Broncos forward Aleksi Heponiemi and blue liner Artyom Minulin had their names called to suit up for their respective countries at the 2017 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Buffalo, New York.
Heponiemi will represent Team Finland while Minulin will suit up for Team Russia. Both players will attend training camp in Rochester, NY beginning on December 17th, 2017 ahead of the tournament that’s slated to begin on December 26th. The news arrived shortly after Broncos forward Tyler Steenbergen was named to Team Canada’s training camp roster, giving Swift Current a total of three representatives for the annual international tournament.
Heponiemi will make his first appearance for Team Finland at this level of competition. A product of Tampere, Finland, the 18-year-old right winger has enjoyed a very productive sophomore campaign for the Swift Current Broncos, leading the WHL in both assists (5o) and points (69). The Florida Panthers prospect has prior experience in international play, representing Finland at the 2017 European U-20 tournament, recording one goal in three games as well as the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial in which he notched five assists in four games.
Also a first timer, Minulin cracks Team Russia’s roster for the World Juniors. Minulin is in the midst of his third season with the Swift Current Broncos and is enjoying success on both ends of the ice, having collected 15 points (5g-10a) to go along with a plus-2 rating and four penalty minutes. The native of Tyumen, Russia also took part in the CIBC Canada Russia Series for the second consecutive season this past November, participating in a pair of games, including Russia’s 4-3 win over Team WHL in Game 2 of the annual competition.
The Broncos begin a three game road-trip this weekend against the Calgary Hitmen on Friday, December 8th at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Puck drop is slated for 8:00pm.