Just prior to Christmas a former Dragon and former Three Hills resident got a fantastic Christmas present he was not expecting.
Dion Knelsen was invited to be on Team Canada for the Spengler Cup Tournament that is held every year in Davos, Switzerland. The team consists of players who play professional hockey in Europe. Most of the players have National Hockey League experience. Knelsen was quite excited that he got the opportunity. "It was pretty special. Obviously, any time you get to wear the Canadian flag and play for your country, in any capacity, its a pretty huge honour and it's a dream to be able to do that."
Knelsen was surprised the opportunity came up. "When my agent told me that they were looking at me and considering me, I was a little bit surprised with that and then when he (my agent) told me that they had selected me, I was pretty shocked," he said.'
Knelsen played the tournament with Team Canada and in one of the games, ended up scoring a goal and getting an assist. "I was happy to dress and play warm up. Then I got a couple of shifts in the one period and then the second period I got a couple more shifts. Amazingly the puck ended up on my stick at the right time and I scored. It was pretty special."
2018 had been a tough year to start, as his current team, SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers, has made the transition from a lower league to a premier league in Switzerland. They have not had the success of last year including Knelsen, but the year ended with a bang with the Spengler Cup and the birth of his third child.
Knelsen continues to play professionally in the Swiss National A League.