Four Neepawa Natives picked for Player Showcase



By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

Ashton Anderson, Griffin Chwaliboga, Justin Metcalf and Ryan Heino of the Neepawa Natives have been selected to take part in the inaugural SJHL/MJHL Player Showcase. The Showcase will feature the top 60 college eligible players from each league on the three teams.  Heino has been chosen to play on the MJHL 18 & under squad, while Metcalf, Anderson and Chwaliboga will play on one of the two 19-20 year-old MJHL teams.

For this event, nine of the 11 teams in the MJHL will be represented through player participation, with Steinbach sending the most with 12 selected. Winkler is next with 10 players taking part. Virden is sending eight, while Portage, Swan Valley, Winnipeg and OCN are all sending five players apiece. Neepawa and Selkirk will both be represented by four players, while Dauphin and Waywayseecappo will not be sending any players, though they will have training staff involved. 

Neepawa Natives head coach Dustin Howden, who will also be involved in the Showcase as an assistant coach for MJHL team one (20-years-old and under), said all four players from his team will do a fine job representing themselves, their league and Neepawa.

“For a younger player like Ryan, the Showcase should be a real opportunity, a real learning experience. On top of the games, there are other aspects of the event, such as training and other seminars. It should really proved to be something he’ll be able to use to improve his skill set,” noted Howden. “As for [Anderson, Chwaliboga and Metcalf], as 20-year-olds, it’s perhaps, a slightly different mindset. For them, they’re definitely get an opportunity to learn from the event, yes, but it’ll also be their chance to show a large contingent of scouts just what they have to offer a college or university program next year. It’s really rewarding for both the players and the program they’ve developed through.”

Each team will play two games over the course of the SJHL/MJHL Showcase, which is take place Jan. 15-16 at the Co-operators Centre in Regina. All games will be broadcast live online through HockeyTV.