North Vancouver’s Jordan Weal will get to live out a Canadian dream next month in Beijing, shooting for gold with the national men’s hockey team at the Olympic Games.
The 29-year-old forward was one of 25 players named to Team Canada’s roster Jan. 25, joining other players who are not currently on NHL rosters.
Weal is a veteran pro who was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 2010 and played 218 NHL games over five seasons with the Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens. This year he is playing for Ak Bars Kazan in the KHL, where he has scored 30 points in 36 games.
Port Moody’s Kent Johnson, a 19-year-old who played youth hockey at the North Shore Winter Club, was named as a reserve player for the Canadian Olympic team, while West Vancouver’s Tyler Dietrich is heading to Beijing as an assistant coach for Canada’s men’s team.
The rest of the roster contains a mix of old and young players ranging from 37-year-old Eric Staal to 19-year-old Mason McTavish. Claude Julien is the team’s head coach.
Team Canada is currently in Davos, Switzerland for an eight-day training camp running until Feb. 1, after which they will head to Beijing.
The Olympic tournament will run Feb. 9-20 at the the National Indoor Stadium and Wukesong Sports Centre.
“The management group and coaching staff have worked diligently to evaluate and select players that we believe will give us the best chance to win a gold medal and we are thrilled to announce the 25 players that will wear the Maple Leaf in Beijing,” stated team general manager Shane Doan in a release. “It truly is a special honour to be able to represent your country at the Olympics. We know this group of athletes and staff will embrace the opportunity and make all Canadians proud.”