An Airdrie hockey player who plays for the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos recently represented his country and hometown internationally, lacing up his skates for Team Canada at the 2022 IIHF U18 Ice Hockey World Championship in Germany last month.
Josh Davies, 18, has played for the Broncos the past two seasons in Western Canada’s top-tier U21 hockey league. Previously, he was a member of the U18 AAA Airdrie CFR Chemicals Bisons, the Edge Mountaineers Prep Team and the U15 AAA Airdrie Xtreme.
According to Davies, the news came as quite a surprise that he had been selected to play for Team Canada in the international championship, which took place from April 21 to May 1 in the German town of Landshut and the town of Kaufbeuren, Swabia.
“I was pretty thrilled,” Davies said, adding that he was initially eliminated from the playoffs which were to determine which skaters would represent Canada at the championship.
“I found out on Sunday morning that I was jumping on a 5am Monday morning flight to Germany to play for Canada,” he said. “I called my parents afterwards and it was a pretty emotional day, but a pretty exciting day.”
The professional hockey prospect said he was proud to have been chosen to represent both his country and his hometown in the competition.
“It’s definitely an honor to be selected from Airdrie and to be one of two guys from the Calgary area,” he said. “Airdrie is a great little town and being able to represent everyone here is pretty cool.”
During the competition, the Canadian team entered the preliminary rounds on April 23 against the American team and was beaten 8-3.
The next game, the team took to the ice again. Facing their host country, the team of Germany, the Canadians finally won the match 8-3.
In the third game of the preliminary rounds on April 26, the team played against Czechia, facing defeat with a final score of 6-5. Upon reaching the quarter-finals, the Canadians played against Finland, losing 6-5 in overtime, which knocked them out of the championship before reaching the semi-finals.
Although he did not reach the podium, Davies said he was proud to play alongside such talented teammates on international ice, adding that the opportunity was a great learning experience to learn from some of the Hockey Canada’s top coaches.
“To play alongside all of the best players in Canada and to be on this international stage is quite surreal,” he said. “You don’t realize it until you get there, and it shows all the hard work we put into my hockey to get me there.
“It was a pleasure to be there. It was an honor to wear this [maple leaf] Crete.”
Throughout the championship, Davies had one assist in all three of his games, mostly on the team’s fourth line.
“I think putting that patch on at the end of the day is the maple leaf – very few players can wear that patch,” he said. “Just putting on this patch and representing my country was the highlight.
“Like all other kids, you always want to represent your country and to have the chance to do so is a great honour.”
Davies said he is eligible for the NHL Draft this year and is looking forward to what the future holds, adding that he is striving to get “bigger, faster, stronger” and develop their “hockey IQ” on the ice.
“I just try to get better every day whether it’s the little things or the big things and I just work on my game,” he said. “[The IIHF U18 world championship] is a great stepping stone for me and my family and it was the next step I had to reach, and I got there. I just have to keep moving forward.
The hockey player is highly ranked — 69th — on NHL Central Scouting’s final list ahead of the July 7 NHL Draft.
“It’s pretty cool that NHL teams are reaching out and reaching out to you,” Davies said. “Just looking at the fake drafts and all the rankings that come out, I’m trying not to let that affect me and not let that go to my head. The work has just started.”