He failed to know it at the time, but when Stratford, P.E.I., resident Gordie Dwyer suited up for Quebec’s hockey team at the 1995 Canada Games in Grande Prairie, Alta., he performed towards another teenager who would go on to participate in the most games in the heritage of the Nationwide Hockey League.
Patrick Marleau, who played for Saskatchewan two years before the start off of a record 1,779-game vocation with the San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins, is just one player whose route to the NHL incorporated a prevent at the Canada Games.
The record through the decades also contains Nova Scotians Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, and Ontario’s Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay Lightning.
Chris Phillips, who played for Alberta before getting the longtime captain of the Ottawa Senators, also played in the 1995 tournament.
Dwyer performed 108 game titles in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens before a coaching career that includes the Charlottetown Islanders and his recent staff, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, of the Quebec Big Junior Hockey League.
Dwyer will be between the dozens of junior hockey and NHL scouts in the rinks taking notes at the 2023 Canada Online games on Prince Edward Island.
A lot of of the players, just 14 and 15 many years previous, will be drafted into Canadian junior hockey leagues, like the QMJHL, this calendar year and be qualified for the NHL draft when they transform 18.
It truly is that 1st option to seriously, for most players, to truly be equipped to participate in finest on finest throughout the place and start to detect themselves as they develop a occupation in the video game— Gordie Dwyer
“It really is an extremely-aggressive match. It really is greatest on best of a specific age team across Canada,” Dwyer stated.
“So, it is that first opportunity to definitely, for most gamers, to actually be in a position to enjoy greatest on ideal throughout the nation and begin to discover them selves as they make a occupation in the video game.”
Amid those gamers is Dwyer’s son, Ryan, a twin-activity athlete and 1 of P.E.I’.’s flag-bearers.
“I am absolutely sure he’s truly energized about the opportunity and not only to stand for his province but to participate in in his personal province as very well. So, it really is, you know, as a dad, as a parent … we’re energized for him and looking forward to the celebration.”
So who are the hockey gamers to look at at the 2023 online games? CBC questioned Dwyer and Charlottetown Islanders mentor and normal supervisor Jim Hulton who they consider has NHL opportunity.
Gavin McKenna, Yukon. This was an evident alternative. The Western Hockey League, as opposed to the OHL and QMJHL, has previously held its draft, and McKenna was the No. 1 pick. There is previously plenty of hype encompassing him,
“I assume a great deal of folks will go see him,” Hulton reported. “Kind of distinctive to arrive out of that territory, but just tells you how far-reaching our match has turn out to be”
Lane Sim, Nova Scotia. His father, Jon, played 469 video games in the NHL, and Lane could end up in the big leagues a single day, too.
“He is a dynamic, small offensive player,” Dwyer claimed.
Owen Conrad. Nova Scotia. Dwyer expects he will be a superior draft select in the QMJHL draft in June.
“A massive two-way defenceman with some good offensive instincts. So these are normally a incredibly hot commodity here at the subsequent degree.”
Caleb Desnoyers, Quebec. His brother, Elliot, performed for Canada at the planet juniors and was the captain of the Halifax Mooseheads past yr. Dwyer phone calls Caleb a “massive, tall, clean skating centre.”
Zach Wheeler, New Brunswick. Hulton phone calls him one of the greatest-rated midget players in New Brunswick.
Liam Kilfoil, New Brunswick. Kilfoil has been actively playing at prep colleges in the U.S. the final few decades.
Ryan Roobroeck, Ontario. He utilized for remarkable position which would enable him to play in the Ontario Hockey League a year early. Even though he was denied, he “truly is an outstanding player,” Dwyer claimed.
Nathan Lecompte, Quebec. Dwyer performed with Nathan’s father, Eric, a initial-spherical select of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1993.
Hulton would not single out any gamers on Team P.E.I., indicating he “likes them all.”
But Dwyer explained Will Murphy of the Kensington Wild — “a huge, physical defenceman, a little little bit of a throwback to previously a long time” — and forward Kayden McGuigan of the Charlottetown Knights are two players to keep an eye on.
Not anyone will make it to the professional stage. But that doesn’t mean they is not going to go on to profitable careers.
“And it is an option to develop reminiscences for a life time and friendships for a lifetime.”