Everett goaltender Kent Simpson was selected to represent Team Pacific at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge, it was announced today. Team Pacific is comprised of players who reside in British Columbia and Alberta. He was the only Everett player or prospect picked for Team Pacific or Team West (Saskatchewan and Manitoba).
The 16-year-old netminder has shown plenty of promise this season as he challenges Shayne Barrie for the No. 1 spot. The most interesting part about his selection is he beat out Medicine Hat’s Tyler Bunz as the goaltender from Alberta. Bunz was selected one spot ahead of Simpson in the first round of the 2007 bantam draft.
The U-17 World Hockey Challenge takes place in Port Alberni, B.C., which is located on Vancouver Island, so Simpson won’t have far to travel. However, the tournament takes place from Dec. 28-Jan. 4, which means he could miss as many as five Silvertip games. Twenty-one of Team Pacific’s 22 players are from the WHL, which means it should be a strong challenger for the title, so there’s a good chance Simpson will be gone for the duration. I guess that means we’ll be seing Kraymer Barnstable on the bench for several games around the new year.