MYHockey News

U18 WWC: Players From Highly Ranked Clubs Fill U.S. & Canada Rosters

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By Scott Lowe –

Let us be the first to tell you that sports rankings can be very polarizing.

Some people love them. Some people hate them. Some people rely on them, and some people ignore them.

We also will be the first to admit that no rankings system is 100-percent foolproof. That’s why games are decided on the ice or on the field and we don’t use math, analytics or any other type of rankings to award championships. 

When used properly, however, math-based rankings can be a valuable scheduling tool, and the most fair and impartial way to determine the actual quality of a team or program over a given time period.

Rankings aren’t the only way to judge the quality of a program, however, and one method that really can’t be refuted is to examine the number of players an organization moves on to play at a higher – or the highest – levels of a particular sport on a regular basis. This data can be cross-referenced with rankings data to not only check the validity of the rankings, but also to determine which programs truly are the strongest.

As the Canadian and United States teams roll through the 2024 International Ice Hockey Federation U18 Women’s World Championship in Switzerland, a quick glance at their rosters provides great insight into which programs and areas of each country are producing the top players in the world.

The 2024 U18 WWC started on Saturday, and as of Tuesday morning, both Canada and the USA found themselves in their familiar sports atop the standings. As the Canadians prepare to take on Finland at 2 p.m. EST Tuesday in their final game of pool play, they have steamrolled their first two opponents by a combined margin of 19-1. The U.S., which closes pool play Wednesday at 6 a.m. against Sweden, also is 2-0 and has outscored its opponents, 15-2. 

Keep in mind that the two teams were equally dominant in the opening stages of last year’s tournament, but last January in Östersund, Sweden, the U.S. suffered a rare semifinal loss to the host Swedes by a 2-1 margin. Sweden went on to lose to Canada, 10-0, in the gold-medal game, while the Americans captured bronze with a 5-0 victory against Finland.

Last year’s U18 WWC marked only the second time in the 15 years of tournament play that the U.S. and Canada had not faced off for the gold medal. Sweden also upset Canada in the 2018 tournament before falling to the U.S. in the gold-medal tilt.

Until this year, the U.S. and Canada traditionally faced off to close out pool play, usually with the top seed for the playoff round at stake. The format was changed for the 2024 tournament, though. In previous years, the top-four teams in the world were placed in Pool A, with the next four competing in Pool B. All four Pool A teams qualified for the quarterfinals – with the top two receiving a bye into the semifinals – while only the top-two Pool B teams advanced. The bottom-two Pool B finishers played to avoid relegation. 

This year, the U.S. and Canada were placed in opposite four-team pools, and all eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals with no byes awarded. The U.S. and Canada would only meet – if all goes as planned –in the gold-medal game, which unfortunately means that an upset along the way would leave us without getting to see the North American powers play each other during the 2024 U18 WWC.

Certainly it would be a shame for hockey fans to miss out on yet another USA-Canada epic matchup, but if those two powerhouses were to meet only once with the gold medal at stake, the intensity would be off the charts. And if they don’t play each other, that would mean there had been another big upset, which at the end of the day is great for a sport that is growing and looking to build more parity around the world.

To continue growing the sport and providing more opportunities for hockey-playing nations around the globe, the move to this format makes sense. 

Although upsets happen regularly in high-level sports – remember, that’s why we play the games – Canada and the United States remain the undisputed top dogs of the women’s hockey world. For those of us who follow the North American amateur hockey rankings each week, dissecting the team’s rosters to see where the players come from is a fascinating exercise.

And this year’s national-team rosters prove that maybe these controversial team rankings are pretty darn close to being as accurate as a math-based system possibly can be.

Here is a breakdown of the rosters:


Team Canada Roster Breakdown

The team is comprised of 18 2006 birth years and five 2007s.

