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Glencross Invitational breaks the $2 million mark

RED DEER – The 10th anniversary of the Curtis Glencross Charity Event achieved an impressive goal - breaking the $2 million mark in funds raised for the Hockey Alberta Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities® Alberta.

“It’s unbelievable,” Glencross said of the event which has been ongoing for a decade in one iteration or another. “We had the rodeo for the first few years and have now transferred over to the charity hockey tournament. It’s been a hit; everyone loves it, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger every year.”

This is the second consecutive year the event hit the ice as four teams battled for the Glencross Charity Camp Championship at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer. Each of the four teams was led by a celebrity coach, featured 15 skaters as well as a goalie and was manned with five celebrity players per team. The team coached by former Calgary Flame Joel Otto took home the win in the tournament final.

“It’s exciting for a lot of the non-NHL guys to be able to come here and play with guys who played at that level,” Otto said of the atmosphere on the ice during the tournament. “Troy Brouwer, Jamie Macoun, Kyle Brodziak, to have the skill they do at the age that they are, I think it’s surreal for them to lace up the skates and play a game with them. It’s an awesome event, a lot of fun and it’s truly a great time.”

Glencross echoed that sentiment of having former NHLers mixed in with people of all skill levels.

“It’s great, it makes it fun. For us alumni, it’s great because we can get out there and chirp back and forth with each other,” Glencross said.

“But at the same time, it’s good humour. We get chirped all the time too. We’ve got a really good group of sponsors and when you have a good group of sponsors, it turns into a good group of people out on the ice.”

The evening was wrapped up with the 10th annual Glencross Invitational Charity Poker Event at Western Park. Kurt Bensmiller took home the trophy buckle as the event winner.

“Red Deer as a whole is such a generous community and we’re so fortunate to have the Calgary Flames Foundation and ATB,” Glencross said. “ATB has been great with us since day one and have been our title sponsor for eight years now so to have the two of them and get the generosity from all our sponsors here in Red Deer is unbelievable.”

About the Hockey Alberta Foundation (HAF)

The Hockey Alberta Foundation’s goal is to raise funds to provide EVERY KID in EVERY COMMUNITY the opportunity to play hockey in Alberta. We work in collaboration with partners to fund those who need us, invest in those who will lead us and honour those before us. For more information on the HAF or to make a donation, visit

For more information from Hockey Alberta Foundation contact:

Tim Leer
[email protected]

About the Ronald McDonald House Charities® Alberta

RMHC Alberta helps keep families together when they need it most. Our Houses in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Medicine Hat provide a home-away-from-home to over 1,200 families each year who must travel for their child’s vital medical treatment. By enabling families to stay together, in close proximity to a hospital, Ronald McDonald House vastly improves the quality and experience of the care of the child and the wellbeing of the family, while reducing the family’s stress, sense of isolation, and financial burden.

For more information from RMHC Alberta contact:

Suzanne Pescod
[email protected]


AEHL U15 AAA Post-Season Preview

RED DEER – Sixteen AEHL U15 AAA teams are vying for the chance to be crowned league champion.

The first round begins on Tuesday, March 5 when Parkland (PAC) Saints travel to Sherwood Park to take on the United Cycle Flyers. The remaining first round matchups start Wednesday and Thursday.

The top two seeds in the regular season were St. Albert Raiders Sabres and the Calgary Flames (NWCAA), who lost a combined six games in their respective 34-game seasons.

St. Albert recorded 31 wins, with a regulation loss, an overtime loss and a tie to round out their season (.941 win percentage). They scored nearly seven goals a game (237 total), allowed 66 goals, won 22 of their last 23 games for 64 points, 23 points ahead of Sherwood Park atop the North Division.

In the South Division, a pair of Calgary teams fought for top spot with the Flames edging out the Northstars by eight points. The Flames finished the season with 27 wins and a goal differential of +88. They also come into the playoffs winning seven of their past 10 games.


St. Albert not only found themselves at the top of the standings, but the top of the statistical categories as well. Forward Ossie McIntyre posted the most points (104) and goals (55) this season. McIntyre averaged over three points a game, which includes seven game winning goals on the season. His 104 points were 38 points better than the league’s second leading scorer. Raiders Sabres goaltender Pacey Thomas finished first in wins (18), goals-against-average (1.69), and was tied for first in shutouts with four. Red Deer Rebels goaltender Grady Gardiner had the league’s best save percentage at .932.

All series are best-of-three. The first-round matchups are as follows:

North Division Quarterfinals:

St. Albert Raiders Sabres vs Lloydminster Lancers

Sherwood Park United Cycle Flyers vs Parkland (PAC) Saints

Golden Arrow GP Storm vs Knights of Columbus (KC) Squires

Fort Saskatchewan Enhance It Rangers vs South Side (SSAC) Southgate Lions

South Division Quarterfinals:

Calgary Flames (NWCAA) vs Calgary Royals

Calgary Northstars vs Calgary Bisons

Red Deer Rebels vs Okotoks Oilers

Airdrie Xtreme vs Lethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks

For complete schedules and links to the FloHockey broadcasts, check out the Playoffs tab on the U15 AAA website.



International Hockey Returning to Alberta

EDMONTON – Hockey Canada has announced that four marquee international hockey tournaments will be played in the Province of Alberta through 2027, in addition to Rivalry Series games featuring Canada’s National Women’s Team and camps involving Canada’s national men’s, women’s and para hockey programs.

The announcement was made before Saturday’s Battle of Alberta between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers and included a commitment of $11 million from the Province of Alberta to host events in communities throughout the province.

“Alberta’s government is thrilled to be hosting these major sporting events,” said The Hon. Joseph Schow, minister of tourism and sport of Alberta. “These events will create excitement around the game of hockey while driving visitors to the province, increasing tourism and bolstering local businesses. These tournaments and events will be an inspiration to young Albertans as they get a chance to learn from and watch the world’s best hockey players.”

The first two tournaments will take place in 2024: the World Para Hockey Championship at WinSport Arena in Calgary from May 4-12 and the Hlinka Gretzky Cup at Rogers Place in Edmonton from Aug. 5-10.

Alberta will also host Rivalry Series games in 2025 and 2026, the 2026 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and 2027 IIHF World Junior Championship.

“Hosting international games and tournaments are critical to provide opportunities for our men’s, women’s and para athletes to develop and compete on the world stage, showcase our teams and communities, and inspire the next generation of participants and fans,” said Katherine Henderson, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “We are grateful that the Province of Alberta has made this significant investment to enable these events to be played on home ice, which will significantly benefit each of our programs, including our national teams that are preparing for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”

Ticket packages for the 2024 Hlinka Gretzky Cup will go on sale to the public on March 22, while ticket information for the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship will be announced in the coming weeks.

Locations for events being hosted beyond 2024 will be shared at a later date.

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit, or follow along through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.


Stettler Goes Global with the Global Girls Game

STETTLER - The puck is set to drop on the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Global Girls Game and a celebration of female hockey in central Alberta.

Twelve games are taking place from coast to coast in Canada, including Alberta’s segment which is being hosted by Stettler Minor Hockey Association on February 17.

The Global Girls Game is an IIHF initiative to unite the hockey community by having players from around the globe play in the same game. A cumulative score is kept around the world between Team White and Team Blue with a winner being declared after all games have been completed.

Alberta’s segment of the Global Girls Game is being hosted at the Stettler Recreation Centre at 1:30 p.m, as the U15 Tier 2 Stettler Storm take on the Red Deer Chiefs in the Blue Arena as part of their Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League season.

In Canada, teams from each game will be identified as Team White (home team) and Team Red (away team). The event kicked off on February 9 with a Rivalry Series game between Canada and the USA. Hockey Canada is providing players with jerseys, toques and helmet stickers as part of the event.

Stettler is also taking the IIHF Global Game a step further and engaging multiple levels of its female program to make it an unforgettable experience. Stettler’s U11 Tier 2 Blue team precedes the Global Girls Game event with a game against Camrose Red at 11:15 a.m, while the U18 Tier 1 Storm play game one of their RMFHL playdowns against the Lethbridge Cyclones at 4:15 p.m.


Hockey Alberta Offers Stream – Goaltending 2 Clinic

Hockey Alberta is pleased to welcome the return of the Instructional Stream - Goaltending 2 clinics this month.

The Instructional Stream Goaltending 2 Clinic will take a deep dive into the position as well as the structure and philosophy of coaching it. Attendees are expected to enter the clinic with an understanding of the position and will leave with a deeper knowledge of the structure and skills necessary to teach the position.

Coaches will be given the opportunity to set forth questions and learning objectives that they find prevalent in their experiences coaching the position. The structure for this clinic will allow for coaches to learn in a classroom environment for a deeper dive into the philosophy and tactics of the position as well as the opportunity to get on the ice and gain first hand practical experience in teaching.

Hosted by Matt Weninger, Manager, Goalie Development, there are two clinics available for goalies this month. The first clinic will take place in St. Albert on February 19, while the second clinic will take place in Calgary on February 23.


Clinic 1:

Date: February 19, 2024

Time: 6:15-10:15 p.m.

Location: Servus Credit Union Place, St. Albert


Clinic 2:

Date: February 23, 2024

Time: 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Location: World Pro Goaltending, Calgary


Should you have any questions, please contact Matt Weninger, Manager, Goalie Development.


Korea University men’s hockey team facing ACAC competition

RED DEER – The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) had an international flavour the past month, as Alberta teams welcomed the Korea University Tigers for a set of exhibition contests.

The Tigers, who are based in Seoul, began their trip to Alberta on January 12 against the Concordia University (Edmonton) Thunder, with Concordia winning 4-3 in overtime. Korea University would follow that up with games against NAIT, Portage College, Augustana and Briercrest. A game against SAIT was cancelled due to the injury bug hitting the Trojans roster.

Mark Kosak, Chief Executive Officer of the ACAC, said that the planning for this exhibition tour started in September when Korea University played Augustana in a pair of exhibition matchups.

“The Korean team was here in Canada, exploring the opportunity to play some Canadian competition,” Kosak said. “They’re the dominant university team in Korea so they were here for a couple of exhibition games.”

While the team was in country, the Tigers had their eyes set on potentially playing more games against ACAC oppositions.

“They reached out to my office to see if they could discuss the prospects of joining the ACAC at some point in the near future … it seemed like a crazy idea at the time that they’d want to play in our conference,” Kosak said. “We met so I could get a better understanding of their vision. One of the requirements was for them to return this year and play our teams to see if they were competitive and could legitimately be an ACAC team.”

The Tigers proved they could hang with their Alberta counterparts, defeating Portage College 7-3 and losing a pair of close games to NAIT and Augustana. The Tigers wrapped up their trip with a 5-1 loss to top ranked Briercrest College.

“It did surprise me, it shouldn’t have because they wouldn’t have asked for this opportunity or gone on this tour, unless they were confident that they could be competitive,” Kosak said. “They did their research, I give them credit, because they knew the level of playing the ACAC, and they felt that they could compete with our ACAC athletes. What we’ve observed is that they’re highly skilled, and they’re very structured.”

The team has since put in their application to play in the ACAC as early as next season. Their application is currently under review with a decision coming in May. There are a lot of logistics to sort through to make this a feasible option. Would Korea University play all road games? Would they have a home base in Canada? Kosak said that the two sides were working on piecing a possible solution together.

“It’s got a whole lot of moving parts and it’s not something that’s happening quickly. But the plan is that they would relocate to Calgary and play their games out of Seven Chiefs Sportsplex,” Kosak said. “They would move to Calgary in October, with the entire team, a delegation of support staff plus about 30 players, and they would stay in Calgary until the end of March and fulfill a schedule just like every other ACAC team.”

