By Scott Billeck
Brett Howden, Nolan Patrick and Jermaine Loewen have all made the 27-man roster for Hockey Manitoba’s U-16 Program of Excellence Prep Camp coming up later this summer.
The list, which was released Wednesday, includes three goalies, eight defenseman, and sixteen forwards and will be coached by Doug Sinclair.
Sinclair has been a part of the Hockey Manitoba Program of Excellence for the past three seasons, twice as an assistant, and this year as head coach. He sees a lot of good in the program, both in terms of development and overall notoriety across Canada.
“It’s a first kind of identification for players,” said Sinclair. “It’s the first true gauge of a provincial all-star team. It’s the foreground for moving forward with the Under-17s, Under-18s and the World Junior program. There are a lot of scouts and GMs here, and Hockey Canada will know these players by the end.”
The team has representation from the Western Hockey League to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Nolan Patrick was taken fourth overall in this year’s WHL Bantam Draft by the Brandon Wheat Kings, Brett Howden went to the Moose Jaw Warriors in the fifth spot and will look to follow in his brother Quinton’s footsteps.
“It’s a great camp, all the best players in Manitoba are going to this,” said Howden. “Just to be selected to that is a huge honour. It helps everybody along the way and it’s a great experience for everyone to see what you have to go through to get there. I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks to see what happens.”
Jermaine Loewen from Jamaica, a draft pick of the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL, only started playing organized hockey at ago 10 and has blossomed into a dominant forward for both the Interlake Lightning AAA Bantam team and in the POE.
“His best attribute is his strength in general,” says Dwayne Swanson, head coach of the Interlake Lightning AAA Bantam team. “There were times when he basically carried our team on his shoulders, his competitiveness is just outstanding.”
Two Neepawa Native draft picks will look to build off impressive outings in May come the August Prep Camp. Morgan Geekie, selected first overall by the Natives just a couple of weeks ago, and Skyler Thorsteinson, taken 12th overall will both be looking to impress their new club and fight for a spot on the Western Canada U-16 Challenge in Calgary starting on Halloween this year.
“He’s (Geekie) got good size,” said Myles Cathcart, General Manager of the Neepawa Natives. “He’s a centreman with a high skill level and he’s a good two way forward. To top it off he is a good local kid.”
Hockey Manitoba’s U-16 Prep Camp goes August 15 – 18 in Winnipeg.
The Hockey Manitoba Under-16 (Bantam) Roster
Brett Evans Grandview Notre Dame Hounds
Ryan Kubic St. Andrews Winnipeg Hawks
Ryan Hall Winnipeg Winnipeg Monarchs
Connor Bowey Winnipeg Winnipeg Monarchs
Darby Gula Steinbach Eastman Selects
Blake Jameson Brandon Brandon Wheat Kings
Garrett Kuklica East St. Paul Winnipeg Sharks
Brady Pouteau Oak Bluff Pembina Valley Hawks
Liam Schioler West St. Paul Shattuck St. Mary’s
Dean Stewart Portage la Prairie Central Plains Capitals
Skyler Thorsteinson Winnipeg Winnipeg Hawks
Connor Bailey St. Andrews Winnipeg Hawks
Bennett Dalke LaSalle Pembina Valley Hawks
Morgan Geekie Strathclair Yellowhead Chiefs
Nathan Halvorsen Winnipeg Winnipeg Warriors
Brett Howden Oakbank Eastman Selects
Kevin Jakisch Winnipeg Winnipeg Monarchs
Tanner Kaspick Brandon Brandon Wheat Kings
Nicholas Labossiere Winnipeg Winnipeg Warriors
Tanner Lewis Brandon Brandon Wheat Kings
Nolan Libbrecht Winnipeg Winnipeg Monarchs
Jermaine Loewen Arborg Interlake Lightning
Vince Loschiavo Winnipeg Winnipeg Hawks
Dawson Martin Winnipeg Winnipeg Monarchs
Linden McCorrister Peguis Winnipeg Hawks
Nolan Patrick Winnipeg Winnipeg Hawks
Dylan Thiessen Winnipeg Winnipeg Monarchs
Head Coach: Doug Sinclair Winnipeg Monarchs
Assistant Coach: Rob Smith Steinbach Pistons
Assistant Coach: Wayne Bartley Winnipeg Wild
Video Coach: Dennis McNish Brandon Wheat Kings
Athletic Therapist: Stacey Bulat Winnipeg Monarchs
Equipment Manager: Scott Hlady Brandon Wheat Kings
Operations Director: Kyle Prystupa Hockey Manitoba
POE Support: Trevor Prystupa Hockey Manitoba