Greater Trail hockey product Riley Brandt has been named to the the U SPORTS all-star team, which is set to compete against Canada’s National Junior Team at its selection camp in Calgary Dec. 9-12.
Brandt along with defenceman Sean Comrie will join their Grant MacEwan University head coach Mike Ringrose on the team, which is comprised this year of the best players among the four Alberta teams in Canada West.
Brandt is currently leading the Griffins in scoring with seven goals and 10 points in 10 games. The former Trail Smoke Eater and Beaver Valley Nitehawk has been a driving force for the team since transferring in from Royal Military College where he led U SPORTS in goals during the 2017-18 campaign.
“The past three years, I’ve been struggling with injuries and over the COVID year I wasn’t playing at all, so the last three years have been a struggle,” said Brandt, who overcame two ACL injuries before returning to health with the Griffins this season. “So, it’s an absolute honour to be able to be named to this team and be able to go out there and represent U SPORTS – not only to be able to play against Team Canada but be able to show my skills on that stage and see what I can do out there.
“I’m very excited for this moment and extremely honoured.”
Ringrose noted Brandt is the type of player who could be effective on any line for Team U SPORTS.
“Riley plays with a lot of pace,” he said. “He plays a game that is going to translate well against this team. He’s difficult to play against. He’s a one-shot scorer, so he’s able to bring that dynamic.
“On the roster itself, he’s a guy that can slide up and down. He can play on your powerplay, he can play on your penalty kill. He plays the game with enough pace that he can play an offensive role and he can check for you. The versatility that he’s going to bring will certainly be something that will be helpful in the competition.”
Brandt will play against another former Smoke Eater, Kent Johnson (University of Michigan), who was selected for the World Junior camp.
This will mark the sixth year the U SPORTS All-Stars have faced off against Canada’s National Junior Team Prospects, who are vying for roster spots at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship being held in Edmonton and Red Deer from Dec. 26 – Jan. 5.
Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp will be held in Calgary and will include practices and two games against the U SPORTS all-stars. The games are scheduled for Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. PT and Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. PT.