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Hockey Alberta Announces Team Alberta Male U16 Top 34 In Preperation For The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup

Hockey Alberta announced on Friday the top 34 U16 male hockey players that have been short listed for further evaluation in preparation to represent Team Alberta at the 2012 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup taking place November 1 - 4 in Calgary, AB.


81 players were evaluated at the Team Alberta U16 Provincial Development Camp in July in Camrose. The 34 short listed players will now be scouted with their club teams until the final 20 player Team Alberta roster is named.

“We want to put together a highly competitive team and we think out of these 34 athletes, we will be able to do that,” said Team Alberta Head Coach, Bryce Thoma. “To go from 80 players down to 34 is no easy task, but it will be exciting to watch all these players perform with their club teams.”

The Challenge Cup sees Alberta and the other three Western provinces’ top U16 talent compete against each other. 2012 will be the third year for this event; Alberta captured gold in 2009 with a 6-4 win over Manitoba and gold in 2011 with a 10-4 win over Manitoba.

Six players from the 2009 Team Alberta U16 Team were drafted into the NHL in the 2012 NHL Draft, including Mathew Dumba (7th), Mitchell Moroz (32nd) and Mike Winther (54th). Dumba and Hunter Shinkurak, who also played on the 2009 Team Alberta U16 team, will also play for Team Canada at the 2012 Canada-Russia Challege next week.

Brayden Point, who finished last season by scoring seven goals and ten points in 14 playoff games with the Moose Jaw Warriors, was a part of the 2011 Team Alberta U16 Team.


Seven Themes Emerge From 2013 Alberta Hockey Summit

The 2013 Alberta Hockey Summit, which was attended by over 200 delegates, wrapped up on Saturday afternoon in Banff, Alberta. The summit brought together Alberta’s invested stakeholders in hockey, who were able to identify seven themes providing a sense of clarity and direction towards a shared vision for hockey in Alberta.

The event included a keynote speech from former NHLer and Hockey Hall of Famer, Ken Dryden and presentations from some of hockey’s greatest minds including President of the Abbotsford Heat, Ryan Walter, former Vice-President of Sport with WinSport Canada, Dr. Stephen Norris and Managing Director of the NHL Coaches Association, George Kingston.

The seven themes identified are:

1. Shared Leadership Across Sports

- Stronger advocacy for government

- Promote families registering their children in multiple sports and reducing the cost

- Modifying or removing boundaries to line up opportunities

- Focus efforts on communities that are willing to accept change

2. Train our Future Leaders

- Identify leaders at younger ages and train them to be great volunteers

- Clearly outline what leadership skills we are trying to develop

- Active recruitment of graduating players

- Engage the education system

- Utilize stakeholders like ATB to train hockey leaders under the parameters of their personnel development

3. Strengthen Business Relationships

- Identify businesses with a vested interest who can help

- Use the size of the game to leverage relationships

4. Develop a Model for the Ideal Local Minor Hockey Association (LMHA)

- Built by hockey in Alberta for hockey in Alberta

- Establish metrics of success for programming

- Education of stakeholders within the LMHA on the vision

- Emphasize the principles of Long-Term Athlete Development

- Utilize technology to educate and communicate

5. Reduce System Bias

- Manage the Age of Determination Date to benefit a broader cross section of players

- Pay attention to the next generation

- Remove the one-size-fits-all system that discourages participation

6. Open the Doors to Non-Traditional Participants

- Change the perception of our game – fun, family, friendly, flexible

- Work with ethnic communication groups to speak the ‘best’ language

- Remove the perception of who the game is for

7. Focus on the Player

- FUN – what is it, how do we deliver it

- Development programs designed for player need

- Shrink the game to their size

“These themes are just a starting point because they’ve emerged from raw data,” said Hockey Alberta’s Executive Director, Rob Litwinski. “We have to consolidate the reports, share the presentations and then develop action plans. We gained a lot of knowledge from this summit and we will be doing something with it.”

The delegate group was made up of representatives from varying levels of hockey, including Hockey Canada, the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames, the Western Hockey League, minor hockey associations, the CIS and ACAC, sports schools and facility operators.