One Surrey-raised hockey player is among those who will represent Canada on the ice at the Beijing Winter Olympics, along with a former Surrey Eagles standout.
Canada’s men’s hockey team roster, announced Tuesday (Jan. 25), includes Cloverdale Minor Hockey product Tyler Wotherspoon, a defenseman currently with Utica Comets of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Also named to Hockey Canada’s squad is forward Adam Tambellini, a sniper for Surrey Eagles for 33 games in 2013, including a playoff run.
With NHL stars not competing at the Winter Games this year, due to COVID concerns, the door opened for professionals in other leagues to wear Team Canada colours in China.
The Burnaby-born Wotherspoon, 28, signed to play in Utica last October, after spending parts of two seasons with the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms, in Allentown, PA.
Heading into the current season, the six-foot-two Wotherspoon played in 433 AHL games, scoring 26 goals and 122 assists for 148 points. Drafted by Calgary Flames in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Wotherspoon played 30 games over four seasons for Calgary, tallying five assists.
His younger brother, fellow D-man Parker Wotherspoon, 24, is in the New York Islanders system after being drafted by the NHL team in 2015. Parker has played with the AHL Bridgeport Islanders (previously Sound Tigers) since 2017.
Today we add a defenseman who has played 433 AHL games. Help us welcome Tyler Wotherspoon!
Details: https://t.co/A02sVH0xDw pic.twitter.com/2VhBftJLKP
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) October 13, 2021
In 2013, Tambellini was a trade-deadline-day acquisition by Surrey Eagles, and was a star for the BCHL team that spring. He had 26 points in just 16 games the rest of the regular season, and was a point-per-game player in the playoffs, which included a league title and an RBC Cup appearance.
Tambellini is currently signed with Rögle BK of the Swedish Hockey League.
Team Canada’s 25-player roster includes three goaltenders, eight defence and 14 forwards.
“We know these athletes will represent our country with a tremendous amount of pride as they compete for an Olympic gold medal,” said Tom Renney, CEO of Hockey Canada.
“Hockey Canada wishes to extend its congratulations to the players and their families on their nomination to the Canadian Olympic Team. We know Canadians across the country and around the world will join us in cheering on the team at Beijing 2022.”
Meet Team Canada! 🇨🇦
25 men have been selected to represent 🇨🇦 at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
ROSTER ➡️ https://t.co/d8OVCa3Ceh@TeamCanada | #Beijing2022 pic.twitter.com/pcIv42Qkf6
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) January 25, 2022
The “nominated” roster includes goaltenders Devon Levi, Edward Pasquale and Matt Tomkins, along with defensemen Mark Barberio, Jason Demers, Brandon Gormley, Alex Grant, Maxim Noreau, Owen Power, Mat Robinson and Wotherspoon. In addition to Tambellini, the forwards are Daniel Carr, Adam Cracknell, David Desharnais, Landon Ferraro, Josh Ho-Sang, Corban Knight, Jack McBain, Mason McTavish, Eric O’Dell, Eric Staal, Ben Street, Jordan Weal and Daniel Winnik.
The team was selected by general manager Shane Doan, assistant GM Scott Salmond and Blair Mackasey, director of player personnel.
Before travelling to Beijing, the Claude Julien-coached team is in Davos, Switzerland, for an eight-day training camp that started Tuesday (Jan. 25). Team Canada will play a pre-tournament game against Team United States on Feb. 7 in Beijing.
The men’s Olympic hockey tournament runs from Feb. 9-20 at the National Indoor Stadium and Wukesong Sports Centre. Canada will aim for its 10th men’s hockey gold medal, and first since 2014, when the team opens preliminary-round action against Team Germany on Feb. 10.
with file from Nick Greenizan
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