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News

AEHL season kicks off Wednesday

RED DEER - Hockey is officially back in Alberta as the inaugural Alberta Elite Hockey League season gets underway across the province on Wednesday night.

The U18 AAA and U15 AAA schedules both kick off on October 14, while the U16 AAA season begins on October 31.

The U18 AAA season gets going with a pair of games between the St. Albert Nektar Raiders and the Grande Peace Ernie’s Sports Storm, and the CAC Gregg Distributors and the MLAC Beverly Optimists.

Meanwhile, three games are on tap in the U15 AAA division Wednesday night, with games between the NWCAA Flames and CNHA Sabres, the Fort Sask Rangers and St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres, and the CAC Legigh Cement and MLAC Scott Pump teams.

The Alberta Female Hockey League season also gets underway shortly. For the U18 AAA division, exhibition games will begin on October 17th with the regular season kicking off October 30th. The U18 AA and U15 AA divisions have exhibition games starting on October 30th with regular season beginning November 30th .

Home Ice Feature

Photos courtesy Jake Neighbour’s Instagram page


Jake Neighbours and Ozzy Wiesblatt - A First Round Friendship

For a pair of best friends whose hockey journeys have been nearly identical, it’s only fitting they were both selected just five picks apart at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft in October.

When Jake Neighbours and Ozzy Wiesblatt were drafted 26th overall and 31st overall by the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks, respectively, it was not only a tremendous moment for each athlete, but a chance to celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

The two have been nearly inseparable since first hitting the ice together with the Calgary U18 AAA Buffaloes in 2017, and have been a big part of each other’s hockey experiences. Getting to share in each other’s big moment was a familiar, but welcome feeling.

"To go through all these experiences with your best friend is definitely something you cherish," Neighbours said during a recent interview where he and Wiesblatt joined the Centre Ice Podcast.

Whether it was suiting up together for Team Alberta at the 2017 WHL Cup in Calgary, for Team Canada at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, or for Team Red at the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects game, Neighbours and Wiesblatt have spent plenty of time together on hockey’s biggest stages.

But, they’ve also been on opposing sides of centre ice a number of times, including at the 2017 Alberta Cup, the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and for the last two seasons in the Western Hockey League, with Neighbours a member of the Edmonton Oil Kings, and Wiesblatt with the Prince Albert Raiders.

Although they both admitted there was a bit of a competition to see who would be selected first, the pair agree that it was just a minor detail.

"I was lucky enough to see Jake get picked ahead of me," Wiesblatt said. "I’m happy for him, and it just about brought a little tear to my eye seeing him get picked, it was a special moment for him and his family. We’re competitive, but also very supportive at the same time."

Neighbours echoed that sentiment, adding that he and his family were almost more excited to hear Wiesblatt’s named called by the San Jose Sharks a few picks later.

"I think both of us were kind of hoping we’d be the one to (be drafted) higher, but we knew going into it that we’d probably be pretty close in terms of numbers and where we were going, so we were happy for each other," Neighbours said. "I remember when I found out Ozzy was going, it was almost a bigger reaction from my family and I than when I went, so we have very supportive families, and obviously going in both directions we’re happy for each other."

Although the two have only been close friends since first playing together for the Calgary Buffaloes as 15 year-olds, they’ve leaned on each other heavily for support, a relationship they both point to as a major key to their success both on and off the ice.

"It’s special," said Wiesblatt. "We’ve been through basically everything together with hockey. If it’s Team Alberta events or Team Canada events, we’re going through it together, so it’s definitely made it easier to have someone to talk to and go through it with."

Neighbours said the two maintain a close relationship during the season, but there are times where their competitive nature outweighs their friendship.

"We lean on each other for support, but we are competitors," Neighbours said. "After every game, we’re always texting each other, seeing how each other did. But, I don’t think (Prince Albert) versus Edmonton’s been the friendliest of games over the past couple of years, it’s been two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference going at it, so it’s always a good game with a lot of intensity, and we tend to lean towards our intense and competitive sides more than our friendship during those games."

But, Wiesblatt adds that the competitiveness between the two is a welcome addition, and is a big reason for his success.

"Having a best friend and someone you train with every day that pushes you, I think we can both say we’re very lucky to have that," said Wiesblatt. "It’s been awesome. I haven’t really had a friend that is as competitive as Jake is, and that wants to beat me in every single thing, so it’s fun, and it’s definitely shaped me into the person I am today."

