RBC Cup Features Recruits
Five teams set to compete for Canada’s Junior A national championship.

North Dakota commit Nicholas Jones is one of 19 commits on the Penticton Vees (Photo by Garrett James Photography).

Thirty-five Division I commits are among the players convening in Cobourg, Ontario, for the next week to decide the 2017 RBC Cup champion, given to Canada’s Junior A national champion.

The Penticton Vees and Brooks Bandits of the BCHL and AJHL, respectively, combine for the bulk of those committed recruits, with at least 30 future Division I players on those two rosters. The host Cobourg Cougars feature three more and the Trenton Golden Hawks boast two.

RBC Cup Site | College Commitments

The fifth team in the RBC Cup, the Cobras de Terrebone of the LHJQ, have a majority of players who have forfeited their NCAA eligibility.

The 35 commits on Brooks, Cobourg, Penticton and Trenton represent 23 Division I schools. North Dakota leads all schools with three – all on Penticton – while the following schools have two each: Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Niagara, Robert Morris, Union and Vermont.

Games commence on Saturday, with a round robin continuing through Thursday, May 18. Semifinals are set for Saturday, May 20, with the championship game on May 21. HockeyTV will carry games until the championship, which will air on TSN.

Brooks, led by Massachusetts commit and first-round NHL Draft prospect Cale Makar and 10 other Division I commits, won the Western Canada Cup to advance to the RBC Cup.

Colgate commit Josh McKechney (23 points) and Union commit Parker Foo (10 goals) have led the team offensively in the postseason, which has seen the Bandits post a 12-0-1 record. Alaska recruit Mitchel Benson has a 1.21 goals-against average in net.

Penticton features 19 commits, the most in the event, and won the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup as playoff champions. Team captain and North Dakota commit Nicholas Jones had 27 points in 21 BCHL playoff games, then led the team to a second-place finish in the Western Canada Cup. Clarkson recruit Chris Klack (18 points) and Wisconsin recruit Grant Cruikshank (12) were the other Vees offensive catalysts in the BCHL playoffs.

Cobourg features a pair of Niagara commits (Ryan Casselman and Sam Dunn), with Casselman leading the team in regular-season scoring (73 points in 53 games). Cornell recruit Brenden Locke led the Cougars with 13 points in 13 OJHL playoff games.

Trenton’s top offensive player has been one of its two commits, Liam Morgan (Union). Morgan has 12 goals and 23 points in 24 playoff games between the OJHL playoffs and the Dudley Hewitt Cup.

NCAA Commits in RBC Cup
Brooks Bandits (11)
Mitchel Benson Alaska
Oliver Chau Massachusetts
Parker Foo Union
Cale Makar Massachusetts
Charlie Marchand Bentley
Josh McKechney Colgate
Joe O’Connor Quinnipiac
Nick Prkusic Robert Morris
Arnaud Vachon Colgate
Ocean Weisblatt Vermont
Orca Weisblatt Vermont

Cobourg Cougars (3)
Ryan Casselman Niagara
Sam Dunn Niagara
Brenden Locke Cornell

Penticton Vees (19)
Ty Amonte Boston University
Jamie Armstrong Northeastern
Gabe Bast North Dakota
Grant Cruikshank Wisconsin
Matt Gosiewski Harvard
Nicholas Jones North Dakota
Chris Klack Clarkson
Joseph Leahy Cornell
Mitch Meek Clarkson
Griffen Mendel Denver
James Miller New Hampshire
Jared Nash Alaska Anchorage
Ryley Risling Robert Morris
Mathew Robson Minnesota
Sam Rossini Minnesota
Owen Sillinger Bemidji State
Jonathan Tychonick North Dakota
Taylor Ward Omaha

Trenton Golden Hawks (2)
Josh Allan Sacred Heart
Liam Morgan Union