Team Atlantic Named for Under-17 Challenge
In the shadow of the World Juniors sits the World Under-17 Challenge. This year’s tournament kicks off December 29th (3 days after World Juniors) and finshes with the gold medal game on January 4th (day before World Juniors gold). Five regional teams from Canada compete against five international entries: Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Russian and the United States.
The Canadian teams are largely comprised of Major Junior rookies, top AAA Midget players, and a sprinkling of Junior A and Prep school talent.
Our neck of the wood is represented by Team Atlantic, with players from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Topping the list of for the Team Atlantic roster will be Halifax Moosehead Nathan MacKinnon, who had eight points in five games last year as underager. There is a slim chance that MacKinnon could be invited to play for Canada at the World Juniors, but recent comments from Kevin Prendergast indicate “it’s going to be tough” for MacKinnon to make the team this year.
That’s good news for Team Atlantic at the U-17 Tournament though. They’ll play their first game against a familiar opponent in Team Quebec, also comprised largely of QMJHL talent. The Atlantic roster features 8 QMJHL players, 9 from the three AAA midget leagues, 4 from prep schools and one playing Junior A.
Andrew Mergl – Quispamsis, N.B. – Saint John (NBPEIMMHL)
Jacob Fancy – Lower Sackville, N.S. – Halifax (NSMMHL)
Matthew Murphy – Fredericton, N.B. – Val-d’Or (LHJMQ)
Jacob Arsenault – Petit-Rocher, N.B. – Miramichi (MHL)
Ryan Graves – Yarmouth, N.S. – P.E.I. (LHJMQ)
Brett McNeil – Halifax, N.S. – Halifax (NSMMHL)
Alex MacNeil – Halifax, N.S. – Halifax (NSMMHL)
Zach Taylor – Dartmouth, N.S. – Dartmouth (NSMMHL)
Cody Donaghey – St. John’s, N.L. – St. John’s Maple Leafs (NLMAAAHL)
Kameron Kielly – Sherwood, P.E.I. – Charlottetown (NBPEIMMHL)
Thomas Stavert – Kensington, P.E.I. – Notre Dame Argos (SMAAAHL)
Alex Gallant – Stratford, P.E.I. – Charlottetown (NBPEIMMHL)
Bronson Beaton – Springhill, N.S. – Shawinigan (LHJMQ)
Kelly Bent – Halifax, N.S. – P.E.I. (LHJMQ)
Ryan Falkenham – Halifax, N.S. – Halifax (LHJMQ)
Nathan MacKinnon – Cole Harbour, N.S. – Halifax (LHJMQ)
Mike Lyle – Florence, N.S. – Acadie-Bathurst (LHJMQ)
Noah Zilbert – Fredericton, N.B. – Fredericton (NBPEIMMHL)
Oilver Cooper – Fredericton, N.B. – Saint John (LHJMQ)
Mitchell Vanderlaan – Hanwell, N.B. – Rothesay Netherwood Prep (Can. Prep)
Kris Hodge – Conception Bay South, N.L. – Notre Dame Argos (SMAAAHL)
Jordan Kennedy – Corner Brook, N.L. – Harrington College (Can. Prep)