Battlefords North Stars defenceman Levi Kleiboer has cracked the Team Canada West roster following tryouts in Calgary, and will now represent his country at the World Junior A Challenge next week.
Kleiboer, a 19-year-old from Martensville, Sask., was one of nine players from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League invited to try out in Calgary from Dec. 2-5. He was one of 60 players from the SJHL, British Columbia Hockey League, Alberta Junior Hockey League, Manitoba Junior Hockey League, and Superior International Junior Hockey League invited to try-outs.
It's been a hectic couple of weeks for Kleiboer, who just last week announced his commitment to the University of Maine for next season.
The World Junior A Challenge is an annual international tournament featuring seven teams: Canada West, Canada East, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States.
This year's tournament is set for Dec. 10-16 in Truro, Nova Scotia. That means the North Stars won't have Kleiboer back in their lineup until they return from the Christmas break on Dec. 29. He will miss a total of eight North Stars games.
Notable alumni that have taken part in the World Junior A Challenge include Kyle Turris, Nikolaj Ehlers, Tyson Jost, and Andrei Svechnikov, all of whom won the MVP award when they took part.
Kleiboer will first hit the ice for pre-tournament play on Dec. 8 with an exhibition game against the Russians. That game is set for 7:30 p.m. Atlantic time.
More to come.
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