The Ontario Hockey League announced that Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts has been named captain of Team Ontario for the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge which begins on Saturday in Victoriaville and Drummondville, Quebec.
Ekblad, a 16-year-old defenceman from Belle River, ON, was an alternate captain last season helping Team Ontario to a Bronze Medal finish at the 2012 event held in Windsor.
The top pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection and last year's OHL Rookie of the Year, Ekblad currently has 19 points in 30 games with the Colts.
In addition, forward Jared McCann of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and defenceman Roland McKeown of the Kingston Frontenacs have been named alternate captains. McCann, a 16-year-old from London, ON, was selected fourth overall by the Greyhounds in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection from the London Jr. Knights Gold program and has 20 points in 35 games so far this season.
McKeown, a 16-year-old from Listowel, ON, and graduate of the Toronto Marlboros minor midget program was selected second overall by the Frontenacs and has 17 points in 31 games so far this season.
The 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge features 10 teams including five regional teams and five International teams in two conferences. The two top teams from each conference will advance to the semi-finals while the remaining three teams from each group will crossover for placement games. Team Ontario will play in a conference with Slovakia, Team Atlantic, Team Quebec, and Team USA.