While the two have been through more together in the last few years than many friendships will see in a lifetime, Neighbours looks back fondly on when it all started, and said he can’t wait to see what the future holds.

"We started talking when we were about 13 or 14, I think, and we finally got to meet each other at the Calgary Buffaloes tryouts, and I guess the rest is history. We just kind of hit it off right away, and basically did everything together, and I became this guy’s Uber. Proud to be it though, and I’m looking forward to more Uber rides."

Home Ice Feature

Photo credit: LA Media


Alberta well-represented in NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list

RED DEER - NHL Central Scouting has released its October ’Players to Watch’ list, with 18 Albertans making an appearance.

Two Albertan skaters are listed as ’A’ prospects; defenceman Corson Ceulemans and forward Dylan Guenther.

Goaltender Sebastian Cossa the lone Albertan in the ’B’ prospect category, with fifteen more listed as ’C’ prospects.

The ‘A’ rating indicates a first round candidate, a ‘B’ rating indicates a second or third round candidate, and a ‘C’ rating indicates a fourth, fifth, or sixth round candidate.

The full list of Albertans named to the Players to Watch list can be found below:

Name Position Team League
A Prospects
Corson Ceulemans Defence Brooks Bandits AJHL
Dylan Guenther Forward Edmonton Oil Kings WHL
B Prospects
Sebastian Cossa Goaltender Edmonton Oil Kings WHL
C Prospects
Talyn Boyko Goaltender Tri-City Americans WHL
Lucas Ciona Forward Seattle Thunderbirds WHL
Colton Dach Forward Saskatoon Blades WHL
Jayden Grubbe Forward Red Deer Rebels WHL
Dru Krebs Defence Medicine Hat Tigers WHL
Marc Lajoie Defence Tri-City Americans WHL
Kyle Masters Defence Red Deer Rebels WHL
Brett Moravec Forward Calgary Canucks AJHL
Ty Mueller Forward Sherwood Park Crusaders AJHL
Zack Ostapchuk Forward Vancouver Giants WHL
Zack Stringer Forward Lethbridge Hurricanes WHL
Scout Truman Forward Des Moines Buccaneers USHL
Sean Tschigerl Forward Calgary Hitmen WHL
Kai Uchacz Forward Seaatle Thunderbirds WHL
Olen Zellweger Defence Everett Silvertips WHL

News

Registration now open for 2020 Hockey Alberta Annual General Meeting

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is hosting the 113th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, November 21. This year’s meeting will be held virtually, using Zoom, starting at 1:00 PM (MST).

It is important for Executive Members of member Minor Hockey Associations and Junior/Senior Club Teams to attend the AGM to exercise your right to vote in the elections and for Notices of Motion. It is also important for registered Accredited Schools, Para Hockey programs, Recreational Hockey programs and sanctioned leagues to attend in order to obtain valuable information.

For the purposes of this online meeting, voting will be conducted using the Sport Law Strategy Group’s Simply Voting platform. Only registered Voting Members who complete and submit this online AGM Registration form will be included in the voting list and entitled to vote. Please ensure your MHA/ Club Team President/ General Manager has completed the registration process, identifying your voting delegate prior to the November 11 registration deadline. Attendance and Voting Instructions will be sent to properly registered voting delegates after the registration deadline has passed.


Ad Hoc committee report on Membership definition >

Notices of Motion >

2020 Hockey Alberta Board of Directors Candidates >

2019 AGM Minutes >

2020 AGM Registration >

Please note that any overdue accounts must be paid in full for Members to be eligible to vote at the Annual General Meeting. Please refer to Article 4, 4.6 (b) of the Hockey Alberta Bylaws and Regulations for information about voting privileges/procedures.


For any further information please contact Michelle Skilnick ([email protected])

News

Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund to provide $1 million to help young Canadians return to hockey

CALGARY - The Hockey Canada Foundation has launched its new $1 million Assist Fund to provide registration fee subsidies for qualified Canadians who are registered with Hockey Canada-sanctioned associations for the 2020-21 season.

“As a prominent national sports organization in the country, it’s Hockey Canada’s mission to lead, develop and promote positive hockey experiences,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “It’s a goal that’s more important than ever, as COVID-19 has had a challenging impact on so many young people from coast-to-coast-to-coast.”

The Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund allows Canadians who meet the criteria and need a financial hockey assist to apply for up to $500 in registration fee reimbursements per player, provided the registration is with a Hockey Canada-sanctioned association.

To enhance the impact and support for local communities, Canadians can also donate to the Assist Fund, with 100% of all donated funds reaching young Canadians. The Hockey Canada Foundation will absorb all administration costs associated with the fund. Donations can be made at HockeyCanada.ca/AssistFund.

A line-up of hockey heroes is championing the Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund. All three have provided and known the importance of assists and community support, on and off the ice.

  • Jarome Iginla (St. Albert, Alta.) - Hockey Canada alumnus, member of the Class of 2020 for the Hockey Hall of Fame, two-time Olympic gold medallist (2002, 2010), gold medallist at the 1997 IIHF World Championship, gold medallist at the 1996 IIHF World Junior Championship and provider of one of the most famous assists in Canadian hockey history, on the Golden Goal by Sidney Crosby at 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver
  • Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.) - Captain of Canada’s National Women’s Team, two-time Olympic gold medallist (2010, 2014) and gold medallist at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship
  • Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) - Member of Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, gold medallist at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games and four-time gold medallist at the IPC World Para Hockey Championship (2008, 2011, 2013, 2017)

The Assist Fund was born from the ongoing commitment of the many partners of Hockey Canada and the Hockey Canada Foundation, including Bauer, BDO, Berkshire Hathaway, BFL CANADA, Canadian Tire, Chevrolet, CN, Hankook, Nike, OK Tire, Premium Brands, Scotiabank, TELUS, TIMBER MART, Tim Hortons, TSN and RDS.

“With job losses and reduced incomes affecting so many, young Canadians need our help more than ever to get back into hockey,” said Donna Iampieri, executive director of the Hockey Canada Foundation. “Our Assist Fund and the support of our amazing athletes and sponsors represents our combined ongoing commitment to providing access to the game.”

For more information about the Hockey Canada Assist Fund, or to apply or donate, visit HockeyCanada.ca/AssistFund.

Ice Times Newsletter

ICE TIMES - Edition 20:19

CENTRE ICE PODCAST - EPISODE TWO: NHL DRAFT RECAP

Episode Two of the Centre Ice Podcast looks back on the Albertans selected in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, featuring interviews with first-round draft picks Jake Neighbours, Ozzy Wiesblatt and Kaiden Guhle.

LISTEN AND WATCH >


NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN FOR 2020-21 COACH OF THE MONTH

Nominations are now being accepted for Coach of the Month, presented by Players Bench Team Apparel. Nominate a coach who goes above and beyond for your team this season.

NOMINATE YOUR COACH >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

TWO WEEKS LEFT TO APPLY FOR AN EVERY KID EVERY COMMUNITY GRANT

The Every Kid Every Community Grant (EKEC) is an annual program to support hockey in Alberta. The Hockey Alberta Foundation would like to encourage groups and individuals to apply for a Program or Player Assistance grant. The deadline to apply is October 31.

APPLICATION FORM >


ONE MONTH REMAINING TO COMPLETE COACHING QUALIFICATIONS

Minor Hockey Associations (MHAs) and Club Teams must ensure all teams and/or groups meet the requirements outlined by Hockey Alberta before November 15.

COACHING REQUIREMENTS > | AVAILABLE CLINICS >


GEAR UP LIKE A PRO WITH GATORADE

From iconic equipment to our scientifically formulated powder, now is your opportunity to GEAR UP LIKE A PRO. Head over to www.Gatorade.ca and make sure your gear speaks as loud as your game. Until October 31, receive free shipping with code HOCKEYALBERTAFREESHIP. No minimum order. One use per customer.

ORDER NOW >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


News

Can I Participate in Hockey?

Hockey Alberta has created a flow chart to help families navigate their way through the expectations and process when a player is showing symptoms or has been tested for COVID-19.

This chart will be updated, as required, based on changes to Alberta Health Services protocols.

News

We’re Hiring!

Hockey Alberta is looking for an innovative and collaborative individual to join our team in the position of Coordinator, Member Services. The successful candidate will demonstrate integrity, possess a positive and enthusiastic attitude and be open minded and attentive to the changing environment and needs of Albertans.

