MacEwan-NAIT All-Star roster set for Wednesday's match against Oilers rookies

Ryan Benn, MacEwan's all-time career points leader, will be one of 20 players on the MacEwan-NAIT All Stars roster for Wednesday's game against the Edmonton Oilers rookies (Nick Kuiper photo).
Ryan Benn, MacEwan's all-time career points leader, will be one of 20 players on the MacEwan-NAIT All Stars roster for Wednesday's game against the Edmonton Oilers rookies (Nick Kuiper photo).

MacEwan and NAIT Athletics

EDMONTON – The MacEwan University Griffins and NAIT Ooks are proud to announce their 20-man combined roster that will compete against the Edmonton Oilers rookies on Wednesday (7 p.m., Rogers Place).

Each of the rival Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) institutions contributed 10 players to the roster, which will showcase some of the top talents competing in post-secondary hockey in Alberta.

The lineup, co-coached by MacEwan's Michael Ringrose and NAIT's Tim Fragle, will boast 10 players who have a combined 2,129 games of Major Junior experience, two with American Hockey League experience, three former U Sports players and several who have starred in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Highlighting the major-junior talent are a few names familiar to Western Hockey League fans: former Edmonton Oil Kings forward Tyler Robertson of NAIT (Sherwood Park, AB), former Calgary Hitmen forward Tyler Mrkonjic of MacEwan (St. Albert, AB) and two players who were once teammates on the Vancouver Giants – defenceman Tyler Morrison of MacEwan (Sherwood Park, AB) and centre Thomas Foster of NAIT (Slave Lake, AB).

NAIT's list of 10 also features defenceman Ty Stanton (St. Albert, AB), a former Medicine Hat Tiger who played a few games for the Toronto Marlies last season and defenceman Colton Waltz of Vermilion, AB (302 WHL games with Brandon and Saskatoon) who has a game under his belt with Edmonton Oilers' AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.

Three other Ooks also boast CHL experience: Francis Menard (Charlottetown, PEI) - Guelph, Peterborough, Brampton; Jake Mykitiuk (St. Albert, AB) – Prince George, Everett; and Jarid Hauptman (Morinville, AB) – Spokane.

"After a lot of discussion with Mike we made some very difficult decisions given the amount of capable candidates from both schools," says NAIT bench boss Tim Fragle, the 2016-17 ACAC coach of the year.

"We feel that the selected players will represent both schools professionally on and off the ice and will provide an exciting brand of hockey for the community to enjoy."

MacEwan's list of 10 also includes third-year goalie Marc-Olivier Daigle (Delson, QC), who once played on the same Halifax Mooseheads team as Jonathan Drouin and Nathan Mackinnon.

Other top names representing the defending ACAC champion Griffins in the game are fifth-year captain Ryan Benn (Spruce Grove, AB), the program's all-time career points leader, third-year centre Brett Njaa (Birch Hills, SK) – the reigning ACAC playoff MVP – and second-year forward Cam Gotaas (Sherwood Park, AB), whose father Steve Gotaas played 52 NHL games for Pittsburgh and Minnesota.

"We focused on putting together a well-rounded roster that will have the ability to play the game at high speed," said Ringrose, who is the Griffins interim head coach.

"We're excited and we think we have a group of 20 that is going to be able to play with a ton of pace while representing both schools and the ACAC well in this game."

Tickets for Wednesday's game are still available at All tickets are general admission and are priced at $20 each plus applicable fees.

MacEwan-NAIT All-Stars Roster

No.      Pos.                 Name                                      School             Hometown    

1          G                      Marc-Olivier Daigle                MacEwan        Delson, QC     

29        G                      Nathan Park                            NAIT                Edmonton, AB

3          D                      Taylor Bilyk                             MacEwan        Edmonton, AB

22        D                      Corey Chorneyko                     NAIT                Jasper, AB

27        D                      Stefan Danielson                     MacEwan        Red Deer, AB

25        D                      Tyler Morrison                        MacEwan        Sherwood Park, AB

3          D                      Ty Stanton                               NAIT                St. Albert, AB

4          D                      Colton Waltz                           NAIT                Vermilion, AB

9          LW                   Ryan Benn                               MacEwan        Spruce Grove, AB

10        LW                   Tanner Dunkle                         NAIT                Red Deer, AB

14        LW/RW            Francis Menard                       NAIT                Charlottetown, PEI

13        LW/C               Jacob Schofield                       MacEwan        Yellowknife, NWT

11        C                      Thomas Foster                        NAIT                Slave Lake, AB

19        C                      Cam Gotaas                             MacEwan        Sherwood Park, AB

16        C                      Jarid Hauptman                       NAIT                Morinville, AB

21        C                      Brett Njaa                               MacEwan        Birch Hills, SK

17        RW                  Tyler Mrkonjic                         MacEwan        St. Albert, AB

18        LW/RW            Jake Mykitiuk                          NAIT                St. Albert, AB

13        LW/RW            Tyler Robertson                       NAIT                Sherwood Park, AB

26        RW                  Dallas Smith                            MacEwan        Beaumont, AB