Newfoundland and Labrador will send a team of under-16 players to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Excellence Challenge April 26-29 in Blainville, Que.
The six-team Challenge (there is one entry from each of the Atlantic provinces and two from Quebec) is an under-16 competition viewed by QMJHL scouts as a signature event leading up to the league's 2018 draft, set for June 2 in Shawinigan, Que.
The event will also be used as a gateway into Hockey Canada’s Under 17 program, with Hockey Canada scouts on site. The U17 program invites 108 players to a July summer camp in Calgary, from which 66 players will be selected to form three Canadian teams for the 2018 World Under-17 Challenge.
Nine of the 12 players selected in last year’s QMJHL draft played in the Excellence Challenge.
The Newfoundland and Labrador tea is comprised of Kieran Burke, Noah Wilson, Patrick Beer, Ryan Costello, Nicholas Moore and Alex Power of St. John’s, Andrew d’Entremont, Nathan Flynn and Alexander French of Mount Pearl, Kyle Lynch, Alex Doody and Andrew Stuckless of C.B.S., Brody Chatman and Mark Hillier of Labrador City, Lucas Park of Steady Brook, Brandon Casey of Grand Falls-Windsor, Lucas Robinson of Rocky Harbour, Skyler Coates of Savage Cove, Nathan Kelly of Paradise and Reilly Mayne of Hopeall.
Head coach is Brian Casey of Grand Falls-Windsor, assistants are Jeff Brewer and Travis Crickard of St. John’s and Chad Brinson is the goalie coach.