This is a 10 month contract position based out of Red Deer, AB and will extend until September 2021. Under the direction of the Manager, Member Services, this position is responsible for leadership/support in Team & Player registration, insurance areas and general administrative support.

Apply Now >

News

One month remaining to complete Coaching Qualifications

RED DEER - There is one month remaining for coaches to complete their required qualifications.

Minor Hockey Associations (MHAs) and Club Teams must ensure all teams and/or groups meet the requirements outlined by Hockey Alberta before November 15. Any team/group not meeting the requirements outlined within the Hockey Alberta Regulations will be ineligible to participate in sanctioned hockey games.

Hockey Alberta offers a variety of Coach Clinics targeted to the age and level of the athletes coaches are leading. Hockey Canada’s coaching requirements vary depending on which age group a coach is working with.

A new addition to this season’s clinic list is the online HU - Planning a Safe Return to Hockey, which focuses on key information coaches and associations need to know in order to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the hockey environment. Head coaches at each level are required to finish this 20 minute course before the November 15 deadline.

View Coaching Requirements >

Coaches can register for clinics through Hockey Canada’s eHockey website by searching by clinic type and location. An individual must have an eHockey account created, with their profile linked to the account in order to see their coaching qualifications or register for a clinic. Please see instructions below on how to create an account and attach a participant profile:

  1. Follow this link to access the eHockey login page.
  2. Click “click here to create an account now”.
  3. Follow instructions on screen to create an e-hockey account.
  4. Select “add participant” and search yourself or player by name and date of birth.
  5. You will click "select" to add yourself or player as a participant to the account.
  6. Then you can click view profile to view history, Hockey ID, or sign up for a clinic.

In-person coaching clinics will still be hosted with physical distancing measures in place and reduced participants.

View Available Clinics >

Centre Ice Podcast

Centre Ice Podcast - Episode Two: NHL Draft Recap

Centre Ice is the brand-new Hockey Alberta podcast, featuring the latest news and views on amateur hockey across the province, with new episodes on the first and third Thursday of the month. Subscribe now on your favourite podcast app!


Episode TWO:

Episode Two of the Centre Ice Podcast looks back on the Albertans selected in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, featuring interviews with first-round draft picks Jake Neighbours, Ozzy Wiesblatt and Kaiden Guhle.


Episode Links: 17 Albertans Selected at 2020 NHL Draft > | Alberta’s Guhle gearing up for 2020 NHL Draft > | Return To Hockey Plan Oct 2 Update > | Coach Clinics > | AEHL Schedule > | AFHL Schedule > | WHL announces opening date for 2020-21 Regular Season >

More Episodes >

News

Nominations now open for 2020-21 Coach of the Month program

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is now accepting nominations for Coach of the Month for the 2020-21 minor hockey season!

In a year with increased guidelines and responsibilities, coaches will be an integral part of minor hockey. Their countless hours and dedication provide the opportunity for over 60,000 kids in Alberta to play hockey in a safe and fun environment. Help us recognize a coach in your community by nominating him or her for the Hockey Alberta Coach of the Month, presented by Players Bench Team Apparel.

Nominate a Coach of the Month ›

Coaches will be selected throughout the hockey season and will receive a coaching package valued at over $500.

Get your nominations in early! Coaches not selected each month will be eligible until the end of the season.

News

Seventeen Albertans selected at 2020 NHL Draft

RED DEER - It was a banner year for Alberta at the 2020 NHL Draft, with 17 Albertans drafted to 13 different teams.

After six Albertans were selected in round one of the draft on Tuesday night, 11 more were drafted in rounds two through seven on Wednesday.

Defenceman Luke Prokop was the first Albertan selected on Wednesday, going in the third round to the Nashville Predators. Garin Bjorklund was the lone Albertan goaltender selected in 2020, as the Washington Capitals took him in the sixth round, 179th overall.

The 17 Albertans drafted hail from 12 different Minor Hockey Associations, 15 are alumni of the Alberta Elite Hockey League, and 10 played for Team Alberta.