The academic year in South Korea is different than it is in Canada. The first semester begins in March and ends in the middle of July, then starts up again in August and goes until the middle of February. Exhibition games in the ACAC begin in September and conference play typically begins in mid October. Korean students would take online courses for the duration of their time in Canada and return in March once the season is over.

“It’s unique. The notion of them joining our league is entirely out of the box. No one else has ever done this, thought about it or been approached for it,” Kosak said. “I’m very proud of our conference that we are open minded because the easy decision would have been to say, no, no, we can’t do this. It’s crazy. Let’s not even spend the effort, the time and effort. I think everyone involved has an obligation to the sport of hockey to do what we can to contribute to the growth of hockey around the world. The ACAC has always been limited in what we can do in that respect. But this is our opportunity to help grow hockey in South Korea.”

The ACAC currently has seven teams, with bye weeks incorporated into the schedule so adding an eighth team to the conference would allow for teams to play games on a more frequent basis.


Regulation and Playing Rule Amendment

Hockey Alberta is currently accepting recommendations for additions, deletions and/or
amendments to the regulations of Hockey Alberta.

Any Member in good standing is eligible to submit a proposal for change, provided that the
change is for their respective stream/ level of hockey. Categories of Member Organizations are:

a. Minor Hockey Association
b. Senior or Junior League
c. Accredited School
d. Recreational Hockey Program
e. Para Hockey Program

All proposals must be submitted to the Hockey Alberta Office, using the proper submission form,
through the Member’s respective President and/ or General Manager (Executive Director). The
form must be completed in its entirety and must be accompanied by detailed rationale outlining
why the amendment is required and the positive impact it would have on the players/ game:

Hockey Alberta Regulation Amendment Form

Proposals for changes to the Hockey Alberta Regulations must be submitted prior to February 28,
to be considered for next season.

Submitted proposals will be reviewed and, if deemed necessary, Members may be asked to
review proposals and provide feedback to support Hockey Alberta in making final decisions.

If you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to contact the Hockey
Alberta office.



Female Hockey Day 2024 takes on Fort McMurray

FORT MCMURRAY – The focus is on Fort McMurray, as Hockey Alberta hosts its annual Female Hockey Day celebrations at the Frank Lacroix Arena this weekend.

Female Hockey Day, presented by ATB, celebrates female hockey, and brings together players, coaches, officials, parents, and volunteers to participate in the continued development and growth of female hockey, January 26-27.

While Fort McMurray is the hosting site for this year’s event, 12 other communities in Alberta are hosting Female Hockey Day celebrations, thanks to grant money provided by the Hockey Alberta Foundation. Different events are planned in Castor and Coronation (3Cs), Fort Saskatchewan, Grovedale, Jasper, Lacombe (Lacoka), Slave Lake, Smoky River, Spruce Grove, Vermilion, and Whitecourt. Lakeland College and Lloydminster as well as Thorhild and Redwater are co-hosting events.

“Female Hockey Day is a great way to celebrate all aspects of the girls’ game across Alberta,” said Morgen Kidney, Hockey Alberta’s coordinator of female hockey. “It’s exciting to see how many associations will be joining in this weekend through their own events; we have over a dozen MHAs hosting in conjunction with our main event in Fort McMurray. We’re thrilled to be up here for 2024 and to focus and celebrate the growth they’ve had over the past few seasons.”

In Fort McMurray there are several events taking place over the weekend for registered teams and youth hockey players. Day 1 features sessions on Goal Scoring and Defensive Skills. The Goal Scoring session allows skaters to learn how to apply their offensive skills to the game, while the Defensive Skills program focuses on improving defensive skills, tactics, and fundamentals. A school program is also taking place at Good Shepherd Community School.

Day 2 allows youth females to play the sport for the first time with a Try Hockey event. This will be used to learn the basics and get a feel for the game. Try Hockey includes both an on-ice session and off-ice activity/ classroom session. In the afternoon, Goaltending Development is the focus for current female goaltenders, with a variety of fundamentals covered by some of Alberta’s best goaltending instructors.

Female Hockey Day was first celebrated in 2018, and has previously visited Red Deer, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, and Calgary before coming to Fort McMurray.

Celebrating Female Hockey Day in your own community? Share with us by tagging Hockey Alberta on social media and use the hashtag - #whyweplay.

For more information on Female Hockey Day, visit


Former NHLer Cory Sarich finding his place in the broadcasting world

RED DEER – Going from being a professional hockey player to retirement can be tough for some athletes.

For former NHL defenceman Cory Sarich, he found a relatively smooth transition from the ice to the broadcast booth.

Sarich played parts of 15 seasons in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche, suiting up in 969 games, amassing 158 points and over 1,000 penalty minutes while also appearing in 57 playoff games. He won the Stanley Cup in 2004 with Tampa Bay.

He transitioned to the broadcasting world once he retired, making a regular appearance on the Sportsnet telecast as an intermission analyst during Calgary Flames home games.

“I’d had people mention it towards the end of my career. I think conveying my thoughts while on camera, it never seemed to be much of an issue for me,” Sarich said of his post hockey career which also includes a number of charity events, such as Glencross Invitational that took place in October. The charity hockey tournament raises funds for the Hockey Alberta Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities® Alberta.

“Maybe it’s because I talk a lot too. Someone told me ‘Hey we think you might be good at filling some air time and filling some dead air’.”

Photo: Ellery Platts

Photo: Ellery Platts

While Sarich has made the move to the media look smooth, he said it wasn’t something that he actively pursued.

“I knew when I was done hockey that I was going to take time for my family. Now I have a bunch of teenagers so I’m starting to have a bit more time on my hands, but it’s not easy, the transition into post career,” Sarich said. “I am at a great spot in my career now, as a freelancer of sorts with Sportsnet. I still have lots of time with my family, and it’s in a great spot. Some athletes are very prepared, some are a little more unprepared, but you just kind of roll with the punches after your career is done.”

While making that career move wasn’t planned or necessarily thought out, Sarich always had a lot of respect for those who did the job while he was playing.

“At times you have different relationships as a player with the media. At times you think they know nothing and other times you think ‘you know what they can help boost my career’,” Sarich said. “I always tried to treat people with the utmost respect, and it always seemed very interesting to me. The way that they come up with stories, the time and commitment they put into following one specific team, players, whatever it is.

He said he was also fortunate to have some quality people help him with the move to the other side of the microphone.

“I was fortunate enough to be given a chance by the likes of Roger Millions. Ryan Leslie has put some faith in me, so it’s been an easy transition,” Sarich said. “Especially when you’re talking about the sport of hockey. I’m just trying to learn every day from the professionals. As a player you only get to see one side of it, but now that I’m on the other side, you see the prep work … you can’t just talk about the game itself. You’ve got to dig up stories and have a relationship with the players. You also must find the balance between being complimentary and critical.”

Hockey and broadcasting have more similarities than the average person might recognize, starting with pre-game preparation.

“As a player I was always prepared and you need to be prepared going on TV or radio, just so you aren’t tripping over your own tongue,” Sarich said. “There are some other things that are similar between the two … poise, thinking on your feet, teamwork. It might be Ryan Leslie kicking me under the table, telling me to get out, I’m taking too long, and we need to go to break or bailing me out when that thought doesn’t come into my head. So, there’s a lot of similarities between the two and I’m really enjoying myself.”


Ladd Foundation’s 1616 initiative helping youth teams focus on mental fitness and wellbeing

RED DEER – Two-time Stanley Cup champion Andrew Ladd and his wife Brandy are ensuring that youth hockey teams across Alberta and North America are focusing on their mental, physical, and social well-being through their 1616 initiative.

1616 focuses on making those three traits a more significant focus for youth hockey. It’s also looking to shift the culture in minor hockey to one that not only emphasizes hockey performance, but also development of character, confidence, and connections through environments both with parents and coaches that promotes this healthy development.

"Having grown up in the game I understand the challenges players face,” said Andrew Ladd. “At 1616 we are intentionally leveraging stories of the top athletes in our game to teach the next generation that in every challenge lies an opportunity to strengthen your mind and grow as a person."

The program is designed by a team of experts to create a 16-module experience with video content from some of the best hockey players in the world including Adam Oates, Blayre Turnbull, and Mark Giordano. It features guided in-person discussion prompts for coaches and parents, as well as on-ice drills to enhance on-ice performance, and challenges to help participants apply 1616 principles.

The benefits of 1616 have already been noticed from players, teams and parents who have previously participated in the initiative. 1616 has grown exponentially, as the pilot project in 2021 had 500 participants across North America.

Since then, it has grown to 88 teams across North America including 36 teams from Alberta in 2022 and more than 200 teams in 2023 with over 100 teams coming from this province.

The Hockey Alberta Foundation has played a key role in the success and growth of 1616, partnering with the Ladd Foundation through two donations totalling $120,000 in the last year.

"This program was recommended to the team by a family physician and we’re having a great experience. My son is very introverted and quiet, and it’s been great for helping him think about how to build more connections with his teammates... and the resilience aspect, seeing famous hockey players have a similar experience as him has been meaningful. At this age of 10-12 years old, they’re starting to understand the world and become self conscious, so it’s great."

1616 Parent/ Caregiver

"I would like to say thank you to the program... I can feel that my son is being shaped and developed mentally along his hockey path. It is much more difficult for parents to communicate or teach our children directly, especially when they are transitioning to teenagers. With the program saying it, the program, coaches and players are actually working as a team, and it seems quite effective. You have full support from our family. Cheers to 1616."

1616 Parent/ Caregiver

In the 2023 season 1616 expanded its reach. The program launched a school partnership with Edge School in Calgary where more than 40 families enrolled into a facilitated 1616 experience. The Ladd Foundation also took 1616 and partnered with Jumpstart to bring to bring the experience to new communities across Canada. On top of that, The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers Foundations partnered with 1616 to bring expanded support and awareness to teams across the province, which resulted in more Alberta based teams participating than anywhere else in North America.

“Every parent wants the best for their kids, whether that’s opportunity or health,” Ladd said. “Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to be able to provide those things to their children. We have great compassion for those parents and if we can alleviate some of the stress that comes with facing these issues, we want to help.”

For more information on 1616, registration or placing a donation please visit


Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup Returns for Season 8

The Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup program is making its return once again for its eighth season!

To date, the program has had a wide positive impact on hockey communities, achieving more than 1,000 Good Deeds and donating over $700,000 to charities all over the country.

Hockey Alberta has watched proudly as Alberta teams such as the U13 Canmore Eagles (2021) and the Lloydminster Female U13 Blazers (2022) became finalists for the program, with the Blazers becoming the first Alberta team and the first female team to win the Good Deeds Cup.

The Blazers charity donation was to Inclusion Lloydminster, an organization that advocates on behalf of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families, with the goal of meaningful family life and community inclusion.

This season, the 2024 Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup is all about doing as many good deeds as possible, no matter the size and scope of the good deed. This year, the target is a minimum of 150 teams across Canada, completing over 1,500 good deeds. Teams are encouraged to do multiple ‘smaller’ and more frequent good deeds as opposed to one big deed. These deeds will add to your team’s total – players on these teams are welcome to also do individual deeds, which will also add to your team total. In addition to this, members of the community can complete good deeds themselves on behalf of their team. Big or small, there’s so many ways to add to your team’s total for good deeds!

Good Deeds will be tracked online via a live leaderboard on the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup website. The program runs until March 3.

