Rogers Place to host Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup hockey tournament
Tournament described as 'best-on-best competition for top under-18 players from around the world'
Edmonton's Rogers Place arena will host the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in 2018, 2020 and 2022, Hockey Canada announced Monday.
The tournament is an international hockey showcase for draft-eligible players under age 18.
"The Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup is a significant event on our calendar for many reasons, the first of which is that it honours a great player and coach who was taken from us far too soon," Tom Renney, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada, said in a news release.
"The event itself is uniquely positioned on the calendar to truly allow for all of the participating nations — and for the hundreds of NHL scouts who are attracted to the event — to take part in a best-on-best competition with the top under-18 players from around the world."
Hockey Canada's partners in staging the tournament are the city, the province and Oilers Entertainment Group.
Formerly known as the Junior World Cup and Pacific Cup, the tournament has been held annually since 1991. Its name pays tribute to Czech hockey legend Ivan Hlinka, who was 54 years old when he died in a car crash in 2004.
Since 1997, the tournament has taken place in the Czech Republic and Slovakia — and since 2002, it has been held in both countries simultaneously.
The tournament features eight teams representing Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.
It has helped introduce hockey fans to future stars such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos.
Canada has won gold 20 of the 26 times the tournament has been played, including every year between 2008 and 2015.
In 2016, the Czech Republic won the tournament for the first time.
Renney said the event is significant for developing Canadian hockey players, and for scouts identifying prospects for Canada's national junior team.
"But just as importantly, the opportunity to host this world-class event on Canadian soil speaks to our relationship with our counterparts in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as the reputation our country has built for successfully hosting international hockey events," he said.
"This is a great responsibility, and not one we take lightly — and we're grateful for the support of the City of Edmonton, the Province of Alberta, and Oilers Entertainment Group in bringing the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup to Canadian ice."
Bob Nicholson, chief executive officer of Oilers Entertainment Group, said the organization is "thrilled" to host the event at Rogers Place.
"The competition on the ice will be matched with hospitality and attention to ensuring the players, coaches, scouts, families and fans are treated to an amazing experience," Nicholson said in the news release.
Details on event dates and ticket sales haven't been announced.