The World Junior A Challenge for 2019 is set to begin December 7-15 in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. There will be five teams competing for the title including Team Canada West. The purpose of the tournament is to showcase some of the best talent in Junior A hockey across the world.
The Nanaimo Clippers have two elite level players that will be participating in the program this year. The first is Kyler Kovich and the second is Trevor LeDonne.
Kovich is one of only five draft eligible players in the BCHL that are on this year’s NHL watchlist. As the only 2002 born player on the Clippers, Tyler has seen his role greatly expand this year where he plays on the top line and has 17 points in 24 games including 10 goals. He has already surpassed his point total from last year, despite playing half the games so far. He has been an integral part of the Clippers team scoring four goals on the power-play while also taking regular shifts on the penalty killing unit.
Darren Naylor, GM and Head Coach of the Clippers, commented “Kyler had a commitment to the USHL this year and decided instead to come back to the Clippers. We couldn’t have been more excited that he chose to stay with our team. He’s progressed immensely since last year and now is one of the most important pieces of our team, not only chipping in offensively but also playing a key defensive role for us. Kovich is definitely the type of player I can see heading to the Pros down the line. He’s big and strong with plenty of talent and skill to go along with that.
Trevor LeDonne, who played in the OJHL last year, was at the tournament last year as a representative of Team Canada East. LeDonne is a hard-hitting stay-at-home defenceman who is extremely difficult to play against. He has a booming shot from the point which has helped him chip in 12 points including two goals in 24 games with the Clippers this year.
Darren Naylor commented, “Trevor was one of our big off-season additions. Colin Birkas (Assistant Coach) and I wanted to establish a shut-down defensive team that will win in the playoffs and during the regular season. I can’t say enough about how LeDonne has lived up to every expectation. He’s one of the toughest defenceman in this league making him very hard to score against. He’s an integral part of the top four D pairings on our team which I believe is the best in the league.”