Upon completion of a deed, teams/individuals are asked to submit their completed good deed online via picture or video on any social channel available, tagging the following:

  • @ChevroletCanada
  • #GoodDeedsCup
  • #Contest
  • #MinorHockeyTeamName + Age Division + Level (ex. #CanmoreEaglesU13A)

This program is open to U11, U13 and U15 teams registered with Hockey Canada/ Hockey Alberta. The champion of the Good Deeds Cup receives a $100,000 donation to the registered Canadian charity of their choice.


In addition, the first 150 teams to complete and submit a good deed online are rewarded with Team Kits, with contents valuing around $400. These kits feature:

  • Branded toques
  • Towels
  • Stick tape
  • Stickers
  • A letter from the Season 7 winners with some tips and tricks on how to get started.
  • The box the Kits are sent in can are branded Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup and are to be repurposed for additional good deeds, such as a canned goods donation box or toy drive box

The 150 teams who win a Team Kit will be connected to their local Chevrolet dealerships to increase community impact!


Prospects Cup 2024 Regional Camp Registration Reminder & Details


RED DEER - Registration for the 2024 Prospects Cup Regional Camps opens on Monday, January 22 at 4 pm (MT) on the Hockey Alberta and Prospects Cup websites.

All 2011-born male players, registered with a Hockey Alberta-sanctioned Minor Hockey Association or are eligible to register for a Regional Camp and try out for the Prospects Cup.

Positions at the four Regional Camp tryouts are limited and awarded based on the order that registration is completed and confirmed in the online registration system. Regional Camps are scheduled for the weekend of April 12-14 at the following locations:

  • South (Olds Sportsplex - Olds)
  • Calgary (Don Hartman NESS – Calgary)
  • Capital (The Meadows - Edmonton)
  • North (Wally Fedun – Vegreville)


Prior to Regional Camp registration, please review the Prospects Cup registration directory to determine in which region your child resides.


Athletes are only permitted to register for the region in which they reside and the position (goaltender, defence or forward) for which they wish to be considered for the Prospects Cup. Any athlete who registers for an incorrect region or position may have their registration refunded (less an admin fee) and is not guaranteed a spot at to the Regional Camp tryout, subject to position availability in the correct region.

Please ensure you have your athlete’s Alberta Health Number when registering. This is a required field. Player Hockey ID numbers are not required.

The cost to participate in a Regional Camp is $250 (plus tax and admin fee) and includes:

  • Four ice sessions
  • One practice jersey
  • Three zoom webinars in March to help athletes prepare for the Regional Camp, and learn more about Short Term Competition, and the Team Alberta program.

Once registered, a confirmation email will be sent to the billing email. Athletes who register will be sent webinar information in February. Approximately one week prior to Regional Camp weekend, rosters and schedules for the tryouts are sent to each player.


It is expected that registration will fill up quickly on January 22. In the event the region and position your child falls within, or the registration in its entirety is sold out at the time you try and register, do not attempt to register for another position or camp. Instead, please do the following:

  • Email Hudson Kelly ([email protected]) to be added to a waitlist
  • In your email, provide the following information for the player you are looking to add to the waitlist:
    • Full name,
    • Position (F,D,G),
    • Region (South, Calgary, Capital, North)
    • Date of Birth
    • Current team


Two teams of 20 players are selected from each Regional Camp to compete at the Prospects Cup, May 8-12. The cost for those selected for the Prospects Cup is being finalized (usually approximately $1000 per player) and includes:

  • 5 days and 4 nights of accommodations and meals (including busing to offsite meals) at the event
  • One practice on Wednesday of the event
  • One practice on either Thursday or Friday
  • 4 games from Thursday - Sunday
  • Team jersey and socks
  • Team Alberta apparel


Brayden Arcand officiates in World Junior A Challenge

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta official Brayden Arcand was part of the officiating crew selected to work the World Junior A Challenge December 10-17 in Truro, Nova Scotia.

“It was a great experience. It was my first international experience in a while and Hockey Canada did a good job making sure that it was ran professionally,” Arcand said. “The volunteers and the town of Truro were great hosts and the support the tournament had was strong. It was a great overall experience for me.”

Not only was Arcand one of the few officials selected to referee games in the tournament, he was part of the crew that earned the right to officiate the gold medal final between Canada West and Canada East.

“I think any time an official gets asked to be part of a tournament, the end goal is to do the last game,” Arcand said. “Anytime you get selected it’s a really good feeling. It’s a feather in your cap for all the hard work you put in over the course of the tournament as well as the season. There are so many good officials to pick from, it was an honour to get selected.”

This isn’t the first high-level event in which Arcand has taken part. The 32-year-old has called games throughout several AJHL playoffs, an AJHL final and the Centennial Cup. He said the World Junior A Challenge is up there with those accomplishments.

“It’s hard for me to rank them honestly,” he said. “I think getting to officiate in a national championship such as the Centennial Cup is definitely an honour. The World Junior A Challenge has a different flair to it, it’s a little bit shorter and there is a smaller group of teams so there’s much more focus on each game…. I think it’d be hard to rank them because they’re all special in their own way and I’m happy to be part of them.”

Arcand has been an official since he was 13 and has made it part of his full-time occupation over the past 10 years.

“Right now, I’m just taking it day-by-day. You always try and set goals for yourself … and I’ve been very lucky to achieve some of those goals,” he said. “But with where I’m at with my career outside of hockey and my family, I think taking it day-by-day is the best thing for me right now.”

Numerous sports, including hockey, look to recruit new officials each year, but there are challenges, especially when it comes to abusive behaviour from coaches, players and fans.

“My brother was one of those officials that got abused as a young official and he quit,” Arcand said. “I don’t know why we’re so hard on our young officials …. At the end of the day, we were losing such a high number of officials.”

But Arcand also has a positive message for those who are hesitant to dip their toes into the officiating world.

“For me officiating helped me in a lot of different areas. It’s helped me with my communication, professionalism, and learning to be part of a team … there’s so many aspects that you can translate over to the real world that are very important. It also helped me stay close to the game I love. A lot of officials just love hockey and being part of it in any capacity is a plus. I think officiating is a good way of doing that, being able to balance your work and social life, I’ve gotten to travel all over North American to referee a hockey game so there are a lot of benefits that come with officiating as well. I always look back and am grateful to becoming an official because it helped me get to a lot of place I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to as a player.”


Three U18 teams being added in Elite Female Hockey

The highest levels of elite female hockey in Alberta are increasing by three teams for the 2024-25 season.

The Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) U18 AAA division is expanding to eight teams with the addition of teams within Hockey Calgary and Sherwood Park Minor Hockey Association.

There will also be a U18 Female Accredited School team operated by OHA Edmonton.

The new teams are the result of work over the past two years where Hockey Alberta has engaged several parties to help measure the successes of the Elite Female Hockey Model and where the model can be improved. Remaining focused on the principles of the model, the recent growth of female hockey has been evaluated, along with the opportunities available for players to progress within Alberta’s female hockey system.

The Elite Female Hockey Model was implemented in the 2016-17 season, after a three-year independent review commissioned by Hockey Alberta in 2013. The model established provincial criteria for the number of teams permitted at each level within the Elite system. The U18 AAA division was reduced from 11 teams to six; Accredited School expansion of female hockey programs was put on hold; and the AA system was created to help players develop their skills at the right level for their age, and to help them progress to the next level of hockey.

Since 2016 and the implementation of the new model, registration numbers for female players in Alberta have increased by 22 per cent overall. This includes a 28 per cent increase in registration at the U15 level, 38 per cent at U13, and 41 per cent at U11.

The first portion of the current review of elite female hockey saw two changes to the AFHL implemented for this season (2023-24):

  • creation of a U13 AA division to provide a competitive all-female entry point for female athletes to access elite hockey.
  • expansion to 14 teams within the U15 AA division to provide more opportunities for the increased numbers of female players in the system.

Hockey Alberta Bulletins 2023-24 >


50/50 jackpots claimed

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta was pleased to partner with Hockey Canada for the 2024 World Junior Hockey Championship 50/50 Draw, with all proceeds being invested into grassroots initiatives, directly impacting the capacity of local leaders and our members to deliver a positive experience for all participants throughout Alberta.

The winners of the three jackpot draws are shown below:

  • Draw 1: Jackpot = $147,080.00; Prize Amount = $73,540.00; Winning Ticket = A-100039327; Winner = Karen Traverse
  • Draw 2: Jackpot = $164,500.00; Prize Amount = $82,250.00; Winning Ticket = A-100608203; Winner = Trevor Brady
  • Draw 3: Jackpot = $91,850.00; Prize Amount = $45,925.00; Winning Ticket = A-100214053; Winner = Riley Herzog

For early-bird prizes and winners, click the link below:



Hockey Alberta’s 2023 Year in Review

RED DEER – The 2023 hockey season was an eventful one. Hockey Alberta wants to highlight all the amazing athletes, coaches, volunteers, teams and people that are intertwined into the fabric of the sport across the province.

To celebrate the achievements of those who made an impact throughout the season, Hockey Alberta wanted to recognize 10 stories from this past year that represent what the game of hockey should be about in this year’ version of the Year in Review.

Without further ado, here are those impactful stories from the year 2023.

Hayleigh Craig’s journey to USports ran through the National Women’s U18 Championship

Hayleigh Craig is a key member on the fifth ranked Alberta Golden Pandas hockey team, but before she was trying to help the Pandas win its ninth USports national championship she was competing for Team Alberta at the 2019 National Women’s U18 Championship in Morden and Winkler, Manitoba. The female game has taken a huge leap even since 2019 in the province, as Craig’s team finished sixth at the event, while the 2023 edition of the U18 squad qualified for the bronze medal game. Female hockey is one of the fastest growing sports in Alberta with nearly 8,000 females participating in the sport. There are several initiatives to continue that growth, such as Female Hockey Day, Global Girls Game and World Girls Ice Hockey Weekend.


Hockey Alberta giving an assist

Hockey Alberta believes everybody should have the opportunity to play hockey. The Hockey Alberta Foundation raised or donated more than $1.8 million that was used to support over 80 communities and programs across the province for the 2022-23 season. These programs included: the 11.4 Maltreatment Campaign, school programs, Female Hockey Day, Every Kid Every Community (EKEC) grants, Future Leaders, Hockey Alberta Member Grant, Who’s Hockey and volunteer recognition. Some examples of where these funds are going: Hockey Alberta raised $150,000 for the Every Kid Every Community program while the foundation also awards a maximum of $20,000 per member organization as part of the Hockey Alberta Member Grant - supported by the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. Hockey Alberta also donated $90,000 towards Andrew Ladd’s 1616 campaign, a 16-week mental, physical and social wellbeing experience for youth hockey teams. The Hockey Alberta Foundation supports those who need us, those who lead us and those who came before us.


When Connection Meets Opportunity

Once his playing career was over, 23-year-old Brett Kramers started his coaching journey when he was 18, becoming the goaltending coach with South Side Athletic Club. After going through Hockey Alberta’s development programs, five years later he is the youngest head coach in the Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL) assuming the role of bench boss with the U17 AAA Fort Saskatchewan South Fort Chev Rangers. Kramers was given the chance to advance quickly due to the opportunities available to young coaches in the province. Future Coaches and Future Leaders programs are designed to develop and train young coaches who have shown an interest in the position. Coaches can progress to volunteer coaching positions for various Spring Showcase events which are core Hockey Alberta Elite Development program that provides athletes, staff and on-ice officials an opportunity to grow for the next step in their hockey journey.






