St. John’s native Nathan Noel will be one of 42 bantam-aged players from across the country to take part in the second annual Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Camp in Mississauga, Ont., this July.
The National Hockey League Players Association-hosted camp will be led by 21-year NHL veteran Gary Roberts and features instruction by former and current NHL players. Last year’s camp featured NHL stars Jason Spezza and Luke Schenn.
Over the course of the five-day camp, players will receive on- and off-ice instruction covering a variety of topics such as nutrition, sports psychology and personal values.
“I was excited to get invited,” Noel said Monday.
“When I get there. I’ll go and listen in and try to learn whatever I can.”
The camp concludes with the Allstate All-Canadian Mentorship Cup, an intersquad game that will be broadcast on TSN. Last year’s camp featured 28 first-round picks from the WHL and OHL.
The 14-year-old Noel is not long back in the province after spending a year playing for the Shattuck-St. Mary’s, a prep school in Faribault, Minn., — about 45 minutes south of Minneapolis-St. Paul — where he compiled 104 points in 56 games.
Still, Noel says it took him a little while to adjust.
“At the start of the year, I wasn’t putting up the numbers I wanted, but it took a bit of getting used to. Once I adjusted and found my spot, it was awesome.”
The school has a solid reputation for producing a high caliber of hockey talent, with the likes of Sidney Crosby, Zach Parise, Jack Johnson and Nathan McKinnon among its alumni.
Noel, who has drawn comparisons to McKinnon, is already being touted as a potential No.1 pick for the 2013 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League entry draft. He admits staying grounded in reality can be a bit of a challenge.
“But I guess you adjust to that and try to stay down to earth as much as possible.”