By Tina Comeau
Yarmouth Mariners forward Morgan Messenger has been named to the East roster for the CJHL Prospects Games that are being played in Yarmouth and Digby in conjunction with the World Junior A Challenge.
Although the roster was only to be announced within the next 24 hours, Kirk Lamb, president of the Canadian Junior Hockey League confirmed to the Vanguard on Nov. 5 that Messenger will be in the prospects games. Lamb called Messenger a “very deserving young man.”
(You can view the Prospects East roster by clicking here.)
Messenger has been having a strong season with the Yarmouth Mariners. He is ranked third for points in the team with 20 points – 11 goals and nine assists in 18 games. As of Nov. 5, the opening day of the World Junior A Challenge, he was also ranked 13th in points in the MHL.
The prospects games feature players from the CJHL’s five western leagues competing against the top prospects from the CJHL's five eastern leagues. The event includes a two-game total goal series between Team East and Team West in a battle for the President's Cup. "Along with the World Junior A Challenge, the RBC Cup, and numerous league showcase events, the CJHL Prospect Games are a great example of the premier development and exposure opportunities that Junior A provides its players,” said CJHL President Kirk Lamb.
The CJHL Prospects Game was created to showcase the top 40 NHL draft eligible players in the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Player selection is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.
It’s only been since last year that the prospects games became part of the World Junior A Challenge, which this year is being hosted by Yarmouth Nov. 5-11.
The first prospects game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Digby Arena at 7 p.m. The second game will be played on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth.
Messenger was named the MHL’s Pro Design Cresting Ltd Rookie of the Month for September. During that month he had scored four goals and assisted on six others in seven games. Those 10 points for the month had ranked him second in team scoring and 5th overall in league scoring, something the league called an unbelievable feat for a 16 year-old-rookie.
The 5’11”, 175-pound center hails from Barrington.
Messenger had been called up to play with the Mariners during some of the 2011-2012 season, playing with the team during its successful playoff run. In the spring he was had been drafted by the QMJHL. He was drafted second pick in the sixth round to the PEI Rocket.
Messenger isn’t the only Mariners presence on the prospects team. Timothy Garden-Cole, an assistant coach with the Yarmouth Junior A Mariners, has been named an assistant coach for Team East during the CJHL prospects games that will be held in conjunction with the upcoming World Junior A Challenge.
The head coach of Team East will be Billy McGuigan, who is the head coach of the Summerside Western Capitals. Minnesota Wilderness general manager/head coach Rod Aldoff will lead Team West as head coach.
The CJHL prospects games feature players from the CJHL's (Canadian Junior Hockey League’s) five western leagues competing against the top prospects from the CJHL's five eastern leagues. The 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.