For many hockey players, the biggest honour they could receive is having the opportunity to represent their country. For Canadians, it’s proudly wearing the maple leaf on their sweater.
Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman, Matthew Robertson was named to Team Canada’s roster for the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on October 17 along with 22 other Western Hockey League (WHL) players. Robertson would go on to represent Team Canada Black as an alternate captain for the tournament this past weekend, an opportunity well deserved for the Sherwood Park, AB native.
“It was an unforgettable experience,” said Robertson. “Having the opportunity to represent my country is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Robertson began capturing points early on during the team’s second preliminary-round matchup against Team Czech Republic. During the game, Robertson would pick up an assist on teammate Alex Beucage’s (QMJHL) second period goal. Later, in the third, Robertson would attain his first goal of the tournament, scored on the powerplay at 12:24 securing Team Canada Black’s 5-0 victory.
In Team Canada Black’s third preliminary game against the United States, Robertson captured an assist late in the first period.
Robertson’s team moved on to the quarter final round in an all-Canadian matchup against Team Canada Red. The 16-year-old added to his point streak picking up an assist in the first period and a powerplay goal (second of the tournament) at 15:29 of the second frame. Though Team Canada Black put up a strong effort, they ultimately fell 4-3 to Team Canada Red.
To close out the tournament, Robertson’s squad faced off against Team Sweden in a placement game where he collected an assist to cap off what was an incredible tournament. The Oil Kings rookie finished with 6 points (2G, 4A) for his team and placed 10th overall in the tournament in points. Robertson was also named to the World Under-17’s All-Star Team.
Now, Robertson will look to bring his learnings on the international stage back to the Edmonton.
“Returning to the Oil Kings I will bring a more offensive game by bringing speed and being fast on the puck,” said Robertson.
The experience had at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge along with his previous experience at the 2017 National Under-17 Development Camp is bound to add nothing but great things to Robertson’s game, and it’s pretty clear that this Oil Kings blueliner has a bright future ahead.