Four 67’s to face Rus­sian team

Monahan in the mix for world ju­niors as youngest player on OHL team

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - DON CAMP­BELL

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.

JEAN LEVAC, THE OT­TAWA CIT­I­ZEN

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.

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