The World Junior 'A' Hockey Challenge is approaching and the Merritt Centennials will have two representatives among the 60 when main camp opens on December 2nd.
One of them has already made the team as Head Coach and General Manager of the Cents Joe Martin was named an Assistant Coach for Canada West early last month, but the lone player from the Centennials that will get the opportunity to play for team Canada is forward Rylan Van Unen.
With 7 goals and 4 assists throughout the season, Van Unen has shown flashes of brilliance, and possesses one of the best shots on the team to go along with break away speed. He's also not afraid of physicality as he's second on the team with 35 penalty minutes on the year. Martin says the speed and skill will help, but the grit is what Canada West could be looking for.
"You know in order for him to make the team, he has to play very hard, play in straight lines, finish his checks, and bring a 4th line mentality to that group. Going through the selection process, and the players that are on the list, I don't think there's a heck of a lot of that."
Canada West last won the title in 2015, and Canada East was runner up last year.