Rob Virgil and Loren Krukowski recognized as Hockey Alberta Life Members

Hockey Alberta celebrated two new Life Members in 2023 - Loren Krukowski and Rob Virgil – recognizing their decades of volunteer service to minor hockey in the province. Life Member is the highest and most prestigious honour that may be bestowed by Hockey Alberta, and recognizes the integral roles played by thousands of volunteers across the province in ensuring that amateur hockey operates on a daily basis at the grassroots regional and provincials levels. Krukowski started his volunteer work in Warburg; Virgil in Edmonton. A candidate for Life Member will have enhanced the recognition of Hockey Alberta at the National or International level, and/or made an outstanding contribution to the development of hockey in Alberta.




Everyone needs a Budd

Selected as Hockey Alberta’s 2023 Player of the Year presented by ATB, goaltender Ryley Budd made more of an impact than just his .916 save percentage. The 15-year-old from Calgary, who played in the Alberta Elite Hockey League, made waves off the ice when he teamed up with EnerCorp where he donated $1 for every save and $10 for every shutout to donate to HEROS Hockey. The Hockey Alberta Player of the Year is given out annually to a player who has achieved significant achievements, performances and contributions within amateur hockey during the current season, and is one of the Hockey Alberta Awards presented annually to deserving recipients across the province.


2023 Induction Class for the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame

The 2023 Induction Class for the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame highlighted two areas of significant growth in our sport.

Karen Kost was honoured for the 34 years she spent as a hockey referee, linesperson, mentor, instructor and administrator. She officiated at almost every level of hockey nationally and internationally and was the first female official in Canada to earn Level 5 certification. Officials recruitment and development is a key responsibility for Hockey Alberta - ensuring every game across the province has trained and certified officials, and providing opportunities for qualified officials to work at higher levels, including world championship events.



The Edmonton Chimos, from 1983-1993, were honoured for their decade of excellence in women’s hockey. Over the course of the decade, the Chimos earned three gold medals, four silver medals, and three bronze medals at the national championships, marking not only their dominance but also their leadership in the growth of women’s hockey in Alberta.






You belong, Maltreatment does not

Racism has no place in our game. After overhearing racial slurs during one of their games, the Hinton Havocs decided to act, including entering Hockey Alberta’s Maltreatment Awareness contest (in partnership with the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation), to bring awareness to Maltreatment happening in the game. Eliminating maltreatment from hockey is a significant focus for Hockey Alberta. November 2022 saw the inaugural Maltreatment Awareness Day (11.4 Day), and the day was recognized again in 2023 with Hockey Alberta partnering with 17 AAA and AA programs around the province to circulate ‘These Don’t Belong’ banners. Hockey Alberta is also accepting applications for Hockey Alberta’s Local Hockey Leaders EDI Grant, to help minor hockey organizations across the province in how they deal with equity, diversity and inclusion challenges. The program provides up to $5,000 in funding towards general EDI fundamentals training, or a specific awareness and education project.


A family affair

Hockey is a family affair for the Obobaifo brothers. After their parents moved to Alberta from Nigeria, Charles, Aaron, and Kyle fell in love with the game and the sibling love and rivalry followed. The trio of brothers have been mainstays in Hockey Alberta’s Team Alberta development programs, with Charles participating in the Prospects Cup and Alberta Cup; Kyle in the Prospects Cup in 2022; and Aaron at the Canada Winter Games. Team Alberta programming is crucial to the development of players in Alberta. The Prospects Cup and Alberta Cup features opportunities for minor hockey players to be identified for potential positions at higher level events such as the WHL Cup, Canada Winter Games, World U17 Hockey Challenge, World Junior A Challenge and World Junior Hockey Championships. On the female side, the Alberta Challenge is a core Hockey Alberta Female Development program, providing players, coaches, therapists, equipment managers, administrators and referees an equal opportunity to discover the great qualities of competitive hockey.


Just go for it

Sadie Makokis knows a thing or two about representing Team Alberta. Makokis is a freshman defender for the University of New Hampshire Wildcats, and was able to end her minor hockey career on a positive note. During the 2022-23 season, she laced up the skates for her province at the Canada Winter Games and at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship where she represented the Saddle Lake Cree Nation. In 2023 Hockey Alberta partnered with the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta to oversee and coordinate the selection process for the coaches and players representing the province of Alberta at the championships. It also includes recruiting and selecting the Indigenous coaching staff, registration and selection camp for the players looking to participate in the tournament, team training, and designing the uniforms.


National Volunteer Week: Ben Woodlock

Teenager Ben Woodlock proves that volunteers can come in all ages. After having undergone two kidney transplants and his small stature, his future playing the sport he loved became uncertain. Insert Geoff Giacobbo, the head coach for the AEHL’s U15 St. Albert Raiders Sabres who approached Ben to join him on the staff last season as an apprentice coach. Volunteers are an integral part of the sport. Janet Fairless (Grimshaw) was named the 2023 Hockey Alberta Volunteer of the Year. Fairless has volunteered with Hockey Alberta for over a decade in a variety of roles including serving on the Minor Administration Committee, volunteering with Junior B teams, and has been a registrar with senior male and female teams. Hockey Alberta has recognized several volunteers for their hard work and dedication to the game of hockey.





Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays from Hockey Alberta!

Staff at Hockey Alberta would like to wish you and your families Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. The Hockey Alberta office is closed on December 25, 26, 27, and January 1. Regular office hours resume Tuesday, January 2.


Zone teams announced for 2024 Alberta Winter Games

RED DEER – The teams competing at the 2024 Alberta Winter Games have been announced for the U15 AA Male and U13 AA Female competition.

For the Male competition, U15 AA teams declared their interest in representing their zone by October 12. The team in each zone with the highest win percentage in its respective league, as of December 19, was selected to compete at the Games. Male teams competing at the Alberta Winter Games are:

Alberta Winter Games - Male Competition

Zone 1 – Sunny South

Lethbridge Hurricanes

Zone 2 – Big Country

Okotoks Oilers

Zone 3 – Calgary

Calgary Royals White

Zone 4 – Parkland

Camrose Vikings

Zone 5 – Black Gold/Yellowhead

Strathcona Warriors

Zone 6 – Edmonton

South Side Athletic Club Innovation Physio

Zone 7 – North Eastern Alberta

Lakeland Panthers

Zone 8 – Peace Country

Peace River Sabres

For the Female competition, U13 AA teams in the Alberta Female Hockey League participated in playdown games from December 3-10 to identify the eight teams participating in the Alberta Winter Games. Female teams competing at the Alberta Winter Games are:

Alberta Winter Games - Female Competition

Zone 1 – Sunny South

Southern Express

Zone 2 – Big Country

Rocky Mountain Raiders

Zone 3 – Calgary

Calgary Fire White

Zone 4 – Parkland

Central Alberta Twins

Zone 5 – Black Gold/Yellowhead

St. Albert Raiders Bolts

Zone 6 – Edmonton

Edmonton Ice Blue

Zone 7 – North Eastern Alberta

Lloydminster Western Financial Steelers

Zone 8 – Peace Country

Norlan Ram PCFAC Storm

The Alberta Winter Games are scheduled to take place February 16-19 in Grande Prairie.


2024 Provincial Championship hosts announced

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce the host communities for the 2024 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB.

Host communities for 25 of the 33 provincial championships have been confirmed. Five events are still in need of hosts (deadline for submissions is today). The remaining three provincial champions are determined through league playoffs.

Championship tournaments are being hosted in locations across the province – from Peace River to Okotoks, and Cold Lake to Grande Cache.

2024 Provincial Hosts >

ATB is returning as the presenting sponsor of the 2024 Provincial Sponsorships.

Participating teams for the provincial championship tournaments are determined through league playoffs.

Most Minor tiered provincial championships feature eight teams – the host, the champions from each division’s respective leagues, and one or more wild cards. Most Minor Female events feature six teams. Hockey Alberta’s Tiered and Female leagues include: Hockey Calgary, Edmonton Federation Hockey League, Central Alberta Hockey League, All Peace Hockey League, North Eastern Alberta Hockey League, Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League, and East Central Female Hockey League.

Week one (March 21-24) is the busiest weekend, with the following tournaments on the schedule: U18 Female AAA, U18 Female Tier 1, U16 AA, U15 AAA, U15 AA, U15 Female AA, U15 Tier 1, U15 Tier 1 NBC, U15 Tier 2, U15 Tier 3, U13 Tier 1, U13 Tier 2, U13 Tier 3, U13 Tier 4, and U13 Female Tier 1, and U13 Female Tier 2.

Week two (March 28-31) features: Junior C, U18 Female AA, U18 AA, U18 Tier 1, U18 Tier 2, U18 Tier 3, U15 Female Tier 1, U13 Female AA and U13 AA.

The final weekend (April 3-7) showcases Junior B and U17 AAA.

Junior A, Junior Female, and U18 AAA provincial champions are decided through league playoffs.

The following events still require a host, and will be cancelled if no bid applications are received: U18 Female Tier 2, U15 Tier 1 NBC and U13 Female Tier 1 (March 21-24); U18 Tier 1 NBC and U15 Female Tier 2 (March 28-31).

For all the details on this year’s Provincial Championship, please visit the new-look Provincials website at


Seven Albertans chosen to represent Canada at 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships

RED DEER – Seven individuals are representing the province at the upcoming 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships December 26-January 5 in Gothenberg, Sweden.

Matthew Savoie of St. Albert, Nate Danielson of Red Deer, and Scott Ratzlaff of Irma have been named to the 22-player roster. Shaun Clouston of Viking (Assistant Coach), James Emery of Calgary (Video Coach), Jason Smart of Red Deer (Security Liaison) and Esther Madziya of Lethbridge (Media Relations) are part of the Hockey Canada staff headed to Sweden.

This is the first time any of the three players from the province have suited up for Canada at the World Juniors, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come with a ton of pedigree. Savoie and Danielson were both drafted in the first round of consecutive NHL Drafts. Savoie went ninth overall in 2022 to the Buffalo Sabres, while Danielson went ninth in 2023 to the Detroit Red Wings. Ratzlaff was selected in the fifth round of this most recent draft to Buffalo.

As for international experience, Savoie played for Canada at the World U17 Hockey Challenge in the 2019 season, posting six points in six games. Ratzlaff wore the maple leaf at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, going 4-0 with a 0.50 goals-against-average, .976 save percentage and two shutouts en route to a gold medal. This is the first time donning the red and white for Danielson at an IIHF sanctioned event.

Canada kicks off their tournament against Finland on December 26. Canada’s games throughout the tournament will be broadcasted on TSN. Full schedule can be found below:

December 26

Canada vs Finland

6:30 AM

December 27

Canada vs Latvia

11:30 A.M.

December 29

Canada vs Sweden

11:30 A.M.

December 31

Canada vs Germany

11:30 A.M.

January 2



January 4



January 5

Bronze Medal Game

7:00 A.M.

January 5

Gold Medal Game

11:30 A.M.


Three Albertans representing Canada at 2024 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship

RED DEER – Three Albertans have been asked to represent Canada at the 2024 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship January 6-14 in Zug, Switzerland.

Makayla Watson, from Brooks, was named to the 23-player roster on defence. Fellow Albertans Dylan Rothwell of Calgary (Senior Manager Hockey Operations) and Tyler Roth of Edmonton (Equipment Manager) are looking to play their part in helping Canada win its third consecutive gold medal at the event, after defeating Sweden in 2023, and the United States in 2022.

This is Watson’s first time representing Canada on the international stage. The 17-year-old is having a career season at RINK Hockey Academy in Kelowna, posting 34 points in 15 games. She was named Top Freshman of the Year in the CSSHL in 2022 with the Edge U18 Prep team, and was a member of Team Alberta at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island.