Ontario leads the way in producing players for Team Canada, with 11 natives on this year’s roster. Other provinces represented:

  • Quebec – 3
  • British Columbia – 3
  • Manitoba – 2
  • Nova Scotia – 2
  • Alberta – 1
  • Saskatchewan – 1 

Ontario Women’s Hockey League (OWHL) Elite U22 produced 13 of this year’s U18 Team Canada players. Other levels represented:

  • Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL) – 4
  • U18 AAA – 3
  • Quebec CEGEP – 2
  • Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL: U.S. based) - 1

One player – defender Avery Pickering of Manitoba – currently plays for an NCAA Division I program (Colgate University).

There are 12 NCAA Division I commits on the Team Canada roster.

20 of Canada’s 23 players come from U22 teams ranked among the nation’s most-recent top 25, and the No. 5 U18 AAA club also is represented. Twelve players come from the top-5 U22 teams. Here is the breakdown: 

  • #1 Etobicoke Dolphins – 4
  • #2 Burlington Jr. Barracudas – 3
  • #4 RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna - 3
  • #14 Waterloo Ravens – 2
  • #3 Durham West Jr. Lightning – 1
  • #5 Limoilou Titans – 1
  • #6 John Abbott College – 1
  • #8 Ottawa Lady Senators – 1
  • #16 Balmoral Hall School – 1
  • #20 Mississauga Jr. Hurricanes – 1
  • #23 Shawnigan Lake School – 1
  • #25 Ridley College – 1
  • #5 U18 AAA Regina Rebals – 1


CLICK HERE for the full Team Canada 2024 U18 WWC Roster


Team USA Roster Breakdown

Team USA is comprised of 12 2006 birth years, nine 2007s and four 2008s.

Minnesota and Massachusetts lead the way in producing players for Team USA, with seven players from each state represented on the roster. Other states represented:

  • Vermont – 2
  • Pennsylvania – 2
  • New York – 2
  • Michigan – 1
  • New Jersey – 1
  • Illinois – 1
  • North Carolina – 1
  • Nebraska - 1 

Eight players come from the top-four teams in the MHR Girls Association Rankings:

  • #3 East Coast Wizards – 4
  • #4 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers – 2
  • #1 Chicago Mission – 1
  • #3 Little Caesars – 1

There are 16 NCAA Division I commits on the Team USA roster. 

Six of the seven Minnesota natives on the Team USA roster are from Minnesota high-school programs. The remaining players come from top USA Tier 1 programs, with 11 players representing the USA 19U Tier 1 Nos. 1, 2 and 9 teams. Two players come from the No. 2 16U program. The breakdown: 

  • #1 Shattuck-St. Mary’s 19U Prep – 4
  • #2 Bishop Kearney Selects 19U – 4
  • #9 North American Hockey Academy 19U – 3
  • #7 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers 19U – 2
  • #4 East Coast Wizards 19U – 2
  • #3 Chicago Mission 19U – 1
  • #8 Little Caesars 19U – 1
  • #2 Assabet Valley 16U – 2
  • #12 Little Caesars 16U – 1

Natalia Dilbone of Little Caesars 16U celebrated her 16th birthday on the trip to Switzerland. She is the youngest goalie ever named to the USA U18 WWC team.


CLICK HERE for the full Team USA 2024 U18 WWC Roster


USA vs. Canada U18 WWC History

Both the U.S. and Canada have medaled in all 15 previous U18 Women’s World Championship tournaments, meeting for the gold medal 13 times. Team USA has captured the gold medal eight times to go along with six sliver medals and one bronze. Canada has seven gold, seven silver and one bronze. 

Canada beat Team USA in 2023, 3-1, to close out pool play, but the teams did not meet in the medal round as the U.S. was upset by Sweden, 2-1, in the semifinals. That marked the second-straight U18 world championship for the Canadians after the United States had won five of the previous six gold medals. The 2021 U18 WWC was canceled because of COVID.

Sweden has the third-most medals all time, having earned two silver medals and five bronze. Czechia and Finald each have won two bronze medals.

Team USA games can be viewed live on NHL Network. Canada's games can be seen on TSN via live broadcast or webstream. 


CLICK HERE for the reamining U18 WWC Schedule

CLICK HERE for the current U18 WWC Standings




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