A year after not being represented at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, Massachusetts will send two of its finest 1997-born players to compete in the under-18 showcase.
Malden Catholic forward Matt Filipe of Lynnfield and Tabor Academy forward Erik Foley of Mansfield, Mass. were both selected to partake in the August tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Both players were named to the All-Star squads of the recently completed USA Hockey Select-17 Festival in Amherst, NY.
Filipe, a Northeastern recruit, is a big power forward who is following in his father's footsteps to play college hockey on St. Botolph Street. The six-foot-two center has been a key part of the last two Malden Catholic state championships.
Foley, a Providence recruit, will head out to the USHL to play for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders this upcoming season after skating for Gerry Dineen's Seawolves the last two years.
Brentwood, NH native Spenser Young was the third New Englander to be selected to play in the prestigious tournament for the Americans. A former standout at Phillips Exeter for Dana Barbin, he will play the next two seasons for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL before joining Foley as a member of the Friars.
Just one New Englander, Derry, NH native Joey Dudek, made the squad a year ago. The former Kimball Union star and Boston College recruit had a goal and two assists in five tournament games. A sixth round selection by the New Jersey Devils in the 2014 NHL Draft, Dudek will play the upcoming season in Dubuque before heading to Chestnut Hill.
Massachusetts hockey is experiencing a re-birth of sorts recently. The 2015 NHL Draft could be a banner year for the state with Chelmsford native and Boston University freshman Jack Eichel and Needham native and Boston College freshman Noah Hanifin both expected to go in the top five.
Crystal Lake, Ill. native Tory Dello of the Tri-City Storm is the fourth Hockey East recruit on the roster. The Chicago Mission product is headed to play for Jeff Jackson at Notre Dame.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.