Rockwell has been part of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for seven years. He started as a Student, National Women’s Team Programs, worked his way up to Coordinator, National Teams and Manager, Hockey Operations before being promoted to Senior Manager of Hockey Operations last March.

Roth is in his fourth season with the University of Alberta Pandas, and in his second as the Head Equipment Manager for the team. This is Roth’s first experience with Hockey Canada as an equipment manager, but he worked as a camp equipment manager for Hockey Canada in August and was part of Team Services at the 2022 summer World Junior tournament in Edmonton.

Team Canada will begin its tournament against Germany on January 6. Canada’s games throughout the tournament will be broadcasted on TSN. Full schedule can be found below:

January 6

Canada vs Germany

12:00 P.M.

January 7

Canada vs Czechia

12:00 P.M.

January 9

Canada vs Finland

12:00 P.M.

January 11



January 13



January 14

Bronze Medal Game

7:00 A.M.

January 14

Gold Medal Game

11:00 A.M.


Clouston representing Canada at the 2024 World Junior Hockey Championships

RED DEER – Shaun Clouston’s Christmas plans are going to look a little bit different than what he’s accustomed to.

The 55-year-old from Viking will be behind the bench as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2024 World Junior Hockey Championships December 26 to January 5 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Clouston has represented Canada on the international stage three times before - winning gold medals with Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament (now Hlinka/ Gretzky) in 2014 and 2015, and bronze at the 2016 U18 World Championships.

“It means a lot. It’s a huge honour for me,” Clouston said about his first trip to the World Juniors. “I’m thankful for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting back into the Hockey Canada program…. All of us on the staff have experience in these types of tournaments so it’s our job to help support the players and remove any obstacles they might have so they can play to the best of their abilities.”

Clouston is the General Manager and Head Coach of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers who were last year’s Memorial Cup hosts. He said organization and execution are the two most important keys to success.

“I think the plan heading into a short-term tournament is important. I think Hockey Canada does a really good job of mapping out a plan, making sure everything is taken care of – practices, warmups, cool downs, meals, travel,” Clouston said. “Those things are all incredibly important. The support group from the equipment guys, trainers, mental performance coaches are important as well… so when the tournament starts everyone is on the same page, they know what the vision is and we can all go after the end goal, which is winning a gold medal.”

Clouston grew up in Viking, population 929 (2022 statistics), where he joins an impressive list of players and coaches, including the Sutter family. He takes great pride in representing his hometown on such a big stage.

“It’s pretty cool. You’re proud of where you come from and I sincerely looked up to all the Sutter boys growing up,” Clouston said. “They’re a little bit older than I am, but when you go to a school that’s Kindergarten to Grade 12, you know everybody. They’re all great people, they’ve been extremely supportive and have followed my career as closely as I’ve followed their careers which is pretty amazing to hear. To have those guys set the course for what’s possible, for myself and others is really awesome…. I’m very grateful to be in hockey for this long and have it be a big part of my life and to grow up in Viking and have (the Sutters) lead the way.”


U9 Pilot Project – full-ice option starting February 1

Information Bulletin 23-04

Effective February 1, 2024, Hockey Alberta, along with some Member associations, is implementing a full-ice Pilot Project at the U9 level of the Intro to Hockey program.

The U9 Pilot Project focuses on the adoption of Hockey Canada’s End of Season Phase, allowing teams the option to play 5-on-5 full-ice hockey from February 1 to March 30 each season.

Teams may continue to play half-ice hockey for the full season. The Preparation/ Evaluation and Development phases of Hockey Canada’s U9 Pathway are not impacted by this Pilot.

Participation in the Pilot is optional and is being implemented only for one-time event sanctions.

The Pilot Project is based on the recognition that players are missing game play skills and tactics when they transition from U9 to U11. The Pilot allows players to have more success at U11, allowing more enjoyment of the game.

Feedback was provided by minor hockey associations across Alberta. As well, input was sought from Hockey Canada’s provincial branches across the country. Regardless of whether teams are playing 4-on-4 half-ice, or 5-on-5 full-ice, the focus continues to be on development of individual skills, individual and team tactics for U9 players across the province.

NOTE: League games take priority over one-time event sanctions within the Pilot Project. Failure of a team to fulfill its league obligations may result in discipline, fines and/ or removal of permit/ sanction privileges for the remainder of the season.

For details on the new U9 Full-Ice Transition Pilot Project, and the updated Intro to Hockey model, check the Hockey Alberta website:



Nominate a coach for the BFL Canada Women in Coaching Award

RED DEER – Applications are now open for nominations for the BFL Canada Women in Coaching Award.

There are three different categories to nominate your coach:

Community Coach: Defined as a woman coaching athletes of any age who play and compete in divisions where there is not a national championship identified as a culminating event. (ex. U7-U15 house league coaches, up to A/AA)

Competitive Coach: Defined as a woman coaching athletes who play and compete in divisions where the participants are eligible to compete in national championships, accredited Sport Schools championships, or provincially designated programs of excellence. (ex. Sport Schools, U15-U18 AAA, U22 Elite)

High Performance Coach: Defined as a woman coaching athletes that are above the age of 16 and compete at the USports, Canadian collegiate hockey, or professional levels.

Nominees are required to meet the following criteria in all three categories:

  • Leads by example in demonstrating fair play and sportsmanship,
  • Places the emotional and physical well-being ahead of a personal desire to win,
  • Places an emphasis on equitable participation of all players registered on the team,
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the development of every player and staff member,
  • Treats each player as an individual and understands the range of emotional and physical development,
  • Does her best to provide a safe playing situation for all players,
  • Uses the coaching techniques that are appropriate for the age and skill levels of all players on her team,
  • Must be actively coaching at the female hockey, minor hockey or high-performance levels within the province the nomination originates from,
  • Must be trained and/or certified in the Hockey Canada National Coach Certification Program,
  • Must have completed all elements required to be an active coach,
  • Must be a member in good standing within the Province the nomination originates from.

This is the fifth season for the award. National winners of the award in the community and competitive categories will receive $5,000 bursary and a customized Team Canada jersey. Provincial and territorial winners in the Community and Competitive categories will receive a $1,000 bursary. The national winner in the High Performance category will receive a $5,000 bursary and an invite to Canada’s National Women’s Team camp in September 2024.



Team Staffs announced for 2024 Spring Showcase

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta has selected the 78 volunteers who will lead teams at the 2024 Spring Showcase.

Each team will consist of a director of operations, coach mentor, head coach, two assistant coaches and a trainer. Staff for each Alberta Challenge team also includes an apprentice coach. Some staff members will be listed on a later date.

Staff for each team is listed below.

2024 Alberta Cup Team Staff

2024 Alberta Challenge Team Staff

2024 Prospects Cup Team Staff

The Spring Showcase features the Alberta Cup, Alberta Challenge and Prospects Cup in back-to-back-to-back weekend action, beginning with the Alberta Cup on April 24. Events take place at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer Polytechnic.

Registration for regional camps will open on January 8th for Alberta Cup, January 15th for Alberta Challenge and January 22nd for Prospects Cup.


AFHL U13 Female teams taking part in 2024 Alberta Winter Games playdowns

RED DEER – Sixteen teams in the AFHL U13 AA division will be taking a break from in–season play to vie for the right to compete at the 2024 Alberta Winter Games in Grande Prairie.

Zones with more than one team will see those clubs face off in a playdown series, with the winning team representing the Zone at the Games, February 16-19. Some Zones (two teams) are playing a best-of-three series, while others (three teams) are playing a round-robin and final game.

Zone Breakdown for Eligible Female U3 AA Teams

Zone 1 – Sunny South Southern Express (Zone rep)
Zone 2 – Big Country Airdrie, Okotoks (best-of-three)
Zone 3 – Calgary Calgary Fire Red, Black, White (round-robin)
Zone 4 – Parkland Camrose, Central Alberta (best-of-three)
Zone 5 – Black Gold/Yellowhead North Central, Sherwood Park, St. Albert (round-robin)
Zone 6 – Edmonton Edmonton Ice Blue, White (best-of-three)
Zone 7 – North Eastern Alberta Lakeland, Lloydminster (best-of-three)
Zone 8 – Peace Country Grande Prairie (Zone rep)

In best-of-three series, Airdrie Lightning visit the Rocky Mountain Raiders on Dec. 3; Edmonton Ice Blue and Edmonton Ice White open on Dec. 4; Camrose Wildcats and the Central Alberta Twins open on Dec. 6; and the undefeated first-place Lloydminster Western Financial Steelers take open with Lakeland Panthers on Dec. 7.

The remaining two zones will see three teams playing a round-robin format, with the top two teams squaring off Dec. 10 in the zone final. North Central Impact and St. Albert Raiders Bolts open the Zone 5 playdown on Dec. 5. Calgary Fire Red and Calgary Fire White drop the puck on Dec. 7 to open the Zone 3 playdown.

The full schedule of games in all zones can be found on the Playoffs tab on the U13AA league website.



Bates, Gagnon, Vira return to Hockey Alberta Board

Hockey Alberta News

Michael Bates

Hockey Alberta News

Francois Gagnon

Hockey Alberta News

Al-Amin Vira

RED DEER - Three incumbent directors were re-elected to Hockey Alberta’s Board of Directors during the 116th Annual General Meeting held virtually on November 30.

Al-Amin Vira of Heritage Pointe, Francois Gagnon of Fort McMurray and Michael Bates of Cochrane were elected to three-year terms by the Member organizations in attendance at the AGM.

Biographies and short videos for Vira, Gagnon and Bates can be found on the Hockey Alberta website. They join returning directors Karen Lee, Bill Gourlay, Kirstan Jewell, Danielle Paradis, Allan Mowbray and Len Samletzki (Chair).

In his remarks to the Members, Samletzki recognized the recent announcement of a new Hockey Alberta Life Member - Rob Virgil (Edmonton). A video tribute on Virgil’s career as a hockey volunteer can be found by clicking the link below or going to Hockey Alberta’s YouTube channel.


Five Provincial Championship tournaments in need of hosting sites

RED DEER - Five Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship tournaments need hosts, or they are at risk of being cancelled.

The deadline for host bid submissions was November 15. After the initial review, these five championships were still in need of hosts:

  • U13 Tier 1 Female (March 21-24)
  • U15 Tier 1 NBC (March 21-24)
  • U18 Tier 2 Female (March 21-24)
  • U15 Tier 2 Female (March 28-31)
  • U18 Tier 1 NBC (March 28-31)

Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships are some of the most exciting and high-profile events each season, bringing together the top teams from across the province in each category. The thrill of playing in this exciting event makes hosting a Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship tournament a unique and special opportunity.

December 15 is the deadline to submit bid applications for these five events. All bids must follow the Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships bid guidelines.

Bids should be emailed to Michelle Skilnick, Manager, Events & Community Engagement for Hockey Alberta.


Rob Virgil receives Life Member recognition

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta is proud to announce that Rob Virgil of Edmonton has been recognized with Life Membership status for his decades of service to minor hockey.

Life Membership is the highest honour which may be bestowed by Hockey Alberta, recognizing individuals who have dedicated their time and support to making the game of hockey better in Alberta.

"Rob Virgil has been a dedicated hockey volunteer in Alberta for almost four decades, serving at almost every level of the sport, and he continues to give his time as chair of the Nominations Committee for the Board of Directors,” said Fran Zinger, Chair of the Life Member committee. “We are pleased to be able to recognize his commitment to hockey for life in Alberta.”

Virgil got involved in minor hockey originally coaching his son’s team in the Carlisle area in Edmonton. He eventually became involved at the executive level as a division director, league director and president, district president and chair of the Edmonton Federation Hockey Council and Edmonton AA Hockey Council. He also started a non-contact recreational program in the Edmonton area and played until 2003.

