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Sheldon Graber


Elite Male Hockey Model (AAA)

Hockey AlbertaThe Elite Male Hockey Model provides guidance and direction so that players have opportunity and movement options available to meet their needs as well as that of the teams involved. The most significant principle of the model is the agreement that, at all times, everyone will act in the best interest of the athlete and work to provide them with the ability to play at the highest level they can attain. The Elite Male Hockey Model further recognizes and supports the fact that each athlete has the right to consider all options.

Elite Male Hockey (AAA) Regulations >


AAA Tryout Process

Step 1: Determine the Elite Draw Zone in which you reside and consult with your resident Minor Hockey Association on the AAA tryout process.

  1. Unsure of your resident Elite Draw Zone?
  2. Looking to begin the AAA tryout process in another Elite Draw Zone?

Step 2: Register for tryouts with your Resident Elite Draw Zone/Team (or Elite Draw Zone approved by the Elite Male Hockey Committee).

  • Players are no longer required to submit a Notification of Tryout form.
  • Elite Draw Zones are responsible for communicating with the Minor Hockey Associations in their Draw Zone regarding players trying out for their teams.

Step 3: Attend your first AAA tryout.

Step 4: If applicable, arrange for a second AAA tryout, based on the following:

A. 17-year-olds (U18 age division): If you are a 17-year-old player released from your initial U18 AAA tryout, you are permitted to arrange one (1) additional U18 AAA tryout.

  • If another Elite Draw Zone/Team agrees to accept you for a second U18 AAA tryout, you must complete the Elite Male Waiver form and have both the releasing and receiving associations approve the tryout. The releasing association cannot refuse a second tryout.
  • If you are released from the second U18 AAA tryout, you must proceed to U18 AA tryouts or tiered hockey.

B. 16-year-olds (U18 age division): If you are a 16-year-old player released from your initial U18 AAA tryout, you are permitted to arrange one (1) additional U18 AAA tryout.

  • If another Elite Draw Zone/Team agrees to accept you for a second U18 AAA tryout, you must complete the Elite Male Waiver form and have both the releasing and receiving association sign approve the tryout. The releasing association cannot refuse a second tryout.
  • If you are released from the second U18 AAA tryout, you must proceed to U17 AAA or U18 AA tryouts or tiered hockey.

C. 16-year-olds (U17 age division): If you are a 16-year-old player and released from your initial U17 AAA tryout, you are permitted to arrange one (1) additional U17 AAA tryout.

  • If another Elite Draw Zone/Team agrees to accept you for a second U17 AAA tryout, you must complete the Elite Male Waiver form and have both the releasing and receiving association approve the tryout. The releasing association cannot refuse a second tryout.
  • If you are released from the second U17 AAA tryout, you must proceed to U18 AA tryouts or tiered hockey.

D. 15-year-olds (U18 age division): If you are a 15-year-old player released from your initial U18 AAA tryout, you must proceed to U17 AAA in your resident Elite Draw Zone (or approved association if your Elite Player Movement application was approved).

E. 15-year-olds (U17 age division): If you are a 15-year-old player released from your initial U17 AAA tryout, you are permitted to arrange one (1) additional U17 AAA tryout.

  • If another Elite Draw Zone/Team agrees to accept you for a second U17 AAA tryout, you must complete the Elite Male Waiver form and have both the releasing and receiving association approve the tryout. The releasing association cannot refuse a second tryout.
  • If you are released from your second U17 AAA tryout, you must proceed to U18 AA or U16 AA tryouts or tiered hockey.

F. 14/13-year-olds (U15 age division): If you are a 14 or 13-year-old player released from your initial U15 AAA tryout, you are permitted to arrange one (1) additional U15 AAA tryout.

  • If another Elite Draw Zone/Team agrees to accept you for a second U15 AAA tryout, you must complete the Elite Male Waiver form and have both the releasing and receiving association approve the tryout. The releasing association cannot refuse a second tryout.
  • If you are released from the second U15 AAA tryout, you must proceed to U15 AA tryouts or tiered hockey.

Hockey Alberta

The Elite Male Operating Model is based on four principles to create a system that better meet the needs of the athlete as he progresses through the system of development. 

Elite Male Operating Model >

  1. Hockey Alberta establishes an outlined system of development that starts at U15 AAA and concludes at Major Junior (U15 AAA, U16 AAA, U18 AAA, Junior A, and Major Junior). All Elite Leagues and Local Minor Hockey Associations are to focus on moving players through the system to the next level.
  2. A mechanism is developed to encourage communication between Elite Level Leagues on matters related to the Development Model.
  3. The Elite Male Hockey Model includes criteria to determine an appropriate number of Teams within each League and the terms and conditions under which these teams will operate. Elite Level Teams will provide elite level opportunities for the top players within their defined geographical area.
  4. Establish an Affiliation structure that accommodates athlete development under the model. Leagues and Teams within the development system shall be known as the “Elite Stream” of hockey.

