T-Birds' Gropp, Barzal to play for Team Canada in Under-18 World play

For the Reporter

Seattle Thunderbirds left wing Ryan Gropp and center Mathew Barzal plays for Team Canada at the Under-18 World Championship on April 17-27 in Finland.

Gropp finished his rookie season with 42 points on 18 goals and 24 assists. He had one goal and three assists in nine playoff games. Gropp, a 17-year-old from Kamloops, British Columbia, was the T-Birds' first-round selection, sixth overall, in the 2011 Bantam Draft.

Barzal had 54 points on 14 goals and 40 assists in his first season with the T-Birds. He had one goal and five assists in nine playoff games. Barzal, a 16-year-old from Coquitlam, British Columbia, was the T-Birds' first-round selection, first overall, in the 2012 Bantam Draft.

Canada is the defending champion at the world championship, having won its third gold medal last year in Sochi, Russia. Canada plays pre-tournament game April 14 against Denmark and opens the tournament April 17 against Sweden.

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