Alberta’s top 2007-born hockey players are showcasing their skills this week in Red Deer.
Hockey Alberta’s Spring Showcase kicked off Thursday, as the 2022 Alberta Cup began at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
It’s been three years since the Alberta Cup has been held, said Michael Kraichy, Hockey Alberta manager of male elite hockey.
“It’s nice to have a sense of normalcy. It’s nice that the kids can get back to doing something they love – I think that’s the coolest part. We’re here again, getting to do something for the kids and seeing their smiles,” said Kraichy.
The four-day event features six teams, comprised of 120 players, competing in a tournament-format competition. In addition to the on-ice action, the event also features an education seminar hosted by the Western Hockey League.
Hockey Alberta describes the Alberta Cup as the premier event that helps identify the province’s top male players. The event is well attended by scouts as they prepare for the WHL’s bantam draft.
“The first weekend of April we held regional camps: one in Spruce Grove, one in Red Deer and one in Calgary. We had just over 500 players from across the province try out at the selection camps,” Kraichy explained.
From each of those camps, two teams of 20 were selected to participate in the Alberta Cup, which is considered the starting point for the Team Alberta program, said Kraichy.
“From here, 80 players will attend our summer camp. We’ll then shortlist a group of players in the fall, scout them up until December and then we’ll name our roster of 20 who will represent Alberta at the 2023 Canada Games in P.E.I.”
In addition to player evaluations, the competition is also an opportunity for administrators, coaches, trainers and referees to be evaluated for future positions with the Team Alberta Program, according to Hockey Alberta.
There are a number of Central Alberta players competing in the event. Red Deer’s Jaxen Smyth, Sylvan Lake’s Dylan Ruff, Rimbey’s Tavish Beagle, Lacombe’s Brody Sharpe and Stettler’s Carver Shingoose are playing for Team Blue. Additionally, Red Deer’s Julian Galenza and Three Hills’ Corbin Sanderman are playing for Team Black.
Full tournament results, schedules, stats and standings can be found at abcup.ca.