I do not want to tryout for the team in my Elite Draw Zone, can I try out in another Elite Draw Zone?

I have to move away from my family in order to play elite hockey. I have a relative in another Elite Draw Zone with whom i can reside, can I tryout for the team in the other Elite Draw Zone?

If I am released from the team in my Elite Draw Zone, can I tryout for a team in another Elite Draw Zone?

It is considerably closer to travel to a team in another Elite Draw Zone and I can continue residing with my family if I play there. Can I tryout for that team in the other Elite Draw Zone?

Last year I player for a team in another Elite Draw Zone and I want to return to that team. What do I have to do?

What are the Elite Draw Zones?

What categories offer elite hockey?

Which team am I required to tryout for?


I do not want to tryout for the team in my Elite Draw Zone, can I try out in another EDZ?

You are expected to tryout and play for the team which is in the Elite Draw Zone that you are a resident. If you do not wish to play for a team in your Elite Draw Zone, you can apply for “Player Movement” to request to have a tryout with another Elite Draw Zone.

I have to move away from my family in order to play elite hockey. I have a relative in another Elite Draw Zone with whom I can reside. Can I tryout for the team in the other Elite Draw Zone?

Players are expected to play for the team that draws from the team/Local Minor Hockey Association the player is resident in and the first option is using a billet there.

However, if there is an opportunity for a player to reside with a relative in another draw zone, the player can apply to move.

The must player complete a Player Movement Application form located on the Hockey Alberta website and has it signed by his resident Minor Hockey Association President.

The "Player Movement Application" and supporting documents must be submitted by July 1 to the Hockey Alberta office.

Supporting documents must include the signed application and a letter from the family he will be staying with indicating their relationship and their concurrence with the request.

The Hockey Alberta office will notify the players resident team and Local Minor Hockey Association that the player has submitted an application to move.

The resident team/ Local Minor Hockey Association have 10 days to respond with their comments on the application.

The HA office will ensure documentation is complete and submit the request to the Player Movement Committee (PMC) in July.

The PMC reviews the application which includes the Local Minor Hockey Association and teams comments. The Player Movement Committee approves or denies movement.

Notification of decision will be sent out from the Hockey Alberta Office to the LMHA, elite teams involved, and the appropriate league(s).

If I am released from the team in my Elite Draw Zone, can I tryout for a team in another Elite Draw Zone?

If the player does not make the team they are trying out for, they may have the option to tryout for another elite team. This process and conditions are outlined on the AAA Tryout Process page located on the Hockey Alberta website.

In all cases, when a player is released and wants to tryout for another team, they are required to obtain a waiver from the team which he did not make and either return to his resident LMHA or arrange their own opportunity.

Once a tryout has been arranged, the player would then submit an Elite Male Waiver form, found on the HA website for the next elite team. 

It is considerably closer to travel to a team in another Elite Draw Zone and I can continue residing with my family if I play there. Can I tryout for that team in the other Elite Draw Zone?

Players are expected to play for the team that draws from the team/ Local Minor Hockey Association the player is resident in.

The quickest route to follow is to request a "waiver" from the elite team whose draw zone the player resides in and the LOCAL MINOR HOCKEY ASSOCIATION where they are resident. Have the waiver signed by the team and the Local Minor Hockey Association President. Waiver forms are located on the the Hockey Alberta website.

The team/ Local Minor Hockey Association may refuse to give a waiver, however they must provide written reasons why they will not provide it.

If the team/ Local Minor Hockey Association refuse permission, the player will have the right to appeal to the Player Movement Committee. However they must apply prior to July 1 by submitting a Player Movement Application.

The Player Movement Committee will consider the application and render a decision.

If anyone disagrees with the decision of the Player Movement Committee, the Hockey Alberta appeal process would be the next step.

Last year I played for a team in another Elite Draw Zone and I want to return to that team. What do I have to do?

You are expected to tryout and play for the team which is in the Elite Draw Zone that you are a resident. If you do not wish to play for a team in your Elite Draw Zone, you can request a "waiver" from that team however they are under no obligation to provide it. Waiver forms are located on the Hockey Alberta Website.

What are the Elite Draw Zones?

Click here to download the Elite Draw Zones PDF

What categories offer Elite Hockey?

Elite hockey is offered at the U15 & U18 levels.

Which team am I required to tryout for?

The province is divided into Elite Draw Zones and each Local Minor Hockey Association is assigned to an Elite Draw Zone. You are expected to try out and play for the team which is in the Elite Draw Zone that you are a resident.

Click here to download the Elite Draw Zones PDF