NOJHL to be well represented at CJHL Prospects games


Release Date: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013
NOJHL to be well represented at CJHL Prospects games

SUDBURY – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League will be well represented at the upcoming Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects games Nov. 8-9 in Digby and Yarmouth, N.S. with four players and a coach selected to take part.

While Espanola Rivermen bench boss Tom McCarthy was earlier named as the head coach of Team East in the two-game series, four NOJHL players were also named to the squad earlier today by the CJHL and Hockey Canada.

Soo Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk, Espanola’s Cray Roberge along with Sudbury Nickel Baron’s defenceman Bradley Bell and forward Ryan Punkari were all named to the Team East roster.

This two-game event is being held in conjunction with the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth Nov. 4-10 of which Kirkland Lake Gold Miners head coach and general manager Marc Lafleur is serving as an assistant coach with Canada East.

The opening prospects contest goes Friday, Nov. 8 at the Digby Arena at 7 p.m. AT and concludes the following afternoon at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth in a 4 p.m. AT start.

Player selection in compiling the rosters for the CJHL Prospects games was a joint initiative between the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.

“The selection of these four players along with Tom McCarthy as head coach is tremendous for the NOJHL,” offered league commissioner Robert Mazzuca.

“Those five along with the five and Marc Lafleur we had representing the NOJHL at the Canada East selection camp continues to show that the outstanding efforts being put forth by our players, coaches and managers hasn’t gone unnoticed as it has drawn the attention from those at the national level,” added Mazzuca.


Tom McCarthy, Espanola Rivermen
Team East Head Coach

McCarthy’s appointment to guide Team East was well earned with his NOJHL coaching record being stellar since his arrival two-plus seasons ago. … Was named NOJHL coach of the year in 2011-12 guiding the North Bay Trappers to a league-best seven-win improvement from the season prior with an overall 29-21 in his first year at the helm of the club. … Last season led the Trappers to a first place finish in the in the NOJHL with an impressive 34-7-3-4 mark before going on to see his club win the league championship and a berth in the Dudley-Hewitt Cup. … After seeing the organization relocate to Espanola in the off-season, McCarthy has continued his winning ways as the Rivermen are a 12-8 so far this season. … His overall NOJHL coaching record to date stands at 75-33-3-4 in 106 career contests. … A former first round pick, 10th overall, by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1979 National Hockey League Entry Draft, McCarthy went on to play 460 NHL contests with both the North Stars and Boston Bruins accumulating 399 career points on 178 goals and 221 assists.
Joel Horodziejczyk, Goaltender
Soo Thunderbirds

Catches: Left
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 160 lbs
Date of Birth: 01/15/1995
Hometown: Sudbury, Ont.

Currently leads all NOJHL netminders in goals-against average and save percentage at 1.69 and .934 respectively. Tops the league in shutouts with two. … Has won his last eight starts allowing only seven total goals in the process. … Has an 11-2 record for the league-leading Thunderbirds. … Was NOJHL rookie of the year last season. … Represented the league at the Canada East selection camp. … Also took part in the Ontario Summer Select Showcase in Cornwall in August. …Was named the league’s Gongshow Gear player of the month for October.

Bradley Bell, Defenceman
Sudbury Nickel Barons

Shoots: Left
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 180 lbs
Date of Birth: 05/29/1996
Hometown: Sudbury, Ont.

Will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (ECAC) on scholarship in 2014-15 to play NCAA D-I hockey for the Engineers. …17-year-old blueliner leads all defencemen on the Nickel Barons in scoring with 12 points. … His seven goals top all NOJHL rearguards. … In 44 games last season the Sudbury blueliner registered 22 points, including eight goals. … In the 2013 postseason he picked up 10 points on five goals and as many assists in 11 playoff contests. … Represented the Nickel Barons and the NOJHL at the past two Canada East World Junior A Challenge selection camps. … Also attended the Ontario Summer Select Showcase in Cornwall in August. … Was a third round pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection by Mississauga.

Ryan Punkari, Forward
Sudbury Nickel Barons

Shoots: Left
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 185 lbs
Date of Birth: 03/11/1996
Hometown: Lively, Ont.

The 17-year-old forward share the Nickel Barons team lead in goals, assists and points with eight, 10 and 18 respectively. … Those totals are all career highs at the Jr. A level. … Is tied for 13th in NOJHL offensive production. … Shares 15th overall in goals and is also in the top 20 in assists. … Has six multiple-point games so far this season. Has had a pair of four-game point streaks this season.

Cray Roberge, Forward
Espanola Rivermen

Shoots: Left
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 199 lbs
Date of Birth: 03/26/1996
Hometown: Val Caron, Ont.

Represented the NOJHL at the recently held Canada East selection camp in Oakville, Ont. … Joined the Espanola organization earlier this season. … Has picked up seven points in 14 outings with the Rivermen so far in 2013-14. … . He also had 12 goals and 18 points with the Blind River Beavers is 2012-13. … Is a 2012 draft selection of the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts.

Team East includes seven players from the Central Canada Hockey League, six from the Ontario Junior Hockey League, four Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League players, two players from the Ligue de Hockey Junior AAA du Quebec, and one selection from the Maritime Hockey League.

Team East Roster

Ryan Punkari (Sudbury/NOJHL)
Cray Roberge (Espanola/NOJHL)

Francois Lemelin (Hawkesbury/CCHL)
Dylan Sikura (Aurora/OJHL)
Maxime St. Pierre (Cumberland/CCHL)
Reid Murphy (Pembroke/CCHL)
Matt Alvaro (St. Michael’s/OJHL)
Joseph Berton (St. Michael’s /OJHL)
Brett Seney (Kingston/OJHL)
Michael Laidley (Aurora/OJHL)
Tanner Spink (Cornwall/CCHL)
Aaron Spivak (Toronto/OJHL)

Bradley Bell (Sudbury/NOJHL)

Brett Garvey (Brockville/CCHL)
Kris Myllari (Kanata/CCHL)
Zac Tierney (Ottawa/CCHL)
Cavan Fitzgerald (Summerside/MHL)
Guillaume Viens (Lachine/LHJAAAQ)

Joel Horodziejczyk (Soo/NOJHL)

David Richer (Vaudreuil‐Dorion/LHJAAAQ)

The CJHL Prospects Event includes a two‐game total goal series between Team East and Team West in a battle for the President’s Cup, which is awarded annually to the winning team.

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