Four 67’s to face Russian team
Monahan in the mix for world juniors as youngest player on OHL team
His agent notwithstanding, Hillcrest High School history teacher Mary Enns was the first to congratulate Sean Monahan on being selected to play in the upcoming Super Series against a touring Russian hockey team.
That was right after Enns walked up to the 17-year-old Ottawa 67’s forward with the “you caught me” smile on his face partway through first period on Tuesday morning and told him to put away his cellphone.
One of the rules for Enns’ classroom is that cellphones must be off, even for a Grade 12 student about to make a little hockey history Nov. 10 at the Civic Centre as the young- est player on the Ontario Hockey League squad that will face the Russians at the Civic Centre on Nov. 10.
“She did congratulate me, and did say she’d be watching the news and watching how I did,” Monahan said later. “But, no, you’re not supposed to be receiving texts in her class.”
Monahan, a 17-year-old for all of two weeks, will have three 67’s teammates on his side, and 67’s head coach Chris Byrne will be an assistant to OHL head coach Scott Walker for the third of six games between the Russians and teams from the three major-junior leagues.
Monahan’s right-winger, Tyler Toffoli, who spent most of training camp with the Na- tional Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild draft pick Tyler Graovac, and 2012 draft-eligible defenceman Cody Ceci are also on the OHL roster for the Nov. 10 contest.
The six-game series is used by Hockey Canada to evaluate candidates for the national junior team.
Toffoli, who last season led the OHL with 57 goals, and Ceci, are legitimate candidates for the team for this year’s world championship at Edmonton and Calgary.
Quietly, Monahan has moved himself into the mix for at least an invitation to the final selection camp in December. He’s fifth in the OHL with 22 points in 12 games, including 10 goals.
What’s even more impres- sive is that he is the only player among the top 20 in scoring who was born in 1994, and he’s 12 months and eight days younger than the next closest player in the top 20, the Sarnia Sting’s Nail Yakupov, who leads the league with 29 points and was born Oct. 6, 1993. Eight of the league’s top 20 were born in 1992 and one in 1991. The rest are all 1993s.
“Sometimes I think everything’s happening pretty quickly and the next day I might wonder if it’s all real,” Monahan, who last played against a Russian team in the world under-18 tournament and had three assists in Canada’s 5-0 victory. “But I just go out and play my game.”
Among the others selected to play for the OHL in the Super Series, only Mountain’s Slater Koekkoek was born in the same calendar year, though he’s eight months older than Monahan.
The OHL roster also includes Kanata’s Ryan Spooner of the Kingston Frontenacs and Ottawa Senators firstround pick Matt Puempel of the Peterborough Petes.
Spooner will also play against the Russians at Sault Ste. Marie on Nov. 14.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, a fourth-round pick of the Senators in June, was the only member of the Gatineau Olympiques named to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team for games against the Russians at Victoriaville on Nov. 7 and at Quebec City on Nov. 9.
players on the Ottawa 67’s, from left, Sean Monahan, Tyler Graovac, Cody Ceci and Tyler Toffoli have been named to the Ontario Hockey League team that will play against the Russian selects at the Civic Centre on Nov. 10.