Fort Frances native Mitch Cain has returned from Summerside, P.E.I., where he represented the Fort Frances Jr. Sabres and the SIJHL at the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s “Prospects Game” on Dec. 17.
The game featured the top NHL draft-eligible Jr. ‘A’ players in Canada, with the teams being selected by the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting, which ranks players for the NHL draft this coming spring in Montreal.
Joe Colbourne of Camrose, Alta. went 16th overall to the Boston Bruins, and Daultan Leveille of St. Catharines, Ont. was taken with the 29th selection by the Atlanta Thrashers, in last year’s draft in Ottawa after appearing in the game a year ago.
“It was a really great experience, and it was a lot of fun to play with some of the best young players across Canada,” enthused Cain, 17. “Everything was really professional, right down to the free tape, big light show, and pre-game introductions.
“It was pretty unbelievable and a fun thing to be a part of.”
Cain and his Team West teammates lost the game 6-3, but he played alongside the two other SIJHL reps, Devlin native Jordan Davis and Michael McDonald (both from the Fort William North Stars) and the trio didn’t give up a goal against.
“It was really good hockey” said Cain. “We didn’t score any goals, but we didn’t get any goals scored against us, either, so that was all right.
“I played with [Davis] through minor hockey, and the same with Mike McDonald, when I played with the Thunder Bay Kings [’06-07],” added Cain. “He was on my team there, too, so it was nice to know the guys.”
More than three dozen scouts were said to be on hand for the game, and obviously that meant the intensity on the ice was heated as players looked to make an impression.
“It was a little more aggressive than I thought it was going to be,” Cain admitted. “It was good to see a nice, competitive game out there, and a lot of fun to be a part of, definitely.”
Cain would be eligible for this year’s NHL draft but is hoping to go the school route for hockey, much like Joe Basaraba has done in recently committing to the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
“I heard there were a lot there [scouts], but no one came and talked to me after the game or anything, so we’ll see,”