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Midweek reading: Great Northwest Showcase, 2014 NHL Draft rankings

Published: August 7, 2013, 9:31 am, by Joe Paisley

northwest showcase exhbitionsCoach Dave Hakstol announced today that North Dakota has added the Great Northwest Showcase in Burnaby, B.C., to its 2013-14 schedule. UND will face British Columbia and Simon Fraser on Jan. 3-4 in a pair of exhibition games at Bill Copeland Sports Centre, the home of Simon Fraser men’s hockey, in suburban Vancouver. Princeton rounds out the four-team field.

“We appreciate the invitation and are proud to be a part of this tournament,” Hakstol said in a press release. “It is a great opportunity to spread the footprint of NCAA Division I hockey and, at the same time, allows many of our players from Western Canada to return home for two exhibition games.”

Tickets go on sale in the fall.  Game times will be announced at a later date.

In 2011-12, UND played a regular season non-conference game against Clarkson at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The U.S. College Hockey Classic was UND’s first game on Canadian soil in 59 years. Prior to that, the last time UND played a men’s hockey game in Canada was Dec. 29-30, 1953, when UND lost a pair of games to host Fort Frances (Ontario).

The event is organized by the Burnaby Mountain Hockey Society, a non-profit organization incorporated in 2010 as the promotional and fundraising body of the SFU men’s hockey program.

College hockey fans should note that SFU has been rumored to be a possible new NCAA hockey program since it is the only Canadian university in the NCAA. It competes in Division II in other sports.

No doubt, fundraising is a major hurdle for any hockey hopes. Showing off the college game couldn’t hurt efforts at SFU, which is a former exhibition opponent for Colorado College.

McKeen’s of Canada released its top 30 for the 2014 NHL Draft and it included Nick Schmaltz, a North Dakota commit.

Future Considerations also put out a top 30 which is light on college prospects.

North Dakota’s Mark MacMillan is anxious to assume a leadership role.