The TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Midget Championship, is headed to Sudbury for the first time in two decades, with the Nickel City set to host the 45th edition of the tournament from April 23-29 at the Sudbury Community Arena.
The city last hosted the tournament in 1998, when it was known as the Air Canada Cup. It is the 13th time Ontario will play host, joining Oshawa (1974, 1975); Cornwall (1980); North Bay (1984); Gloucester (1987); Thunder Bay (1988); Kitchener (1993); Sudbury (1998); Sault Ste. Marie (2003, 2013); Kenora (2004); and Arnprior (2008).
“The TELUS Cup is the pinnacle of the minor hockey system in Canada, and it has long been one of the most prestigious tournaments on our calendar,” said Tom Renney, Hockey Canada president and CEO in a news release.
“We know the passion the people of Northern Ontario have for our game, and it’s exciting to be able to take Canada’s National Midget Championship back to Sudbury for a second time…”
“I have seen first-hand through the years the passion Sudbury has for hockey at every level, and it’s exciting that my hometown will welcome the nation in April 2018 for the TELUS Cup,” said Joe Drago, chair of the Hockey Canada Board of Directors. “This event is a tremendous opportunity for the community to shine on a national stage, and I look forward to being there when the puck drops.”
The host Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves of the Great North Midget League – the 2008 TELUS Cup champions – will be joined by five regional winners (Atlantic, Central, Pacific, Quebec and West) to compete for a national title. It will be the sixth time a team from Sudbury has competed in the event.
The sentiments are echoed from the host committee and Sudbury Minor Hockey Association president Craig Maki.
“On behalf of the executive of the Sudbury Minor Hockey Association I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Hockey Canada for the tremendous privilege and responsibility of hosting the 2018 TELUS Cup,” said Maki. “The Sudbury Minor Hockey Association is beyond excited to be invited to play an integral role in this event, as these types of opportunities are a fantastic way showcase the great community of Sudbury on a national stage.”
A number of future NHLers have taken part in Canada’s National Midget Championship since its inception in 1974, including 53 first-round draft picks, three No. 1 selections (Gord Kluzak, Wendel Clark and Sidney Crosby) and eight future Hockey Hall of Fame inductees (Glenn Anderson, Ron Francis, Mike Gartner, Al MacInnis, Larry Murphy, Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman).