Oakville’s Misa to suit up for Canada at Hlinka Gretzky Cup


Published July 13, 2023 at 10:16 am

Oakville native Michael Misa will play for Canada at the upcoming 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup being held July 31 to Aug. 5 in Trencin, Slovakia and Breclav, Czechia. NATALIE SHAVER/OHL IMAGES PHOTO

Oakville’s Michael Misa will be representing Canada at the upcoming 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup being held July 31 to Aug. 5 in Trencin, Slovakia and Breclav, Czechia.

The 16-year-old is one of 24 players selected to help Canada’s National Men’s Summer U18 Team defend its gold medal win over Sweden last year in Red Deer.

The dynamic five-foot-11, 160-pound centre was selected first overall by the Saginaw Spirit in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection and topped all first-year players with 22 goals and 34 assists for 56 points, earning him the Emms Family Award as the OHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Misa’s 1.24 points per game was the best scoring pace of any Exceptional Status player in the OHL history. He was also named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team, as well as the CHL All-Rookie Team in 2023.

“As an organization we are extremely proud of Michael for winning this award,” Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill said after Misa was named rookie of the year. “Since the day we drafted Michael he has done everything we have asked of him and more, both on and off the ice. It is not easy to succeed in this league as a first-year player, especially one that was granted entry to the OHL a year early, but Michael’s skill and drive to be the best allowed him to adapt quickly.

“He is an outstanding, humble young man that is very deserving of this recognition and we could not be happier for him.”

The Oakville native is one of 14 forwards named to the team by Alan Miller, director of player personnel, and Cole Russell, the U18 lead for the Program of Excellence management group.

Canada will be guided behind the bench by head coach Alan Letang (Sarnia Sting) and assistant coaches Kris Mallette (WHL’s Kelowna), and Sylvain Favreau (QMJHL’s Drummondville).

“We are excited to unveil this group of accomplished athletes that have earned the opportunity to represent Canada and defend our gold medal at this year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup,” Millar said. “Earning a spot to represent your country is an exciting opportunity, and we know each athlete will embrace the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf in Slovakia and Czechia later this month.”

Canada will get ready for the tournament with scheduled practices at the Ice Palace in Budapest, Hungary from July 23-27, and will face off against Hungary’s national under-20 team on July 27 at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m.

It will also take on Czechia on July 29 at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT at Fosfa Arena in Breclav as a part of its pre-tournament schedule.

Canada will open the tournament against Finland on July 31st. Other preliminary round games will be against co-host Slovakia and Switzerland before the tournament concludes with the medal games on Aug. 5.

Canada has won 23 gold medals along with three silver medals and one bronze at the summer U18 competition.

All Team Canada games and select elimination and medal games will be shown on TSN and RDS. Check local listings for more details.

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