Speedy, skilled forward Coulson Bell and goalie Nick Marson have both signed with the under 16 Sudbury Nickel Capitals of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League ahead of the 2022-2023 season.
After being cut by their hometown Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the GNU18HL, the two 2007 birth year youngsters were promptly signed by the U16 Nickel Capitals. Bell and Marson were among 19 players inked by the U16 Nickel Capitals from a recent Sudbury tryout camp of 51 skaters and 12 goalies.
“We had a lot of good options, so there were some tough choices near the end,” said U16 Nickel Capitals bench boss Jordan Cheechoo, who was named GNU18HL coach of the year in 2021-2022. “We were able to put together a quality team. Skill was one of the top things we were looking for and after that, work ethic and character.”
As Marson was chosen as one of two goalies, Bell is one of 11 forwards on the roster of the U16 Nickel Capitals. The two made their debut with the Nickel Capitals on Friday in an 8-1 exhibition game win over the North Bay U16 Trappers. Bell sparked the Nickel Capitals with two goals and an assist while Marson allowed one goal while playing half the game.
Marson and Bell both played for the Soo Jr. Greyhounds in the Northern Ontario Under 15 AAA Hockey League in ’21-22. Marson tended twine in 10 games for the U15 Hounds while Bell was one of the top 20 scorers in the four team league with 12 goals, six assists, 18 points in 25 games while playing with an edge that complimented his competence and quickness.
As for the GNU18HL, it begins ’22-23 regular season play on September 30. Eight teams will again make up the league. Sudbury and North Bay will both ice U16 and U18 teams. The other four teams are all U18 — Soo Jr. Greyhounds, Timmins Majors, Kapuskasing Flyers and New Liskeard Cubs.
Notably, as the U16 Nickel Capitals have signed the two players from Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury’s U18 team also has a Soo boy. He is 2006 birth year goalie A.J. Borrelli.