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Four players from western named to provincial Under-16 male hockey team


A chance to play in a showcase tournament with scouts looking for talent to fill out their rosters for years to come.

The scouts will be out in full force at the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Excellence Challenge taking place April 26-29 in Blainville-Boisbriand, Que., and a number of players who have worn the Western Kings jersey have earned a spot on Newfoundland and Labrador’s entry Under-16 male hockey team.

Mark Hillier, a star forward with St. Andrew’s College Saints, and Western Kings major midget standouts Lucas Park, Lucas Robinson and Skyler Coates — all of whom played for the Western Kings AAA bantam hockey team two seasons ago — are excited about wearing the provincial colours in the big showcase tournament that Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchises uses to recruit future talent.

The Star talked to the players about playing for their province and what it means for their hockey careers moving forward:

Question: How do you feel about being selected to play for your province at a major hockey showcase event like the Excellence Challenge and what does it mean to your future as you strive for excellence on the ice?

Name: Mark Hillier

Team: St. Andrew’s College Saints

Age: 16

Position: Centre

Height: five-foot-11

Weight: 170

Answer: For the past two years I played in the Atlantic Challenge Cup with the group of guys from Newfoundland and it is a different roster this year, but a lot of the guys are still there so we still have chemistry so it should be a good weekend. I’m excited and it’s definitely an honour to be chosen to play for a province like Newfoundland, but I’m just going to work hard and prove to the coaches that I deserve to be there. There’s definitely going to be a lot of scouts and the Under-17 Team Canada coach is going to be there, as well, to pick players to go to that camp, so I know that I definitely need to have a good weekend and if I do then things will look for good for me in the future, I think.

Name: Lucas Park

Team: Western Kings

Age: 16

Position: Goalie

Height: five-foot-11

Weight: 160

Answer: It’s an honour and I’m just happy that all my hard work has paid off. I’ve represented the province before but this is a much bigger tournament and it means a lot more. Obviously, I have to work my hardest and just show everyone up there how I can play and hopefully I can get drafted or get interest from some teams.

Name: Skyler Coates

Team: Western Kings

Age:15

Position: right winger

Height: Five-foot-11

Weight: 190 pounds

Answer: It’s a great accomplishment and I hope we go up and do well at the tournament. I’m feeling good about making the team. Hopefully, if I go up and do well, maybe I will get looked at. I’m trying to keep my options open.

Name: Lucas Robinson

Team: Western Kings

Age: 15

Position: Defenceman

Height: Five-foot-11

Weight: 175 pounds

Answer: I feel proud to represent the province knowing only six defencemen get picked and you are one of them. It’s a good feeling for sure. This tournament will give me a different experience at a different level of hockey with better competition. Hopefully, people will see what I’ve got to show and haven’t seen before and I get noticed.

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