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Newfoundlanders King, Leonard playing in junior A all-star showcase

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A couple of Newfoundlanders will skate for the Maritime Hockey League entry for the 2017 Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge, beginning in Trenton, Ont., on Monday.

Forwards Jordan King of Corner Brook and Liam Leonard of Clarenville are among 20 players on the MHL all-stars, one of 10 teams in the three-day junior A hockey tourney, which was created in 2011 as an alternative to the annual league all-star games.

The 20-year-old King, the captain of the Amherst Ramblers, has 11 goals and 16 assists in 16 games this season. Leonard, 17, has nine goals and nine assists in 16 games for the Edmundston, N.B., Blizzard (formerly the Dieppe Commandos), who made him their first-round pick in the 2017 MHL draft.

Both have seen time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. King played 59 games for the Halifax Mooseheads and Saint John Sea Dogs over two seasons (2014-16), while Leonard appeared in a couple of games for the Quebec Remparts last season.

A wide range of scouts, from the NHL, NCAA, CHL and Canadian universities and colleges, are expected to take in the tournament, which will utilize an unique format that involves games with 20-minute halves instead of three periods.

It also serves as a player identification event in the selection of candidates for the Canada East team competing in the next World Junior A Challenge.

Four teams from the Ontario Junior Hockey League, two each from the Quebec junior A league and Central Canadian league and one from the Northern Ontario circuit are also entered in the All-Star Challenge.

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