NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Hockey may be a winter sport to most, but for those hoping to achieve at higher levels tend to play all summer long.

For 31 years, Hockey Night in Boston has been at the forefront of national summer programs and has featured several future stars. This year, 13 former HNIB skaters and three current players were chosen in the NHL entry draft in Nashville.

Locally, three auburn skaters have been selected to play on the team representing Northern New England.

Kyle Smith and Colby Gilbert, who will skate their senior seasons with Edward Little this coming winter, joined former EL player and current St. Mark’s star Dan Carpentier on the roster, all as forwards.

Smith scored 35 goals and added 36 assists last season and was the Sun Journal co-player of the year along with Kirk Bolduc of Lewiston.

Gilbert was used heavily on special teams and racked up 27 goals and 29 assists, while Carpentier, playing at St. Mark’s, had 14 goals and 12 assists.

Nick Smith of Dover-Foxcroft, who played at North Yarmouth Academy last season and will play for St. Paul’s this season, is one of three goaltenders on the Northern New England squad, while Falmouth’s Ben Bolduc, who contributed 18 points to the Yachtsmen’s playoff season, adds more Maine flavor to the tournament.

The first round of the tournament will be round robin-style. Northern New England opens their schedule with Merrimack Valley on Saturday at 5:45 p.m, and follows with a total of eight games over two weeks. Qualifying play for the playoff portion of the event begins on August 9 with the winner playing on five consecutive days, culminating in the final game on August 13.

Earlier in the summer, several other local athletes competed in the Chicago Showcase, a similar event in the Windy City. Smith was among those invited to that event as well, along with Jake Girardin, Jason Dube and Brian Vye of Lewiston High School.

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