The top 80 U16 hockey players in Alberta are gathered at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre this week for a summer development camp. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Top players looking to grow at U16 Hockey Alberta Summer Development Camp

The top 80 under-16 hockey players from across the province arrived in Red Deer Tuesday for a week of development and growth.

It is all part of Hockey Alberta’s development model, leading towards the WHL Cup this fall and eventually the World U17 Hockey Challenge.

This week in Red Deer, those players will participate in off-ice training, mental preparation, on-ice skill development and team bonding.

Each of those facets is key to the players’ long-term growth and also picking the ideal group of 20 for the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup.

“We really want to draw out the character piece from the players. As we’re putting a team together in October for the WHL Cup, we want to make sure we’re not taking the 2o most skilled players, like any team we’re trying to put together the best team,” said Michael Kraichy, Hockey Alberta Director of Hockey Operations.

“A big piece for our staff is getting to know the kids on a personal level and figure out what that chemistry could look like down the road. More importantly, beyond picking the team is developing the kids, giving them some tools for their toolbox as we moved forward.”

Rimbey’s Kaden Toussaint is the only local goalie at the camp, along with eight Central Alberta position players. Connor Claughton, Kaiden Ellertson, Nash Bamford, Ty Daneault, Nate Danielson, Nolan Larson, Tyler Mackenzie and Avery Trotter are all taking part. They were all big pieces of the successful 2018-19 Red Deer AAA Bantam Rebels.

On top of development for the players, Kraichy noted that for the coaching staff, it also serves as an important building block.

“We’ve got a lot of young coaches here. With our coach mentor Barry Medori who is working with them,” Kraichy said.

With the camp taking place at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre for the first time, it has also given Hockey Alberta the opportunity to streamline the activities with prospects and staff alike.

“Having it right here in our own building, the resources are right here… great facility,” Kraichy added.

Players are on the ice throughout the week and scrimmage each night, with a final game between the top two teams set for July 7 at 12:30 p.m.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trudeau to meet potential bridge-builder Pallister during cabinet retreat

WINNIPEG — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet today with the least… Continue reading

Two-vehicle collsion near Penhold

Sunday collision blocked intersection

Rising inequality eroding trust in capitalism – survey

DAVOS, Switzerland — Rising income inequality is undermining confidence in capitalism around… Continue reading

Google CEO calls for regulation of artificial intelligence

LONDON — Google’s chief executive called Monday for a balanced approach to… Continue reading

Extradition hearing for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou begins today in Vancouver

VANCOUVER — A court hearing begins today in Vancouver over the American… Continue reading

WATCH: Canadian kid shovelling snow video goes viral

Rory might just be Canada’s most popular toddler right now, thanks to… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Former 1,500 specialist Elmore likely Tokyo-bound after breaking marathon mark

When Malindi Elmore reinvented herself as a marathon runner a year ago,… Continue reading

Canada’s Shapovalov upset by Fucsovics in first round of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov lost a lengthy four-set match with… Continue reading

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

LONDON — Prince Harry took aim at the journalists who have dissected… Continue reading

‘Parasite’ parties, Leo greets young fans inside SAG Awards

LOS ANGELES — Off-camera and during commercials, the stars at the Screen… Continue reading

Hikers rescued after frigid night on Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C.

COQUITLAM, B.C. — Five hikers stranded on Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C.,… Continue reading

SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX completed the last big test of its… Continue reading

Canada’s Jeff Smith wins way back to PDC pro darts tour via qualifying school

WIGAN, England — Canadian Jeff Smith has won his way back to… Continue reading

Most Read