Zach Nyman (Toronto, Ont./Vaughan, GTHL-U16)
Daxon Rudolph (Lacombe, Alta./Northern Alberta, CSSHL-U18)
Keaton Verhoeff (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta./RHA Kelowna, CSSHL-U18)

Alessandro Di Iorio (Vaughan, Ont./Vaughan, GTHL-U16)
Beckham Edwards (London, Ont./Detroit Little Caesars, US15U)
Tynan Lawrence (Fredericton, N.B./Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS)
Aiden O’Donnell (Cole Harbour, N.S./Dartmouth, NSU18MHL)
Mathis Preston (Penticton, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18)
Liam Ruck (Osoyoos, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18)
Markus Ruck (Osoyoos, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18)
Adam Valentini (Toronto, Ont./Toronto Marlboros, GTHL-U16)
Braidy Wassilyn (Puslinch, Ont./Markham, GTHL-U16)

“Congratulations to the tremendous athletes, coaches and staff who have been selected to represent Canada in men’s hockey at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games,” said Katherine Henderson, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada and co-chair of Canada’s winter sport caucus. “Wearing the maple leaf at the Games is an incredible honour and we know that fans across our country will be cheering on this group and the rest of Team Canada as it goes for gold.”

The roster was selected by Byron Bonora, Hockey Canada’s U17 head scout, and Kurt Keats, manager of hockey operations. A long list of players was provided by Hockey Canada’s provincial members in the summer, with Hockey Canada’s regional scouts also providing input.

Of the 18 players, eight are from the Ontario Hockey Federation, four are from BC Hockey, three are from Hockey Alberta, and Hockey New Brunswick, Hockey Nova Scotia and Hockey Québec are represented by one player each.

“We are thrilled to announce the 18 players from six provinces who will have the unique opportunity of representing Canada for the first time at the Winter Youth Olympic Games,” said Benoit Roy, senior manager of hockey operations. “This event gives us an opportunity to introduce players to Hockey Canada while providing athletes with the chance to develop the skills and experience needed in international competition, all while competing for a gold medal and taking in an experience of a lifetime in Gangwon.”

Team Canada has participated in the men’s hockey tournament at each Winter Youth Olympic Games to date, winning the bronze medal at both Innsbruck 2012 and Lausanne 2020, and the silver medal at Lillehammer 2016.

Men’s hockey will take place January  27 – 31 (Days 8 – 12) at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. Team Canada opens the Youth Olympic tournament against host South Korea on January 27 at 6 a.m. ET / 3 a.m. PT, and will play Finland on January 29 at 6 a.m. ET / 3 a.m. PT. Semifinal matches will be played on January 30, and medal finals on January 31. 

“Congratulations to the athletes named to Canada’s men’s hockey team,” said Lisa Weagle, Team Canada’s Gangwon 2024 Chef de Mission. “These young athletes are the future of Canadian hockey and represent the skill, sportsmanship, and excellence that define our nation’s passion for the sport. As Chef de Mission for Team Canada, my message to each of the athletes is to play with heart, seize the moment, and represent Canada with pride.”

Team Canada’s men’s hockey coaches and support staff for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games are:

Ryan Smith (Headingley, Man./Spokane, WHL) – Head Coach
Travis Crickard (St. John’s, N.L./Saint John, QMJHL) – Assistant Coach
Bruce Richardson (Montréal, Que.) – Assistant Coach
Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown, P.E.I) – Athletic therapist
AJ Murley (St. John’s, N.L.) – Equipment manager
Kurt Keats (Winnipeg, Man.) – Manager of hockey operations
Benoit Roy (Sudbury, Ont.) – Senior Manager of hockey operations

Smith is currently in his second season as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL) after two seasons (2020-22) as an associate coach. He previously won a silver medal as an assistant coach with Canada Red at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and won silver and bronze as an assistant with Canada West at the 2012 and 2013 World Junior A Hockey Challenge.

Crickard is in his first season as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) following one season as an assistant. He won a gold medal as a video coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship and was a video coach and assistant coach with Canada Black at the 2016 and 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, respectively, winning a silver medal in 2016.

Richardson most recently served as head coach of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada for five seasons (2018-23). He won a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship, was the head coach of Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and served as an assistant with Canada Black at the November 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are the world’s largest multi-sport event for high-performance young athletes aged 15 – 18. Gangwon 2024 will begin on January 19 and will end on February 1, 2024 and will feature 1900 athletes. Gangwon 2024 will be the fourth edition of the Winter YOG and the first in Asia. It will have a fully gender-balanced sporting program, and will feature seven sports, 15 disciplines, and a total of 81 events.

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all national sport organizations.

The latest Team Canada Gangwon 2024 roster can be found here, and additional press resources can be found here.

– 30 –


Jacob Wolfenden, Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
C: 289-880-2469

Tara MacBournie, Team Canada Gangwon 2024 Communications Lead
Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 647-522-8328

Follow us on Twitter