At the provincial level, Virgil first joined Hockey Alberta’s Board of Directors as the Zone 8 Director for the Edmonton area, chairing several Board committees. In 2007, he moved to the executive level, serving as Vice President Operations and Vice President Development, before being elected Hockey Alberta President in 2011. He served as Past Chair from 2013-2019 and he currently is chair of the Board’s nominations committee.

Virgil’s decades of work to improve hockey in Alberta have been recognized locally, provincially and nationally:

  • 2001, President’s Award from the Edmonton Federation Hockey Council
  • 2007, Hockey Alberta Centennial Award
  • 2010, Life Member with the Edmonton Federation Hockey Council
  • 2012, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and
  • 2014, Hockey Canada’s Order of Merit award, as “an individual who has served amateur hockey faithfully.”


In Memoriam - Mike Klass

RED DEER – Mike Klass passed away on Sunday, November 5 at the age of 51.

Mike was a staff member at Hockey Alberta for more than nine years, and his passing leaves an indelible mark on the organization.

“I was lucky and honoured to know Mike as a colleague and close friend. It’s not what was on his job description that defined Mike, it’s the heart and soul that he brought to our organization and every group that he was part of. Mike was one of those people who did so much more than what he was asked. He truly defined our vision, Hockey for Life, and I will miss our day-to-day interactions greatly,” said Rob Litwinski, CEO of Hockey Alberta.

Mike showcased his pride in Hockey Alberta and his dedication to leave the game in a better place in everything he did.

He joined Hockey Alberta in August 2014 as Manager of Internal Alignment. A year later he shifted to Senior Manager, Business Operations, and then progressed to Director, Business Operations in 2018. Recently, he had transitioned to Director, Corporate Services.

During his time at Hockey Alberta, Mike worked closely with the CEO and the Board as part of the executive leadership team. He assisted in the organization’s revised business plan, participated in rebuilding the Hockey Alberta Foundation business plan, and recruited and maintained sponsors and partners over the past five years. He oversaw the financial services, risk management and human resources areas of the organization.

Mike also led a number of projects that had significant impact on the hockey community throughout the province. Those projects included the implementation of renewals of Respect in Sport certification for parents, background screening for on-ice officials, and Hockey Alberta’s move to its current offices in the Gary W. Harris Centre.

But it was as a co-worker and friend that Mike will be best remembered. Whether it was delivering a bag of children’s clothing to a co-worker with young kids, providing advice on how to deal with a difficult situation, or helping organize social activities, Mike cared about his colleagues at Hockey Alberta.


Outside of Hockey Alberta, Mike had a lifelong passion for sports that permeated everything in his life, from his work to his volunteer and community involvement. He was a player, teammate, and coach, as well as a mentor, volunteer, and community leader. He was particularly interested in providing sport and community involvement opportunities in the central Alberta region.

Prior to joining Hockey Alberta, Mike worked for eight years as the Executive Director for the Alberta Sport Development Centre – Central.

He had a key role, starting in 2012, on the Board of Directors of the Bid Host group that brought the 2019 Canada Winter Games to Red Deer. After Red Deer was named the host in 2014, Mike continued as part of the transition team, leading to the creation of the board of directors for the Games. The building of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre was a significant part of the Games legacy in the community.

Mike also was a founding board member and treasurer for Coach Alberta (2010-11), and a founding board member of the Sport Council of Red Deer.

Mike was born in Edmonton before moving to Strasbourg, Saskatchewan as a boy. He attended SIAST – Kelsey Campus in Saskatoon where he completed his Diploma in Recreation and Leisure Studies in 1992. He remained in Saskatoon for several years, where he met and married his wife, Cheryl. Mike and Cheryl moved to Hay River, Northwest Territories, for two years before settling in Red Deer in 2002.

Together they had two sons, Kai and Parker. Mike shared his love of sport with his boys. Often coaching or watching them play the sports they loved, watching a game on TV together or doing an activity with them. Mike loved his family and had a “Dad joke” for everything.

Mike is remembered by his wife Cheryl; sons Kai and Parker; mother Heather Schaeffer; sister, Melanie Loroff; brother-in-law, Corey Loroff; nieces Jaden and Erika Loroff; brother, Scott Klass (Gabrielle), nieces Myelle and Cambrie; fur baby Archie; and numerous cousins, uncles, aunts, in-laws, and friends.

A celebration of Mike’s life was held on Tuesday, November 14 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer Polytechnic, in the Fas Gas – On The Run Gymnasium. To honour Mike, the congregation wore their favourite sports jersey. If you were unable to attend in person, the service was livestreamed via YouTube:

Celebration of Life Livestream >

Memorial donations may be made directly to:

Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed at



2023 Annual General Meeting - Final Notice

Hockey Alberta is hosting its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, November 30. The meeting will be held virtually, using Zoom, starting at 7:00 PM (MST). The agenda and a package of supporting documents for the AGM can be found on the 2023 AGM page on the Hockey Alberta website.


It is important for Executive Members of Member organizations (MHAs, Recreational/ Pond Hockey Programs, Para/ Sledge Hockey Programs, Accredited Schools, Junior Leagues and Senior Leagues) to attend the AGM to exercise your right to vote in the elections and for Notices of Motion. It is also important for sanctioned Minor Hockey Leagues to attend to obtain valuable information.

The Annual Meeting of Hockey Alberta is held within six (6) months of the conclusion of the fiscal year. Hockey Alberta’s fiscal year runs August 1 to July 31. In addition to any other business that may be transacted, the following business shall be conducted this year:

  • The election of three (3) Director positions, each for a three-year term;
  • The presentation of the audited financial statements and report of the auditor;
  • The appointment of the auditor for the ensuing fiscal year; and
  • The report of the Directors, if any.


Hockey Alberta is committed to providing its Members with accurate and current information for review prior to the AGM. The independent auditor’s report and financial statements are posted to the 2023 AGM webpage for review. These documents will be reviewed, and any questions answered as part of the AGM.


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, 4.7 and 4.8 of the Hockey Alberta Bylaws for information about voting privileges/ procedures.

For the purposes of this online meeting, voting will be conducted using the Sport Law’s Simply Voting platform. Only registered Voting Members who complete and submit the online AGM Registration will be included in the voting list and entitled to vote. Please ensure your Member organization’s President/ General Manager has completed the registration process, identifying your voting delegate prior to the Monday, November 20 registration deadline.



Attendance and Voting Instructions will be sent by Hockey Alberta to properly registered voting delegates once the registration deadline has passed. If a voting delegate has not received this email from Hockey Alberta by Monday, November 27, please contact Kevin Macrae so the issue can be resolved.


Hockey Alberta’s Board of Director positions are elected by the members of Hockey Alberta at the AGM. Three (3) Director positions are up for election at this year’s AGM. Each successful candidate will serve a term of three (3) years. Per Hockey Alberta Bylaw 5.2, the final date for nominations to be accepted for Board of Directors elections was October 31, 2023 and therefore the nomination process is now closed.

Per the Hockey Alberta Bylaws, the following recommended candidates will be presented for election as Directors to the Board of Directors at the 2023 Hockey Alberta AGM on Thursday, November 30:

Michael Bates Cochrane
Francois Gagnon Fort McMurray
Al-Amin Vira Heritage Pointe

An introductory video of each candidate can be viewed by clicking on each candidate’s name above, or on the 2023 AGM webpage.

AGM documents available for review on the 2023 AGM webpage:

  1. 2023 Annual General Meeting Agenda
  2. 2022 AGM Minutes
  3. 2022-23 Audited Financial Statements
  4. Nominations Report

PDF version of Information Bulletin 23-03.


Applications open for Hockey Alberta’s Local Hockey Leaders EDI Grant

RED DEER – Applications are now being accepted from Hockey Alberta member organizations for the Local Hockey Leaders EDI Grant program.

The Local Hockey Leaders EDI Grant program provides up to $5,000 in funding towards general EDI fundamentals training, or for a specific awareness and education project proposed by the Member.

“This exciting new grant opportunity is a key part of Hockey Alberta’s strategic objectives towards working with our local hockey leaders across the province to foster more equitable, diverse and inclusive organizations,” said Rob Litwinski, CEO of Hockey Alberta. “Being able to announce the grant on November 4, as part of Hockey Alberta’s second annual Maltreatment Awareness 11.4 Day is very fitting, as we focus on ensuring we have a safe sport environment - free of racism, discrimination, harassment and bullying for all participants.”

The Local Hockey Leaders EDI Grant program is available through the support of the Hockey Alberta Foundation, Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, NHL Legacy Project, and Rogers.

Application deadline is January 8 with grant recipients being announced by the end of January. Full details, and the application form, are available on the Hockey Alberta website.


Successful applicants will be required to activate and complete their program and utilize their funding by June 30.


Maltreatment signage making a difference in Alberta rinks

RED DEER – As part of the second annual Maltreatment Awareness Day (11.4 Day), Hockey Alberta is continuing an initiative that began last season.

Starting last year on November 4 (11.4 Day), Hockey Alberta partnered with 17 AAA and AA programs around the province to circulate ‘These Don’t Belong’ banners.

“Our goal is to nurture a positive hockey culture throughout Alberta,” said Darcy Smith, Manager, Hockey Alberta Foundation, and one of the people who spearheaded the signage project. “We need to eliminate maltreatment in our game in order to achieve this.”

The banners highlight that hockey is a game for everyone and racism, discrimination, sexual mistreatment or harassment, as well as emotional, physical and verbal abuse will not be tolerated. The campaign expanded to sending 1,172 Maltreatment Awareness posters to every hockey facility in Alberta. The final step was completed when each Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host, as well as 16 other associations, was provided with banners to display at their tournaments.

The initiative was started to create awareness around Section 11 (Maltreatment), and more specifically Rule 11.4 (Discrimination) of Hockey Canada’s rule book, while directly connecting Hockey Alberta’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee to the campaign. This was done to show the steps Hockey Alberta is taking as an organization to educate on maltreatment in the game, where it exists and how to identify and report it.

The campaign has had positive feedback thus far on the messaging and impact these banners have had to create awareness.

“This is a great campaign. We welcome it here and will help out wherever we can,” said a member of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Hockey Association.

Due to the positive reviews, Hockey Alberta is continuing the campaign to remind everyone that this type of negative behaviour doesn’t belong in the game of hockey and that everyone belongs in the sport.

Maltreatment Awareness Banner Request Form >


Meaghan Mikkelson announces retirement from hockey

RED DEER – On October 29 at the NHL’s Heritage Classic, St. Albert’s Meaghan Mikkelson announced her retirement from hockey.

“To the little seven-year-old Meaghan with a dream, I am so proud of you. Today, nearly 32 years later, I am officially retiring from professional hockey,” Mikkelson said in a statement posted to social media.

“This chapter of my life has been nothing short of a dream come true, filled with unforgettable moments, hard-fought victories, and valuable lessons that have shaped me into the person I am today.”

The 38-year-old began playing hockey at the age of six in St. Albert and her career flourished from there. She played on all-boys teams until she received a full ride scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, where she played four seasons and helped the Badgers win back-to-back NCAA national championships before making her debut for Canada’s National Women’s Team.

Mikkelson went onto help Canada win back-to-back gold medals at the Olympic Winter Games in 2010 and 2014 while adding a silver medal in 2018. She also won gold twice at the Women’s World Championship in 2012 and 2022 and took home silver in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2017. She earned Top Defence honours and was named to the media all-star team at the 2011 tournament. Mikkelson wore the Maple Leaf on four different occasions at the 4 Nations Cup, winning two gold medals in 2009 and 2010 and two silvers in 2008 and 2017.

