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Nelson Minor Hockey grads take advantage of opportunties

Dryden and Reece Hunt were recipients of some great news this week.

It’s been a banner week for two Nelson Minor Hockey grads, Reece and Dryden Hunt.

Reece Hunt, playing this season with the Okanagan Hockey Academy, was named to the shortlist for the Team BC Female U18 Canada Winter Games Team while older brother Dryden earned an assist for the Florida Panthers during Monday’s NHL game in Ottawa against the Senators.

BC Hockey released the shortlist of players for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, February 23 to March 3, 2019.

Hunt, one of 26 players chosen to attend the camp in Penticton December 20-23, was part of Team BC at the 2017 National Women’s Under-18 Hockey Championships in Quebec City. The players invited based on their performance at the 2018 Female U18 Provincial Camp held in August in Shawnigan Lake, BC and in-season evaluations.

“We are excited to announce the 26 players selected to continue the process for Team BC,” says Female Program of Excellence (POE) Coordinator Whitney Juszkiewicz. “Every year the skill and competition for Team BC has improved, which is a testament to female hockey in BC and the Yukon.”

Meanwhile, in the Nation’s Capital, Hunt recorded his second assist of his NHL career when he tossed a high pass to a streaking Jared McCann to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead in a 7-5 victory.

Hunt was recalled Monday by the Panthers from Florida's American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Hunt, 22, has appeared 15 games with the Thunderbirds this season, registering 12 points (8-4-12). The 6-foot, 191-pound Nelson Minor Hockey product is ranked second on the Thunderbirds in goals and led the team with four power-play goals.

He played in 11 career NHL games with Florida (2017-18), registering one assist before Monday’s helper.

Wednesday, during a 7-3 loss to Tampa Bay Lightning, Hunt saw more than 10 minutes of ice time.