Halifax Mooseheads get American import player back
Status of other import players in Europe still in limbo due to COVID-19 restrictions
Zack Jones will be rejoining his Halifax Mooseheads teammates in two weeks time.
The American forward from Bridgewater, Mass., arrived in Halifax on Wednesday and will have to self-isolate in a hotel for 14 days before he can take part in any team practices or games.
The 19-year-old is a student at Saint Mary's University. As of this month, SMU and many other Nova Scotia schools are now allowed to host international students. The schools were recently given designated learning institution status by the government.
"Everyone knows it's very difficult to get the international players into the country right now with everything going on due to the pandemic," Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell said in a release posted on the team's website.
"The process went pretty quickly once Saint Mary's was put on the DLI list which helped us to acquire his student visa and we had already completed the rest of the paperwork."
The Mooseheads still can't get their other import players — Senna Peeters, an 18-year-old Austrian, and Attilio Biasca, a 17-year-old from Switzerland — to Canada. Peeters is also a SMU student while Biasca is high school age.
"Right now the way the rules are for student visas, it's easier for the American players to get them than it is for the Europeans," stated Russell. "We are working on it but there is no guarantee or timeline as to when that could happen."
The Mooseheads are not alone. The Cape Breton Eagles continue to be without their two import players for the same reason.
Ivan Ivan is an 18-year-old from the Czech Republic who played for Cape Breton last season. Mikhail Nizovkin is a 17-year-old Russian picked by the Eagles in the 2020 CHL import draft.
"We are still awaiting our European players," Eagles general manager Jacques Carrier said in an email. "We are waiting for the travel ban to Canada to be softened."