He hasn’t played a game this season, but today Matthew Highmore was named to Team Atlantic for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge next month.
“I’m just honoured to be named to Team Atlantic and am really excited to play,” Highmore said in a Saint John Sea Dogs news release. “Hopefully we can bring home a medal.”
Highmore was selected by Saint John with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft. He has been with the club all season but has yet to play a game because of off-season shoulder surgery. Today’s Team Atlantic announcement is an obvious sign that he is nearing his QMJHL debut.
Other notables to make the team include Bathurst’s Mason McDonald, Rouyn-Noranda’s Cody Donaghey, and Cape Breton’s Clark Bishop. Also making the team were Nathan Noel and Luc Deschenes, top prospects for the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft.
"We had a very competitive camp and a lot of evaluating this fall and the decisions were difficult, but we as a staff are excited to have the quality of players available to us heading to the World Under 17 Challenge in Quebec," head coach Dave Ritcey said in a release.
The World Under-17 Challenge takes place in Drummondville and Victoriaville this year. Team Atlantic - who will be in a pool with Slovakia, the United States, Team Ontario, and Team Quebec – will play Finland in a preliminary contest on December 28 before beginning tournament play December 29 against Quebec.
Saint John’s other first round pick in June, defenseman Olivier LeBlanc, will play for Team Quebec at the tournament.