Canada’s 2018 World Junior Hockey Team Members Ordered to Surrender to Police in Sexual Assault Case

LONDON, Ont. – Five members of Canada’s 2018 world junior hockey team have been instructed to turn themselves in to London police to face allegations of sexual assault, according to a report from a leading Canadian newspaper.

The players have not yet been officially charged but have been given a specified period of time to surrender to the authorities, as reported by The Globe and Mail. London police have not provided any updates on the case, only stating that they will share further information when available.

The alleged assault took place on June 19, 2018, in a hotel room in London, following a Hockey Canada Foundation event. It was brought to light by a lawsuit filed by the woman involved, accusing multiple players, including members of Canada’s 2018 world junior team, of assault. The lawsuit was settled by Hockey Canada in May 2022.

Following the public disclosure of the lawsuit, London police, Hockey Canada, and the NHL initiated separate investigations into the incident. In October 2022, London police investigators reported reasonable grounds to believe that five members of the 2018 world junior team had sexually assaulted the woman.

The implications of the allegations have had far-reaching consequences for Hockey Canada. The CEO and entire board of directors stepped down in October of last year, and a new board was elected to initiate governance improvements.

Furthermore, Hockey Canada barred players from the 2018 world junior team from participating in the 2023 IIHF Canadian World Championship team, and several top sponsors, including Nike, terminated their partnerships with the organization.

The developments in the case have received attention from MP Peter Julian, who has been vocal about the need for institutional reform. While he sees progress in Wednesday’s developments, he emphasizes the long road ahead and the importance of implementing strong recommendations for the federal government to address past negligence.

Hockey Canada continues to work on repairing its relationships with provincial and regional governing bodies. The organization has faced threats from these bodies to withhold player participant fees, prompting Hockey Canada to forgo collecting participant assessment fees for the 2022-23 season.

The allegations and subsequent investigations have cast a shadow over Hockey Canada and the sport in the country, highlighting the need for significant changes to protect athletes and ensure their safety.