A full list of Albertans drafted can be found below:

Pick Player Team Position Hometown MHA Former Team(s)

FIRST ROUND

5th Jake Sanderson (USA U-18, NTDP) Ottawa Senators Defence Whitefish, MN/Calgary Springbank Calgary Flames U15 AAA (AEHL), Edge School Elite 15s & Prep (CSSHL)
14th Dylan Holloway (Wisconson, Big Ten) Edmonton Oilers Forward Bragg Creek Springbank Calgary Flames U15 AAA, U16 AAA & U18 AAA (AEHL), Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
16th Kaiden Guhle (Prince Albert, WHL) Montreal Canadiens Defence Sherwood Park Sherwood Park Sherwood Park Flyers U15 AAA (AEHL), OHA Edmonton Prep U15 & U18 (CSSHL)
26th Jake Neighbours (Edmonton, WHL) St. Louis Blues Forward Aidrie Airdrie Airdrie Xtreme U15 AAA & Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAA (AEHL)
28th Ridly Greig (Brandon, WHL) Ottawa Senators Forward Lethbridge Lethbridge Lethbridge Golden Hawks U15 AAA, Lethbridge Hurricanes U16 AAA & U18 AAA (AEHL)
31st Ozzy Wiesblatt (Prince Albert, WHL) San Jose Sharks Forward Calgary Calgary Calgary Bisons U15 AAA, CBHA Blackhawks U16 AAA, Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAA (AEHL)

THIRD ROUND

73rd Luke Prokop (Calgary, WHL) Nashville Predators Defence Edmonton Edmonton CAC Canadians U15 AAA (AEHL), Northern Alberta X-Treme Prep (CSSHL)

FOURTH ROUND

95th Michael Benning (Sherwood Park, AJHL) Florida Panthers Defence St. Albert St. Albert St. Albert Sabres U15 AAA & St. Albert Flyers U16 AAA (AEHL), Northern Alberta Elite 15s & Northern Alberta X-Treme Prep (CSSHL)
100th Carter Savoie (Sherwood Park, AJHL) Edmonton Oilers Forward St. Albert St. Albert St. Albert Sabres U15 AAA (AEHL), St. Albert Royals U15 AA (REMHL), Northern Alberta Elite 15s & Northern Alberta X-Treme Prep (CSSHL)
120th Ethan Edwards (Spruce Grove, AJHL) New Jersey Devils Defence Grande Prairie Grande Prairie St. Albert Sabres U15 AAA & St. Albert Flyers U16 AAA (AEHL), Northern Alberta Elite 15s & Northern Alberta X-Treme Prep (CSSHL)

SIXTH ROUND

164th Tyrel Bauer (Seattle, WHL) Winnipeg Jets Defence Cochrane Cochrane Airdrie Xtreme U15 AAA, AC Avalanche U16 AAA & Airdrie CFR Bisons U18 AAA (AEHL)
165th Matthew Rempe (Seattle, WHL) New York Rangers Forward Calgary Calgary CNHA Blazers U15 AA (HCBAA), Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
178th Connor McClennon (Winnipeg, WHL) Philadelphia Flyers Forward Wainwright Wainwright Northern Alberta X-Treme Prep (CSSHL)
179th Garin Bjorklund (Medicine Hat, WHL) Washington Capitals Goaltender Grande Prairie Grande Prairie Grande Prairie Storm U15 AAA, Calgary Bisons U15 AAA & Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAA (AEHL)
181st Cole Reinhardt (Brandon, WHL) Ottawa Senators Forward Irricana Beiseker Airdrie Xtreme U15 AAA, AC Avalanche U16 AAA & Airdrie CFR Bisons U18 AAA (AEHL)

SEVENTH ROUND

196th Alex Young (Canmore Eagles, AJHL) San Jose Sharks Forward Calgary Calgary CRAA White U15 AA (HCBAA), Calgary Royals U15 AAA & CRAA Blue U16 AAA (AEHL), CRAA Blue U18 AA (HCMAA)
208th Ronan Seeley (Everett, WHL) Carolina Hurricanes Defence Olds Olds Red Deer Rebels U15 AAA & Lethbridge Hurricanes U18 AAA (AEHL)

News

Photo credit: LA Media


Six Albertans selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft

RED DEER - It was an outstanding night for Albertans as the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft took place on Tuesday evening.

The first round of the draft, which was done virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saw six athletes from Alberta drafted to five different teams.

Defenceman Jake Sanderson had the distinction of being the first Alberta product selected, going 5th overall to the Ottawa Senators. The Senators also took Ridly Greig 28th overall with their third pick of the first round.

