Team OHL is made up of likely league all-stars and national junior team hopefuls who will compete against the Russian National Junior Team in Game 3 of a six-game cross Canada series. The OHL stops will be in Sarnia on Thursday, November 8 and in Oshawa on Monday, November 12. The series — an annual event dating back to 2003 — will begin with two games in the Western Hockey League and will wrap up with two games played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
A total of 31 players have been selected to represent the OHL in the 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series including nine players who will compete in both Ontario games, Merkley being one of them.
The rosters feature 24 players who have been selected in the NHL Draft including first round picks Barrett Hayton (Arizona Coyotes, 5th in 2018) and Morgan Frost (Philadelphia Flyers, 27th in 2017) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Owen Tippett (Florida Panthers, 10th in 2017) of the Mississauga Steelheads, Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars, 13th in 2018) of the Flint Firebirds, Nick Suzuki (Vegas Golden Knights, 13th in 2017) of the Owen Sound Attack, Liam Foudy (Columbus Blue Jackets, 18th in 2018) of the London Knights and Merkley (San Jose Sharks, 21st in 2018) of the Guelph Storm.
Three players who are first time eligible for the NHL Draft in 2019 have also been named to the roster including forward Ryan Suzuki of the Barrie Colts, defenseman Thomas Harley of the Mississauga Steelheads and goaltender Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes.
Both Ontario games will be broadcast across Canada on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.