“Winning three Olympic and eight World Championship medals with Team Canada has been the ultimate honour, and I’m grateful for every opportunity I’ve had to represent our amazing country on the international stage,” Mikkelson continued in her statement. “It is a privilege I will cherish forever.”

Professionally, Mikkelson won a Clarkston Cup as CWHL champion in 2016 as a member of the Calgary Inferno and an SDHL title in 2018 with Lulea. She also played four seasons in the Western Women’s Hockey League, suiting up for the Calgary Oval X-Treme, with whom she won the 2003 Esso Women’s Nationals, and the Edmonton Chimos.

With all her professional and international success, Mikkelson said playing her minor hockey and growing up in Alberta had a major impact on her career.

“Some of my greatest memories come from going to Zone 5 camps and trying out for Zone 5 to play in the Alberta Winter Games to experiences in the Alberta Winter Games and from there to making Team Alberta to play at the Canada Winter Games,” Mikkelson said.

“I know that if I didn’t have those experiences, I wouldn’t have made it to where I am today. I was scouted for Team Canada when I played at the Canada Winter Games, so I value not only my experiences in minor hockey, but my experience with Hockey Alberta as well.”

Prior to announcing her retirement, Mikkelson joined the broadcasting industry in 2020, serving as an intermission analyst for the Edmonton Oilers. She was recently announced as Sportsnet 960’s new radio colour commentator for the Calgary Flames.

In addition to her broadcasting duties, Mikkelson is completing her Master of Business Administration degree at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.

“Thank you all for being a part of my incredible journey,” Mikkelson said. “Here’s to new beginnings and keeping life’s lessons close.”


Notice of Annual General Meeting

Hockey Alberta is hosting its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, November 30. The meeting will be held virtually, using Zoom, starting at 7:00 PM (MST).

It is important for Executive Members of Member organizations (MHAs, Recreational/ Pond Hockey Programs, Para/ Sledge Hockey Programs, Accredited Schools, Junior Leagues and Senior Leagues) to attend the AGM to exercise your right to vote in the elections and for Notices of Motion. It is also important for sanctioned Minor Hockey Leagues to attend to obtain valuable information.



The Annual Meeting of Hockey Alberta is held within six (6) months of the conclusion of the fiscal year end. Hockey Alberta’s fiscal year runs August 1 to July 31. In addition to any other business that may be transacted, the following business shall be conducted this year:

  • The election of three (3) Director at Large positions, each for a three year term;
  • The presentation of the audited financial statements and report of the auditor;
  • The appointment of the auditor for the ensuing fiscal year; and
  • The report of the Directors, if any.

The full Information Bulletin can be viewed at the following link:



Twenty-seven Albertans named to NHL Central Scouting’s Preliminary Players to Watch List

RED DEER – Twenty-seven players from across the province have been named to the NHL Central Scouting’s Preliminary Players to Watch list for the 2024 NHL Draft.

Calgary Hitmen defenceman Carter Yakemchuk (Calgary) earned an ‘A’ rating, which indicates players who are projected to be taken in the first round. Medicine Hat Tigers forward Andrew Basha (Calgary), Prince George Cougars forward Terik Parascak (Lethbridge) and Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Charlie Elick (Calgary) were all given ‘B’ ratings, meaning they’re projected to be second or third-round candidates.

Players with ‘C’ rating project to go in the fourth or fifth round, while the NHL Central Scouting has introduced the ‘W’ rating, which indicates players projected to be sixth- or seventh-round candidates.

Full list of Albertans named to the Players to Watch List can be found below:







Carter Yakemchuk



Calgary Hitmen



Andrew Basha



Medicine Hat Tigers



Charlie Elick



Brandon Wheat Kings



Terik Parascak



Prince George Cougars



Harrison Brunicke



Kamloops Blazers



Miles Cooper



Wenatchee Wild



Hyde Davidson



Seattle Thunderbirds



Caleb Hadland

Sylvan Lake


Brandon Wheat Kings



Marek Howell



Vancouver Giants



Bryce Pickford



Seattle Thunderbirds



Landen Ward



Lethbridge Hurricanes



Max Heise



Penticton Vees



Finn McLaughlin



Youngstown Phantoms



Tristen Doyle



Lethbridge Hurricanes



Simon Lovsin

Stony Plain


Seattle Thunderbirds



Grady Martin



Prince Albert Raiders



Cooper Michaluk



Spokane Chiefs



Brady Ness



Moose Jaw Warriors



Rhys Pederson



Edmonton Oil Kings



Shane Smith



Medicine Hat Tigers



Jackson Unger



Moose Jaw Warriors



Keith McInnis

Red Deer


Waterloo Black Hawks



Reid Varkonyi

Sherwood Park


Salmon Arm Silverbacks



Nathan Free



Brooks Bandits



Lucas Lemieux



Camrose Kodiaks



Gavin Garland



Calgary Canucks



Coy Pighin



Drumheller Dragons




Join our team!

Hockey Alberta is accepting applications for the position of Coordinator, External Communication.

Are you a detail-oriented person who enjoys the behind-the-scenes work required to ensure that external public communication platforms are accurate, current and interesting? Are you prepared to review every page on a website for accuracy and functionality? Do you have experience with the challenges involved in effective use of direct email communication? Do you have a love of sports (especially hockey)? If so, this role could be for you!

A full time position, the responsibilities of the Coordinator, External Communication include:

  • Monitor, compile, collect, write, edit and update content on Hockey Alberta’s 17 websites.
  • Oversee the structure and organization of all Hockey Alberta websites, based on industry standards.
  • Train website volunteers for events such as Provincial Championships and Spring Showcase.
  • Coordinate and oversee compilation, writing and distribution of all mass/ direct email communication.
  • Update and maintain the Member contacts, Newsletter, and other databases.


The deadline to apply for this position is Friday, October 27.


Glencross Invitational set to drop the puck

RED DEER – The Glencross Invitational is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of raising funds for charitable organizations in Central Alberta with the second annual Charity Hockey Tournament and Celebrity Poker Event on October 19.

The Charity Hockey Tournament is being played at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, to be followed by the Celebrity Poker Event at the Harvest Centre in Red Deer.

Four teams partake in the morning tournament, which includes 15 skaters and a goaltender on each squad. Every team includes five celebrities and an appearance by a celebrity guest coach.

The Glencross Invitational 50/50 and Silent Auction are moving online this year with new items being added daily. Auction items include Flames and Oilers tickets, autographed NHL jerseys and much more. All proceeds from the 50/50 and auction will be going towards the Hockey Alberta Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House.

The Glencross Invitational has raised nearly $2 million for the Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta as well as the Hockey Alberta Foundation over the past 10 years.

Tickets to watch the tournament are available online.


Hockey Alberta announces exclusive partnership with Hudl

Hockey Alberta, including Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) and Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL), has picked Hudl as its exclusive video exchange platform and analytics provider.

Hockey Alberta is a leading organization in exceptional service, experience, and innovation for its members. This partnership equips teams with industry-leading technology for performance analysis, scouting and recruiting tools.

“We aim to improve the experience for athletes and coaches in youth hockey by delivering data and video analysis. Hockey Alberta’s strong team values for both the AEHL and AFHL align with our goals to elevate hockey on and off the ice,” said Rachel Krasnow, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Hudl. “This partnership with Hockey Alberta allows us to further our mission of giving every athlete the shot they deserve.”

The league exchange platform delivers a free centralized library where all teams can share video and upload and exchange game film and stats, making it easier than ever to access content.

“Hockey Alberta is pleased to be able to partner with Hudl to provide additional opportunities for our athletes in the Alberta Elite Hockey League and the Alberta Female Hockey League. Working with an industry leader in video stats and analytics such as Hudl not only benefits our AEHL and AFHL teams but also allows our individual athletes to showcase their talents to a broader network of scouts around the world,” said Mike Klass, Director of Corporate Services for Hockey Alberta.

In addition to the video exchange platform for the older age groups, all teams ages U13 and below can take advantage of exclusive partner pricing on Hudl solutions. Plus, all Hockey Alberta members will have educational opportunities and resources provided by Hudl.

For Hockey Alberta teams looking for information on the league exchange platform, please contact your Hudl representative. You can find more info on Hudl package options here.

About Hudl:

As a global leader in performance analysis technology, Hudl helps more than 200K sports teams - from grassroots to the pros - prepare for and stay ahead of the competition. A complete suite of video and data products ensures coaches have the insights they need and athletes get the shot they deserve. 6M users across 40+ sports use Hudl’s best-in-class software, hardware and services, including online coaching tools, mobile and desktop apps, smart cameras, livestreaming, wearables, analytics, professional consultation and more. Learn more at


Albertan Communities celebrating World Girls Ice Hockey Weekend

RED DEER – Five communities from Alberta are set to celebrate the 12th annual World Girls Ice Hockey Weekend.

The main purpose of the weekend, that was created by the International Ice Hockey Federation and dates back to 2011, is to have events across Canada that recruit, retain and engage players, coaches, officials and fans – old and new. It aims to celebrate and grow the game while uniting Canadians through grassroots programming led by girls’ hockey associations, minor hockey associations and communities.

The list of events taking place across the province can be found below.

Association/Team/Organization City/Town Date Event(s)
3C’s MHA Castor, Consort and Coronation September 30 On Ice and dryland sessions
Fort Saskatchewan MHA Fort Saskatchewan October 4 Ball hockey tournament
Vermilion MHA Vermilion October 8 Skills training and conditioning as well as a fun skate to play games
Leduc MHA Leduc October 21 On ice for Thanksgiving/Halloween themed event
Smoky River MHA Fahler TBD On ice and dryland session


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Each year, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The day honours the children who never returned home and survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30.

Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”. The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.

On September 30, we encourage all Canadians to wear orange to honour the thousands of Survivors of residential schools.



Image: Gatorade logo with female Team Alberta player

Team Alberta Fall Camp set for Edmonton

EDMONTON – Twenty-eight athletes are attending the Team Alberta Female Fall Camp, September 22-24 in Edmonton.

Three goaltenders, nine defence and 16 forwards are coming to camp with the goal of earning a sport on the team that is competing at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship.

Team Alberta Under-18 Female Fall Camp Invites >

Fall Camp allows the athletes to be evaluated in on and off-ice sessions and includes games against three USports women’s teams.

Game one is scheduled for Friday at 7 pm the Downtown Community Arena against MacEwan University Gryphons. Games two and three are at the Clare Drake Arena. On Saturday at 2 pm, the University of Alberta Pandas provide the opposition, and on Sunday at 12:30 pm, the team faces the University of Calgary Dinos.

Following the camp, athletes continue to be evaluated with their club teams.

Team Alberta Female, fuelled by Gatorade, takes the ice at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Dawson Creek, BC, November 5-11.


Image: Brett Kramers on far left

When Connection Meets Opportunity

One might say the coaching career of Brett Kramers has been fast-tracked. But his dedication to the game, hard work and willingness to learn would say otherwise.

Growing up as a goaltender with South Side Athletic Club, it was a natural transition for Kramers when he started his coaching journey at 18 as a goaltender coach with the club.

Just five seasons later, Kramers is preparing for his first season as the head coach of the U17 AAA Fort Saskatchewan South Fort Chev Rangers in the Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL).

“The short time I’ve been involved in the AEHL has been amazing, and I expect nothing less in the coming month,” said Kramers. “The resources that the coaches have at their fingertips is crazy to me. There’s not enough time in the day to list all the resources we have as coaches and all the connections that I’ve already made.”

The 23-year-old university student, is joining the league as the youngest bench boss in the AEHL.