Former CJHL Player of the Year Dylan Holloway was next off the board, going 14th overall to the Edmonton Oilers. Defenceman Kaiden Guhle was just a few picks behind, as the Montreal Canadiens drafted him with the 16th pick.

The St. Louis Blues selected Jake Neighbours 26th overall, and after the Senators drafted Greig, the San Jose Sharks wrapped up the first round by picking Ozzy Wiesblatt 31st overall.

All six players drafted in the first round are Alberta Elite Hockey League alumni, and also all suited up for Team Alberta (Holloway in 2016, and Sanderson, Guhle, Neighbours, Greig and Wiesblatt in 2017).

Rounds two through seven of the 2020 NHL Draft will conclude on Wednesday.

Pick Player Team Position Hometown MHA Former Team(s)

FIRST ROUND

5th Jake Sanderson (USA U-18, NTDP) Ottawa Senators Defence Whitefish, MN/Calgary Springbank Calgary Flames U15 AAA (AEHL), Edge School Elite 15s & Prep (CSSHL)
14th Dylan Holloway (Wisconsin, Big Ten) Edmonton Oilers Forward Bragg Creek Springbank Calgary Flames U15 AAA, U16 AAA & U18 AAA (AEHL), Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
16th Kaiden Guhle (Prince Albert, WHL) Montreal Canadiens Defence Sherwood Park Sherwood Park Sherwood Park Flyers U15 AAA (AEHL), OHA Edmonton Prep U15 & U18 (CSSHL)
26th Jake Neighbours (Edmonton, WHL) St. Louis Blues Forward Aidrie Airdrie Airdrie Xtreme U15 AAA & Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAA (AEHL)
28th Ridly Greig (Brandon, WHL) Ottawa Senators Forward Lethbridge Lethbridge Lethbridge Golden Hawks U15 AAA, Lethbridge Hurricanes U16 AAA & U18 AAA (AEHL)
31st Ozzy Wiesblatt (Prince Albert, WHL) San Jose Sharks Forward Calgary Calgary Calgary Bisons U15 AAA, CBHA Blackhawks U16 AAA, Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAA (AEHL)

Home Ice Feature

Photos: LA Media/WHL


Alberta’s Kaiden Guhle gearing up for 2020 NHL Draft

When NHL Central Scouting released its final rankings in April, 24 Albertans appeared on the list - 20 skaters, and four goaltenders.

Among those is Team Alberta alumnus and Prince Albert Raiders defenceman, Kaiden Guhle, who came in at number eight among North American skaters, and is projected by many to be drafted in the first round.

On the eve of the NHL draft, Guhle said the nerves hadn’t quite kicked in yet.

“I think I’m just a lot more excited, than anything," he said. "Waited a long time for this, got pushed back a bit, and I think I can speak for every kid in saying we’re just happy to finally have it here and to get things started.The nerves are there, but right now I’m not feeling them a whole lot. I bet (Tuesday) when I wake up, getting up early and waiting the whole day for it to happen, I’m sure the nerves will come pretty strong, but right now I think my mom’s a lot more nervous than me."

The 2020 NHL Draft will have a much different look than any other draft. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s draft will be done virtually, much like the 2020 NFL Draft.

Guhle said that although it’s disappointing not to be in Montreal as originally planned, he’s looking forward to sharing the experience at home with family and friends.

"I think in a way, it works out," he said. "I know if I was going to Montreal, you could only bring a handful of family members, you don’t want to pack the whole thing. I’m having 15 people coming to my house (on Tuesday), so I’ll have a lot of people there who have supported me through my whole hockey career."

Guhle adds that the pre-draft process has also been quite different than normal, but it’s still been a memorable experience for him.

"It was a lot of virtual meetings, a lot of Zoom calls," he said. "Obviously, you’d like to meet the teams in person, if we were in Montreal, I’d maybe meet a couple teams right before for one last chat. It’s been a big honour to talk to a lot of those teams, you never know who you’re going to go to, so I want to leave a good impression on all of them and show them my personality and what type of person I am."

The Guhle family is familiar with the NHL Draft process, as Kaiden’s older brother Brendan was drafted 51st overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 2015.

Guhle said the influence of his brother, who now plays for the Anaheim Ducks, has been critical to his growth as a player.

