Consider it a hat trick for the Halifax Mooseheads.
Forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, along with netminder Zachary Fucale, were all named Monday to the Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team that is competing at the 2012 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia Aug. 13 to 18.
“It’s pretty cool to have three guys for the same team make it,” MacKinnon told Metro by phone after being selected on Monday night. “Going into the camp, we had high expectations for ourselves. We wanted to be apart of the team and to help try and bring gold back for Canada.”
The Mooseheads trio were considered strong bets to be amongst the players named to the squad from the 40 who tried out over the past four days in Toronto.
MacKinnon, who is from Cole Harbour, is touted as a potential first overall pick in next year’s NHL draft. Drouin and Fucale are also seen amongst scouts as players to watch, and this marks the first chance for all three to represent Canada on the world hockey stage.
“I’ve been dreaming about this for a while,” MacKinnon said of wearing the Team Canada jersey. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
The squad is made up of 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders. They go into the tournament as the four-time defending champions.
Canada is playing in a group with Sweden and Switzerland and host Slovakia. The team will play an exhibition game Saturday against the Czech Republic before opening the tournament next Monday against Switzerland.
“There is a lot of talent on the ice in this country, and we look forward to getting to Europe and continuing Canada’s great tradition at this event,” head coach Todd Gill said in a statement.