“I’ve always looked at my age as more of a strength than a weakness,” said Kramers. “I know what the players are going through, not just in hockey, but in school and life, so it’s given me the unique ability to connect with them.”

Kramers has surrounded himself with a support system of coaches who are looking to help him grow.

“I’ve been fortunate to coach with some really helpful people. Especially when I was just starting out, I had people show me what it means to be a coach and show me the sides of the game that I didn’t know,” said Kramers. “Now, one of the things I’ve learned with Hockey Alberta is the best coaches are the best thieves in a sense where you’re always taking pieces that you like from other coaches to do it your way.”

Derrick Martin, an assistant coach with Team Alberta Male, and Zenith Komarniski, a former pro turned coach in Fort Saskatchewan, are two fellow Spring Showcase coaches who Kramers now calls mentors.

“Derrick and Zenith have been so helpful to me and in different ways,” said Kramer. “Derrick is one of the people who has given me the inspiration to take coaching seriously. The work he puts in is truly second to none and it’s inspired me to have the same work ethic and the same compete level when it comes to being a better coach and person for the kids.”

The connection to Komarniski developed through the 2022 Prospects Cup, when Kramers debuted in the Spring Showcase program as an assistant coach.

“Not only has Zenith shared what he’s learned as a coach, but also what he’s experienced as a professional, and to someone like me who aspires to be at that level someday, it’s something I keep close to my heart,” said Kramers.

In 2023, Kramers returned as an assistant coach at the Alberta Cup, once again along side Komarniski on the bench.

“I’ve been able to take so many key tools from the Showcase and the events I’ve done with Hockey Alberta and translate them to my winter season,” said Kramers. “It’s different from short-term to long-term competition. The short-term, you’re looking for the team that’s going to come together super quick, build trust, have vulnerability and build connections right away and that’s one of the biggest things I’ve taken back to my winter team.”

As Kramers moves through his career, he credits Hockey Alberta programming and connections as a pivotal part of his growth.

“Hockey Alberta has done so much for me in just the two years I’ve been involved in the program. I wouldn’t be where I am without the programs they’ve offered,” said Kramers. “I’ve been able to see a lot of things at such a young age. Every time I go to a Hockey Alberta event, I feel like I’m the youngest guy there and I leave with a notepad full of new things to try or new philosophies.”

Through his opportunities with Hockey Alberta, lived coaching experience, mentors, podcasts and professional development he participates in, Kramers has started to craft his own coaching philosophy.

“It’s the messages and values I’ve been able to take from all the connections I’ve made whether it be through the South Side Athletic Club, my time with Fort Saskatchewan now or through the events I’ve done with Hockey Alberta,” said Kramers. “It’s finding the character kids – kids who are going to work for you on the ice and work for themselves most importantly. But what’s really important to me is to be able to see that a kid is going to be just as good of a person away from the rink and represent themselves with class, as much as they are going to bring the same mindset into the rink.”

Like any coach, his philosophy is ever-evolving as Kramers continues to learn.

“The biggest thing that keeps me coming back to Hockey Alberta events is seeing the success that other coaches have had,” said Kramers. “To see the progression that Hockey Alberta is able to make whether it’s to Hockey Canada, to junior or to the NHL. The more I come back, the more I learn, I’m putting myself in the right direction as a coach of where I want to go in the future.”

Hockey Alberta’s Spring Showcase events - Alberta Cup, Alberta Challenge and Prospects Cup - serve as identification and development programs for the top coaches, players, medical personnel and administrators in the Hockey Alberta system. Coach, Director of Operations and Trainer applications for all three events open October 2 on the Hockey Alberta and Spring Showcase websites. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply.


Image: four female Hockey Alberta coaches

Female Coach Development Network

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta is excited to launch the Female Coach Development Network in the 2023-24 season.

The new pilot program is for female coaches across the province to connect and learn from each other. The network is free to join and open to coaches at all levels and ages that are currently coaching or coached in the 2022-23 season.

Coaches who join the network have access to mentors and resources to learn and help navigate their seasons. One call is scheduled each month, from October-February, with professional development and the opportunity to discuss situations coaches are going through.

“Hockey Alberta is prioritizing supporting women in the game,” said Danielle Wheeler, Hockey Alberta’s Female Hockey Mentor. “We recognize we need to support our female coaches throughout the season and the Female Coach Development Network gives those coaches a safe space to share what they’re going through, learn and network with other coaches.”

To ensure everyone’s voice is heard, the network is divided by two groups – North and South. Ally Bendfeld is leading the South group, while Wheeler leads the North.

Bendfeld works as an assistant coach with the Olds College Broncos (ACAC). In 2023, she travelled to the Canada Winter Games as an assistant coach with Team Alberta Female. Over the years she’s been involved in many Team Alberta programs, including as an assistant coach with the gold medal winning 2019 Canada Winter Games team and a Coach Mentor at the Alberta Challenge.

Wheeler is a former professional player and played NCAA Division I for Mercyhurst University. Coupled with her work with Hockey Alberta, she has coached in the Alberta Challenge and at her local minor levels. A lifelong student of the game, she is currently coaching Male U15 AA.

For any questions about the Female Coach Development Network, Wheeler can be reached at [email protected].

Join the Female Coach Development Network >


Hockey Alberta is hosting female-only coach clinics in Edmonton and Calgary this season.

Edmonton is hosting a Coach 2 course on October 28. Registration is now open.

Register >

Calgary is hosting three clinics. Coach 1 is scheduled for October 15, Coach 2 on October 22 and Checking Skills on October 29. Watch for registration to open.

Female-only coach clinics provide an inclusive environment to all females to learn the game and become certified in the necessary clinics.

For information on the Edmonton clinic, contact Danielle Wheeler ([email protected]) and for information on the Calgary clinics, contact Darcy Steen ([email protected]).


Image: Hockey Alberta coaches and players

Professional Development Coach Speaker Series Scheduled for this Fall

RED DEER – The 2023-24 season is here and Hockey Alberta is offering a professional development speaker series to coaches.

Targeted for Alberta’s elite coaches, presenters include Kyle McLaughlin, Topher Scott and Ryan Aasman. Each presentation is designed to aid coaches in planning and developing their season, to help set the team up for a year of success.

Presentations take place on September 25, October 16, 23 and November 13 at 7 P.M., register for each session below.

Creating a Comprehensive Seasonal Plan – Kyle McLaughlin

September 25

McLaughlin captained St. Cloud State University of the NCAA Division I, before dedicating his time to coaching. For over a decade, he has coached minor hockey teams in the Canmore Minor Hockey Association and Bow Valley Minor Hockey Association, while working with the Canmore Eagles of the AJHL as an assistant coach and director of skill development. In 2018, he was recognized as Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Year.

Register >

Creating a Culture Conducive for Player Development – Topher Scott

October 16

Scott is the Director of Hockey Operations at the University of Michigan of the NCAA. A former player and coach at Cornell University, Scott has worked in a variety of different roles and levels of hockey, specifically on leadership and building culture. A founder of The Hockey Think Tank, he collaborates with coaches and leaders in the game across North America.

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Player Habits that Translate to Junior Hockey – Ryan Aasman

Aasman is an assistant coach with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Working multiple years in grassroots hockey, at the Alberta Elite Hockey League and now in the WHL, Aasman brings his player and coaching experience to the forefront when discussing Player Habits that Translate to Junior Hockey.

October 23

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Designing Development Focused Practices – Kyle McLaughlin

McLaughlin returns to discuss Designing Development Focused Practices, combining his experience in the minor and junior ranks to get the most out of practice time.

November 13

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The presentations will be recorded and posted on Hockey Alberta’s Youtube channel following the conclusion of the series.


Hockey Alberta’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The past two years have seen Hockey Alberta undertake several initiatives and engage numerous individuals to help us better understand the challenges faced by participants in our sport related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Hockey Alberta hosted an Indigenous Hockey Summit in August 2021, and then created and hosted the inaugural 11.4 Awareness Day in 2022 with a focus on maltreatment and Hockey Canada’s new rule 11.4.

A key part of the work undertaken by Hockey Alberta has been through the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. This committee is comprised of diverse individuals with a wide range of life and athletic experiences. Members of the committee attended the Hockey Alberta Member Summit in June 2022, where they discussed the findings of the organization’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion survey.


The information gathered through these various forums has included examples of behaviors that have no place in hockey. We have heard real examples and collected data that shows that we have Equity, Diversity and Inclusion issues in hockey. It has reinforced that we have work to do to provide a safe environment and ensure that all participants have a positive experience in our sport.


The next stage in the process starts today with Hockey Alberta’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

Hockey Alberta’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Hockey Alberta acknowledges there are systemic challenges in our sport involving equity, diversity, and inclusion. All forms of discrimination and maltreatment are unacceptable and must be removed.

Hockey Alberta is committed to removing the challenges to ensure we are:

  • Creating a safe sport environment free of racism, discrimination, harassment and bullying for all participants.

  • Acting decisively to improve equity, diversity and inclusion so that our sport is accessible to all.

  • Nurturing a positive hockey culture where inclusiveness and belonging are expectations, not options.

This statement provides the framework for Hockey Alberta to address Equity, Diversity and Inclusion issues in our sport. Hockey Alberta will ensure sanctioned activities are accessible, inclusive and safe for participants of all abilities, backgrounds, and interests, and Hockey Alberta will eliminate maltreatment, bullying and harassment from the game.

Specifically, our commitments are shown in our actions. In 2023-24, Hockey Alberta will add new staff resources to our operational team to support our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee, activate on our objectives, and support our Members, as Hockey Alberta works to nurture a positive hockey culture.

Actions for 2023-24 include:

  • Engaging in a pilot with minor hockey teams that educates and brings awareness about maltreatment.
  • Continuing the education process of Hockey Alberta’s Staff, Volunteers and Board of Directors.
  • Creating a new EDI Grant for Member initiatives for advancing the game through a focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,
  • Identifying and implementing Safe Sport/ EDI standards, tools and resources for use by our Members,

To review the complete plan, click on the website link below:


As well, on August 16, Hockey Canada released its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Path Forward document, and asked its branches across Canada to be involved and have stake in the Path Forward. Simply put, Hockey Alberta is in – with a commitment to working at the local, provincial and national levels to ensure a safe environment and a positive experience for all participants.

For more information, please contact Hockey Alberta:

Email: [email protected]


Image: Hockey Alberta Coach teaching Para Hockey

Para Hockey Gliding into Red Deer

RED DEER – Para hockey is gliding into the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer, September 9-10.

The Para Hockey Player Development Camp is a one-day camp designed to accommodate players of all ages and skill levels. The camp is taking place on Saturday and features on-ice skill development and game play. Equipment (sledge and sticks) are being provided to new players to use at the camp.

There are two ice sessions scheduled for Saturday, with a drop-in session available on Sunday morning from 9-10.

Following Sunday’s ice session, a para hockey-specific coaching clinic is scheduled. The clinic includes basic skills, the importance of having players develop confidence, self-esteem and a love for the game. Coaches who complete this session will leave with the in-person portion of Coach 2 qualification, knowledge and resources specific to coaching para hockey. Full Coach 2 certification is required of all para hockey head coaches.

Both the on-ice sessions and coach clinic will be taught by National Women’s Para Hockey Team Head Coach, Tara Chisholm. Chisholm has worked in the para game for nearly two decades with experience at all levels.

Para hockey is open to both male and female able-bodied and disabled players of all ages. Played in a sit-down sledge, with two sticks, it is a game that everyone can play.

For those interested in trying/participating in para hockey this season, can reach out to a program near you.

Para Hockey Programs >