Everett Silvertips goalie Carter Hart has been named one of 12 WHL players selected to represent Canada's Under-18 Team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Czech Republic and Slovakia next week.
How did Carter catch the eye of scouts after not being invited to participate in Canada's Under-17 camp the previous year? A recent article by Hockey Canada explained how Hart's first career start raised some eyebrows.
Starting goaltender Austin Lotz was at training camp for the Vancouver Canucks, and that summoned Carter between the pipes for his first career start: on the road versus rival Seattle. Sounds like a tough task to put upon a 16-year-old rookie goaltender, right? Wrong! Carter would go on to save 26 shots and shut out Seattle in his debut.
According to the article, Team Canada Director of Player Personnel Ryan Jankowski, who happened to be in attendance, remarked that Carter "played extremely well for his first WHL start and it was like, ‘Who is this guy?' I've got to do some more research on him. That game is what put him on the map."
Hart would go on and become Everett's number one goaltender and finish his rookie season with a record of 18-5-2-3, a league leading 2.29 GAA, .915 save percentage, adding 4 shutouts. His play also helped Everett end an eight-year drought of first-round exits. "For a guy who was really not on the radar a year ago to come in and start as a 16-year-old goaltender at the end of the year and run the playoffs for his team, that caught our attention," said Jankowski. "At the end he played down the stretch for them, displaced a 19-year-old goaltender and won a playoff series. It made it all real."
Team Canada will match up against Czech Republic for their first game on August 10th.
Other Tips news: Defenseman Noah Juulsen will be in the lineup versus Czech Republic at the World Junior Showcase. Defenseman Jantzen Leslie had an assist for Team Black at Hockey Canada's U-17 camp. Assistant coach Mitch Love will help coach Canada at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.