April 3, 2004
Calgary, Alb. – Notre Dame freshman defenseman Wes O’Neill (Essex, Ont.) has been named to Canada’s 2004 World Under-18 Championship roster of 22 players who will compete in the Under-18 World Championships from April 8-18 in Minsk, Belarus. Team Canada is the defending world Under-18 champion after winning the 2003 title last April in Yaroslavl, Russia.
O’Neill, a member of Canada’s 2003 Summer National Under-18 Summer Team, will be joined on the team by Bowling Green freshman defenseman Jordan Sigalet. O’Neill and Sigalet are the only two members of the team who played in the NCAA last season. The remainder of the team is made up of players who played junior hockey in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) with the Western Hockey League having 12 players, the Ontario Hockey League 7 and the Quebec League one to go with the two NCAA players.
Canada’s Under-18 team is made up of players 18 years of age and under whose teams are not competing in the CHL, Junior A or collegiate playoffs.
O’Neill, who turned 18 on March 3, played his first season for the Irish in 2003-04, scoring two goals with 10 assists for 12 points. One of his goals came on the power play and his +7 was tops among Irish defensemen. O’Neill has been ranked 19th overall by NHL Central Scouting among North American players (third among U.S. College players) for next June’s NHL Entry Draft.
Team Canada leaves for Belarus on April 3 and begins play on April 8 versus Sweden. Canada is in group A with the United States, Sweden, Belarus and Denmark. Team Canada plays Belarus on April 10, Denmark on April 11 and the United States on April 13. The medal rounds begin on April 15 and go through April 18.