When you play as well as he did in his Western Hockey League rookie season and at the World Under-18 Hockey Championship this spring, well, let’s just say your chances of making the team are a touch better than average.
Hunt, 17, was one of the three players from the Warriors to receive invites to training and development camps for upcoming international tournaments, as he’ll take the ice alongside Ryder Korczak as Canada prepares for the Hlinka Gretzky Under-18 Championship, while prospect Corson Ceulemans will suit up at the National Under-17 Development camp for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Hunt has been a regular on Team Canada’s radar ever since his impressive break-out season as a first-year Bantam in 2015-16. The Brandon product played for Canada Black at the U17 World Hockey Challenge last fall, picking up a pair of assists, and was then named to Team Canada for the World Under-18 Championship in the spring, picking up a single assist as Canada fell to the U.S. in the bronze medal game.
In his first full season with the Warriors, Hunt scored seven times and added 13 assists for 20 points in 57 games.
Korczak is entering his 17-year-old season, having joined the Warriors from Calgary as part of the trade that sent Jett Woo to the Hitmen. The Yorkton product had eight goals and 15 points in 50 games for Calgary in 2018-19 and will have his second crack at a Hockey Canada team – he played for Team Saskatchewan at the WHL Cup Under-16 tournament and was held without a point in five games.
Korczak had eight goals and 15 points while seeing action in 50 games with the Hitmen last season.
Ceulemans turned 16 this spring and was the Warriors’ fifth pick, 100th overall in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft. He scored 13 goals and 29 points while playing with OHA Edmonton in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League Midget Prep division.
He played for the Western Canada Selects in the World Selects Invitational Under-15 tournament in 2018, picking up a goal and an assist in eight games, and took the ice with Team Alberta at the 2018-19 Canada Winter Games, where he had a goal and five points in six games.
The Under-18 selection camp runs from July 26-30 at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, with the Hlinka Gretzky tournament running from Aug. 5-10 in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia.
Warriors general manager Alan Millar is part of the Hockey Canada management group for the tournament, while assistant coach Mark O’Leary is a guest coach.
The Under-17 development camp runs from July 19-26 in Calgary, with 66 players named to one of three Team Canada squads playing in the tournament Nov 2-9 in Medicine Hat and Swift Current.