2023 Team Canada East - OJHL Player Selections; Graphic Courtesy of OJHL Images

MARKHAM: The Markham Royals are proud to announce that Forward Ben Lalkin has been named to the Team Canada East squad for the 2023 World Jr A Challenge taking place in Nova Scotia next week.

Lalkin, 18, has been on fire to start the season for Markham registering 28 goals and 47 points in the first 20 games of the season. He leads the team in goals and is second in points behind Ryan Forberg (55 points).

Congratulations Ben and good luck in Nova Scotia!

Full details of the release can be found below:


Twelve of the 22 players named to the Team Canada East squad that will play at the World Jr. A Challenge in Truro, NS Dec. 10-17 are from the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Hockey Canada announced today.

The OJHL reps on the team are:

# Name P S/C Ht. Wt. Born Hometown Team
30 Sebastian Gatto G L/G 6’3” 165 01/24/06 Leamington, ON Leamington (OJHL)
2 Cameron Eke D L/G 6’2” 185 04/23/05 St. Catharines, ON Collingwood (OJHL)
4 Carson Lloyd D L/G 5’11” 185 12/08/05 Toronto, ON Georgetown (OJHL)
9 Jack Rimmer F/A R/D 5’10” 175 09/09/05 Toronto, ON Collingwood (OJHL)
10 Trevor Hoskin F/A R/D 6’1” 180 05/18/04 Belleville, ON Cobourg (OJHL)
14 Taeo Artichuk F/A L/G 5’9” 175 02/15/05 Ajax, ON Trenton (OJHL)
15 Andy Reist  F/A L/G 6’0” 185 05/25/04 Waterloo, ON Cobourg (OJHL)
16 Dylan Edwards F/A L/G 5’9” 165 07/20/05 Toronto, ON Toronto Patriots (OJHL)
18 Marcus Lougheed F/A L/G 5’10” 180 01/20/05 Collingwood, ON Collingwood (OJHL)
19 Ben Lalkin F/A L/G 5’10” 175 02/17/05 Thornhill, ON Markham (OJHL)
20 Jonathan Morello F/A L/G 6’3” 193 07/31/06 Toronto, ON St. Michael’s (OJHL)
21 Ben Pickell F/A L/G 5’10” 185 07/20/05 Courtice, ON Pickering (OJHL)

The OJHL is also well represented on the hockey and support staff of Team Canada East.

Chris Vanstone, the OJHL’s Director of Hockey Operations, returns as the team’s director of operations. Team Canada East won silver at last year’s event in Cornwall, ON.

Trenton Golden Hawks Head Coach Derek Smith is an assistant coach. Trenton’s Leah Toffelmire is the athletic therapist. Caitlin McQuaig of the Wellington Dukes is an equipment manager.

“The OJHL is very excited for the opportunity that our 12 players and staff have to represent our country at the World Junior A Challenge,” said OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy. “Our partners in the MHL and the community of Truro have always put on great events and I am sure they will do the same for all participants this year.  We wish all CJHL players and staff the best of luck and will enjoy watching them all compete for gold.”

Canada West will kick off the 2023 World Junior A Hockey Challenge against Sweden on Dec. 10 at 3:30 pm AT, followed by Canada East facing off against Slovakia at 7:30 pm AT. The top four teams will advance to the playoff round, with the medal games taking place at 1 pm and 5 pm AT on Dec. 17.

TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will broadcast the gold medal game. All preliminary-round games, both semifinals and the bronze medal game will be livestreamed at

The 2023 World Junior A Hockey Challenge represents a partnership between Hockey Canada, the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), Hockey Nova Scotia, NHL Central Scouting and the local organizing committee. The five-team format includes Team Canada East, Team Canada West, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States.

The players named to Canada East were selected from the five eastern leagues in the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) – the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL), Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Ligue junior AAA hockey of Quebec (LHJAAAQ) and Maritime Hockey League (MHL).

“We feel the team we have assembled gives us an excellent opportunity to be competitive every game,” said Canada East head coach Billy McGuigan, “There is a tremendous amount of talent across this country and narrowing it down to two teams of twenty-two players is no easy task. Our staff and this group of players is eager to play for a gold medal on the world stage in Atlantic Canada.”

Canada West selected its players from CJHL’s four western leagues – the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).