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On Friday, December 13, 2013, Hockey Canada announced the honorary captains for the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, which will be held in Toronto, Ontario and Montréal, Québec, December 26, 2014 to January 5, 2015.  All four of the honorary captains did, themselves, represent Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championships during their playing careers. To those who have followed hockey for any length of time all four individuals will be recognizable.

Wendel Clark, 47, won a gold medal with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 1985 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland. He was selected first-overall in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, with whom he played 13 of his 18 NHL seasons. He also played for the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Chicago Blackhawks and the now defunct Quebec Nordiques. Clark played in two NHL All-Star Games, in 1986 and 1999. He currently works with the Maple Leafs organization as a community ambassador.

Marc Denis, 36, won two gold medals with Canada’s National Junior team in 1996 in Boston, Massachusetts, and in 1997 in Geneva, Switzerland. He was named the tournaments top goaltender in 1997, and compiled a record of 7-0-2 in his two years. He also represented Canada twice at the IIHF World Championship, in 2004 and 2006. He was a first-round draftee of the Colorado Avalanche in 1995, going 25th overall and played in 349 games during 13 NHL seasons for Colorado as well as the Colombus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens. He currently works as an analyst for RDS.

Martin Lapointe, 40, had the distinction of representing Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship on three occasions: 1991, 1992 and 1993. He won gold medals in 1991 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and captained the 1993 team to the gold medal in Gävle, Sweden. A first-round selection of the Detroit Red Wings, going 10th overall in 1991, he played in 991 career NHL games with Detroit as well as the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks and the Ottawa Senators. He won two Stanley Cup championships while with Detroit in 1997 and 1998. Lapointe current serves as the director of player development for the Montréal Canadiens.

Gary Roberts, 47, won a silver medal with Canada’s National Junior team at the 1986 tournament held in Hamilton, Ontario. The Calgary Flames selected him in the first round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, where he went 12th overall. He played in 1,224 games spanning 21 NHL seasons with Calgary, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Florida Panthers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning. While with Calgary, Roberts won the Stanley Cup in 1989. He played in three NHL All-Star Games in 1992, 1993, and 2004. Roberts was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 1996 for his perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

It is fitting that these four men who will serve as honorary captains have played for 15 of the 30 NHL teams. It shows the true talent that comes from Canada’s hockey-playing youth.

Though still a year away, ticket packages for events in both cities will go on sale to the general public at 11:30 ET on December 30, 2013. You can find complete ticket information as well as additional information on the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship by visiting www.hockeycanada.ca/2015juniors.

A family historian by profession, Rhonda R. McClure has loved hockey since she was a child in New Hampshire. Any opportunity to combine her love of writing, hockey and research is something she looks forward to with much enthusiasm. She's been accused of seeking out shinny games when there are no other hockey events taking place. She is a member of the Society for International Hockey Research. Follow her on Twitter at @HockeyMaven1917.

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