Parker Wotherspoon is following in his older brother Tyler’s skates in being named to Team WHL for the Canada Russia Series.
The Tri-City Americans defenseman also will be an alternate captain for Team WHL when it takes the ice Monday in Prince George, BC, to open the six-game series.
“I’m excited,” said Wotherspoon, a fourth-round pick of the New York Islanders in the 2015 NHL draft. “It’s humbling to go out there and compete. We just want to win and carry on that tradition.”
Tyler Wotherspoon, who plays in the Calgary Flames organization, played in the series in 2012 when he was a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks.
“He said it’s an exciting time and to soak it all up,” the younger Wotherspoon said.
Wotherspoon enters the series with four goals and 12 assists in 16 games with the Americans.
After Monday’s game in Prince George, the series moves to Edmonton, Alberta, for Game 2. After that, the series shifts to the Ontario Hockey League for games Nov. 10 and 14, and to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Nov. 15 and 17.
Since the event began in 2003, the CHL teams have an overall record of 54-18-6 against the Russians.
Noah Juulsen of the Everett Silvertips is captain of Team WHL, with Wotherspoon, Nick Merkley (Kelowna) and Tyler Benson (Vancouver) as alternates.
“You get to play with good players from other teams,” Wotherspoon said of his soon-to-be teammates. “It’s good to bring us all together. It will be fun to play together. During the season, everyone battles and chirps out there on the ice, but off the ice a lot of us know each other and we get along well.”
The series also serves as a scouting opportunity for Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championship. Last year, 21 CHL players who participated in the series represented Canada at the WJC.
“It’s almost like a tryout,” Wotherspoon said. “I just want to go and be the best I can be. That’s all I can do.”
The 6-foot, 175-pound Wotherspoon has spent time at the national level with Team Canada.
He won bronze with Canada at the 2015 U-18 World Junior Championship, and silver with Canada-Pacific at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.