Team Alberta Male Program
The Team Alberta Male program development path begins at the U14 age level and progresses to U17, with a goal of identifying and evaluating players in the selection process for Team Alberta. The Team Alberta Male program feeds into Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. The overall goal is to create an environment where players, coaches, trainers and administrators can meet new friends, compete with their peers, and approach levels of commitment and excellence that each has the potential to achieve.
Athletes participate in zone selection camps, with a goal of participating in either the Peewee Prospects Cup or the Alberta Winter Games, which are held in alternate years.
The Peewee Prospects Cup is held in off years of the Alberta Winter Games. The event provides second-year peewee athletes, coaches, trainers and administrators an opportunity to discover the qualities of competitive hockey in a well-organized regional camp and select team competition. The eight-team tournament is held in May. Zone camps are held in April prior to the Cup.
Alberta males born in 2003 have the unique opportunity to participate in the inaugural Hockey Alberta Peewee Skills Camp, hosted by the Team Alberta program. This age group will be eligible for the Team Alberta squad that will participate in the Canada Winter Games in 2019 in Red Deer.
The camp takes place in Calgary at the Don Hartman Sportsplex on June 24-26. This Skills Camp will focus on skill development, checking skills, proper training techniques, and will provide athletes with information about the Team Alberta process.
The Alberta Winter Games are held in February of even-numbered years. Athletes are chosen from each of the eight Alberta Winter Games Zones to compete in the Games. Zone camps (tryouts) are held in November prior to the Games.
The U15 program is the second stage of the development and identification process that feeds Team Alberta, and features the annual ATB Alberta Cup.
A unique skill development opportunity is available to all 2002-born male hockey players in Alberta, as Hockey Alberta and the Western Hockey Leagueco-hosted the second annual WHL Skills Camp June 10-12 at the Don Hartman Sportsplex in Calgary.
The Skills Camp provided athletes with the opportunity to learn from an impressive array of instructors, including a few from the WHL. The 160 participants were divided into eight teams for the weekend, and participated in a variety of activities, including:
- Friday: off-ice testing and combine activities, coordinated by WHL staff members;
- Saturday: Team Alberta/WHL presentation, a Long Term Player Development session featuring yoga, and two skill sessions.
- Sunday: one skill session, and the event will wrap up with a game for each team
The U16 Male Program is the third stage of the development and identification process to select a roster for Team Alberta to compete at either the U16 Western Challenge or the Canada Winter Games, beginning with the Alberta Cup. The Games are held every four years, with the next event set for 2019 in Red Deer. Players in the U16 Male program will be challenging for the opportunity to compete on one of the three teams that represent Canada each year at the World U17 Hockey Challenge.
The Alberta Cup Program begins in March each year with hundreds of players trying out for a spot on one of the eight Zone teams. The camps include top level instruction and evaluation from Hockey Alberta officials. The teams will then compete in a tournament in April of each year, with players being evaluated for selection the Team Alberta U16 Male Summer Development Camp in July. Coaches, trainers, officials and director of operations also are evaluated to continue in the development path.
Eighty players, 12 coaches, four trainers and four administrators are identified and invited to this week-long camp in July. Through high intensity on and off ice training as well as classroom sessions, they are given the opportunity to develop their skills within the game of hockey and as people. From the U16 Provincial Camp, a shortlist is set, with the players scouted with their club teams prior to final roster decisions on the 20 players selected to comprise Team Alberta.
The Elite Development Camp is an invite only, week-long camp where athletes will receive both on and off-ice development directed by Hockey Alberta staff, and facilitated by the High Performance I Coaching Seminar delegates. The on-ice program will consist of both practice and game sessions, and the off-ice portion will cover athleticism, mental skills and team building.
Twenty players will be selected to the roster of Team Alberta and will compete at either the Western Canada U16 Championships or the Canada Winter Games. The Western U16 is usually held in late-October of non-Canada Winter Games years, with Alberta competing against teams from the other three western provinces. Canada Winter Games are held every four years, with the next Games set for Red Deer in 2019.
Players are evaluated with their club teams early in the current season, at Canada’s national under-17 development camp in August, and during the previous season, including at three regional under-16 events: the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, OHL Gold Cup and QMJHL Excellence Challenge. Sixty-six players from across the country are selected to form three teams (Red, White and Black) to represent Canada at the World U17 Hockey Challenge.