U16 Caps v. U18 Hounds

January 26, 2023

It will be tantamount to a David versus Goliath hockey matchup when the visiting Sudbury Under 16 Nickel Capitals take on the Soo Under 18 Jr. Greyhounds this weekend at John Rhodes Community Centre.

The U16 Nickel Capitals are made up of 18 players with 2007 birth dates. As a matter of fact, they also even have one younger player who was born in 2008. In stark contrast, the U18 Jr. Greyhounds have experience on their side with eight players born in 2006 and 12 others who have 2007 birth dates.

Not surprisingly, the veteran laden Jr. Greyhounds are in first place in the Great North Under 18 Hockey League with a record of 16-2-0. Meanwhile, the all-rookie U16 Nickel Capitals have held their own against the older teams in the GNU18HL thus far — but are still well back of the U18 Jr. Greythounds in the standings with a modest record of 9-7-1.

The U18 Jr. Greyhounds are the Soo’s lone entry in the eight-team GNU18HL. Meanwhile, both Sudbury (with the U16 and U18 Nickel Capitals) and North Bay (with the U16 and U18 Trappers) each have two teams that are full members of the GNU18HL.

At any rate, the U18 Jr. Hounds and the U16 Nickel Capitals are set to face off twice this weekend at the Rhodes Centre. Game times are scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 1:00 and Sunday morning at 11:00.

Of note, there are a number of 2007 birth year players from both teams who are potential picks at the upcoming 2023 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.

A main list features forwards Hudson Chitaroni and Brendan Cooke and defencemen Candon O’Neill and Declan Gallivan of the U18 Jr. Greyhounds and forwards Cole Dubowsky and Max Campbell and defenceman Alexandre Valade of the U16 Nickel Capitals. A secondary ’07 list includes forwards Coulson Bell and Anthony Bertrand and defenseman Carter Carriere and goalie Nick Marson of the U16 Nickel Capitals.

As for this weekend’s games, there is of course the big age difference between the two teams and the advantage of the U18 Jr. Greyhounds having all of those good second-year players with 2006 birth dates — the likes of forwards Cole Cond, Callum McAuley, Gabe Palumbo, Jacob Smith and Harley Wardell, defensemen Sam Gravel and Evan Roach and goalie Maverick Fletcher. And Roach is already an OHL draft pick, having been taken by the Soo Greyhounds in 2022.

This is one stacked U18 Jr. Greyhounds team. And it is also a young U16 Nickel Capitals team that has shown well this season.

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