Midget AA hockey tourney draws coaches, scouts
A new tournament developed by the Calgary Royals Athletic Association and Global Sport Academy Group will provide Midget AA hockey players with a chance to showcase their talents in front of coaches and scouts from Junior A (AJHL, BCHL and SJHL) and Junior B (KIJHL) teams from across Western Canada.
Hosted by the two Calgary Royals Midget AA teams — Blue and Gold — the Western Canada Midget AA Showdown takes place Thursday through Sunday at Max Bell Centre.
The goal of the tournament is to highlight the opportunities that exist for Midget AA players who in the past may not have gained as much attention as the Midget AAA level.
This goal will be accomplished by not only providing these players with a chance to play in front of junior team coaches and scouts but also through a family education session with scouts, former players and guest speakers, which will take place on the Friday afternoon of the tournament.
“It’s all about getting the Midget AA players to understand that junior hockey teams are looking for good kids with a strong work ethic who have a drive and determination to become better every day,” said Jeff Ovens, one of the tournament’s founders.
“This showcase is as much about educating families as it is about hockey,” added Susanne Bracken, the Royals team co-ordinator.
“It’s getting them to understand that universities are looking for work experience, athletic experience, volunteer experience, as well as academic results, when considering applications.”
Twenty-eight coaches and scouts have already confirmed their attendance at the tournament, representing teams from the Alberta Junior Hockey League, the British Columbia Hockey League, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
The long-term goal for this midDecember showdown is to become the premier Midget AA tournament attracting hockey teams and junior scouts and coaches from all over Canada.
Confirmed teams playing in the inaugural tournament represent the following cities and towns in Western Canada: Calgary, Airdrie, St. Albert, Strathmore, Lloydminster, Fort Saskatchewan, Regina and Vernon, B.C.
Confirmed coaches and scouts in attendance represent the following teams: AJHL — Brooks Bandits, Calgary Canucks, Calgary Mustangs, Canmore Eagles, Drumheller Dragons, Fort McMurray Oil Barons, Grand Prairie Storm, Okotoks Oilers and Olds Grizzlies; BCHL — Alberni Valley Bulldogs, Coquitlam Express, Prince George Spruce Kings, Surrey Eagles, Trail Smoke Eaters, Victoria Grizzlies and West Kelowna Warriors; SJHL — Battlefords North Stars, Humboldt Broncos, Kindersley Klippers, Melville Millionaires and Weyburn Red Wings; KIJHL — Columbia Valley Rockies, Creston Valley Thundercats, Fernie Ghostriders, Golden Rockets, Kimberley Dynamiters, Nelson Leafs and Revelstoke Grizzlies.