Head coach Pete Russell has named his 23-man squad to represent Great Britain at next week’s World Championship in Budapest.

GB will face hosts Hungary, as well as Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland and Slovenia, from 22nd to 28th April.

The six-team Division I Group A tournament will take place at the Papp Laszlo Sportarena, as GB return to world ice hockey’s second tier for the first time since 2013 following their promotion in Belfast last year.

There are first GB World Championship call-ups for netminder Jackson Whistle, defencemen Dallas Erhardt and Zach Sullivan, along with forwards Ollie Betteridge, Luke Ferrara, Liam Kirk, Mike Hammond and Brett Perlini.

Lewis Hook, Ciaran Long, Jez Lundin, Evan Mosey (injury) and Ross Venus are released from the squad.

Russell said: “Picking a final 23 is never easy and this year has been no different.

“There will be some disappointed players who have not made the cut, but the competition for places really was intense.

“Losing Evan Mosey to injury is a blow but we have a quality roster going to Hungary next week.

“The squad has great balance and we have a nice mix of youth and experience across the roster.

“It will be a massive test for us next week but this squad is excited about representing their country and taking on some of the best nations in the world.

“We all know the challenges we will face but it is one we are looking forward to undertaking.”

GB’s 23-man squad will now report back to training camp on Tuesday ahead of flying to Budapest on Thursday.

Ben Bowns – Cardiff Devils
Jackson Whistle – Belfast Giants
Thomas Murdy – Cardiff Devils (reserve)

Dallas Ehrhardt – Manchester Storm
Steve Lee – Nottingham Panthers
Ben O’Connor – Sheffield Steelers
David Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
Mark Richardson – Cardiff Devils
Zach Sullivan – Braehead Clan
Paul Swindlehurst – Manchester Storm

Ollie Betteridge – Nottingham Panthers
Brendan Brooks – Braehead Clan
Ben Davies – Guildford Flames
Robert Dowd – Sheffield Steelers
Robert Farmer – Nottingham Panthers
Luke Ferrara – Coventry Blaze
Mike Hammond – Manchester Storm
Liam Kirk – Sheffield Steelers
Robert Lachowicz – Nottingham Panthers
Matthew Myers – Cardiff Devils
Jonathan Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
Brett Perlini – Nottingham Panthers
Colin Shields – Belfast Giants