"He’s been massive," he said. "I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t the biggest reason (I started playing), he’s the reason I picked up a hockey stick. Watching him growing up, I’ve always wanted to follow his footsteps in that way. He’s been huge for my hockey career, he’s talked to me a lot about this whole draft process – the ups and the downs, teams maybe getting under your skin to see how you react, just trying to keep me level-headed though the whole thing."

Guhle isn’t the only member of the Prince Albert Raiders hailing from Alberta waiting to hear their name called at the draft, as teammate Ozzy Wiesblatt is also expected to be drafted.

"I’ll definitely text him during the draft," Guhle said. "We’ve definitely talked about it and leaned on each other, we’ve been communicating a lot about this. I think there’s a bit of friendly competition, we’re both pretty competitive guys. We like to go at it at practice, and like to make each other mad – we both compete very hard, we both want to make each other better and that’s the only way you’re going to do it. I’ll definitely shoot him a text and see how he is on draft day, I’m sure he’ll be pretty nervous, just like me, so it’s good to get to go through that with him, and get to go through the whole experience with one of my best buddies."

Although it’s easy for a player to speculate as to which team they could end up on, Guhle said he’s not focused on that, and is going to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

"I’m happy with whatever team picks me, I have no preference to where I go," he said. "I think any team that picks me, I am very lucky to be that pick."

Round one of the 2020 NHL Draft kicks off Tuesday night at 5:00 p.m., with rounds two through seven to be held on Wednesday, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Ice Times Newsletter

ICE TIMES - Edition 20:18

RETURN TO HOCKEY UPDATE

Hockey Alberta has released an updated version of the Return to Hockey plan.

NEW FEATURES OF THE PLAN >


INTRODUCING CENTRE ICE: THE HOCKEY ALBERTA PODCAST

Hockey Alberta is excited to launch Centre Ice: The Hockey Alberta Podcast, featuring the latest news and views on amateur hockey across the province.

CENTRE ICE: EPISODE ONE >


BARRY MEDORI HONOURED WITH HOCKEY CANADA AWARD

On August 28, Hockey Canada announced Hockey Alberta Coach Mentor Barry Medori as the 2020 recipient of the Gordon Juckes Award.

READ THE FULL STORY >


HOCKEY CANADA COMMUNITY, PRESENTED BY SCOTIABANK, LAUNCHED FOR 2020-21 SEASON

Hockey Canada and Scotiabank, the Official Bank of Hockey Canada, have teamed up to deliver the Hockey Canada Community, an online destination to share and celebrate great Canadian hockey stories.

VIEW FULL DETAILS >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


News

Return To Hockey Plan - October 2 Update

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta has updated its Return to Hockey Plan, with the following updates included in the OCTOBER 2 VERSION of the Return to Hockey Plan:

  1. In the Return to Hockey Programming section (Section 2): updated timelines and program options for all levels of hockey.
  2. In Protocols and Safety (Section 3): a new Game Considerations Checklist for host teams.
  3. In Communications (Section 4): an updated Hockey Alberta FAQ document.
  4. In On-Ice Officials (Section 7): updated information on clinics and assigning, and a link to the On-Ice Officials Return to Hockey Plan.
  5. Appendices have been removed (and relocated to the Hockey Alberta website) or renumbered.

The updated Return to Hockey Plan, and its appendices, can be accessed here:

RETURN TO HOCKEY PLAN - UPDATED >

The health and safety of all participants in the sport is of paramount importance in all activities outlined in the Return to Hockey Plan. The threats and challenges posed by COVID-19 require specific steps to be taken to allow hockey back on the ice, and this plan addresses those requirements.

The Return to Hockey Plan – including the timelines included within it – is subject to change, as new guidelines and requirements are put in place by the Government of Alberta.

Centre Ice Podcast

Introducing Centre Ice: The Hockey Alberta Podcast

Centre Ice is the brand-new Hockey Alberta podcast, featuring the latest news and views on amateur hockey across the province, with new episodes on the first and third Thursday of the month. Subscribe now on your favourite podcast app!


Episode ONe:

The inaugural episode of Centre Ice features Hockey Alberta CEO Rob Litwinski, and the impact of COVID-19 on hockey in Alberta. Rob discusses the postponement/cancellation of hockey on March 12, what’s transpired since then, and takes a deeper dive into the Return to Hockey Plan, and what it means for the future of hockey.


Episode Links: Return To Hockey Plan > | Hockey is Back > | New for 2020 > | Coach Clinics > | Barry Medori Tribute >