Victoria Royals defenceman Gannon Laroque has received an invitation to Team Canada’s World Junior summer selection camp being held from July 20 to 27 in Calgary, AB.
The Edmonton, AB native will have a chance to represent his nation for the first time in his career at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships in December, should he be chosen following this summer’s camp and a second selection camp scheduled for later in the year.
“I’m ecstatic about the possibility of representing my country,” said Laroque. “It will be an honour to showcase my skills against other great Canadian players. Representing Canada would be a childhood dream come true. As a hockey player growing up, I watched the World Junior Hockey Championship every year and imagined myself contributing on the ice.”
It has been an exciting couple of months for the 18-year-old blueliner. He was called up to join the San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliate for a handful of games following the end of the Royals’ season in April, then received the award for the BC Division’s Top Defenceman before being named the eighth captain in Victoria Royals’ franchise history earlier this month.
He also recently signed an entry-level contract with the Sharks, who selected him in the fourth round (#108 overall) of the 2021 NHL draft last spring.
“I am proud to be Canadian and wearing the maple leaf would make one of my dreams become a reality,” added Laroque. “I’m really looking forward to the competitive environment that will exist. I am excited to meet other players and learn from them. This camp will provide an opportunity to continue my development.”
Laroque enjoyed a breakout 2021-2022 campaign in Victoria, leading the team with 42 assists while adding 10 goals to finish third on the team with 52 total points while serving as an assistant captain.
The 2023 IIHF World Junior Hockey championship will take place from Dec. 26, 2022 to Jan. 5, 2023 in Halifax, NS and Moncton, NB.
“We are thrilled for Gannon and his family,” said Assistant General Manager and Associate Head Coach J.F. Best. “Being recognized by Hockey Canada in this way is a huge accomplishment. Those who know how Gannon operates can attest to the fact that he has earned every bit of this type of recognition. He works extremely hard, makes countless sacrifices, and carries himself with tremendous professionalism.”
About the Victoria Royals
The Victoria Royals are a Canadian major junior ice hockey team in the Western Hockey League (WHL) owned and operated by GSL Group. The Royals play all their home games at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and have entered their 11th season of their existence.
About Save-On Foods Memorial Centre
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (SOFMC) is designed, constructed, developed and operated by GSL Group. SOFMC is Victoria’s premier entertainment facility and the largest arena in British Columbia outside Vancouver. The state-of-the-art 7,000 seat facility is home to the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League and regularly hosts large-scale concerts and other special events such as figure skating, curling, plays, trade shows and conferences. SOFMC also features a fine dining Lion’s Den Restaurant, as well as retail and meeting space.