Hockey Alberta announced on Friday the top 34 U16 male hockey players that have been short listed for further evaluation in preparation to represent Team Alberta at the 2012 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup taking place November 1 – 4 in Calgary, AB.
Making the list were 2012 Bantam Draft Picks Giorgio Estephan (1st round, 4th overall) and Kade Jensen (5th round, 103rd overall)
81 players were evaluated at the Team Alberta U16 Provincial Development Camp in July in Camrose. The 34 short listed players will now be scouted with their club teams until the final 20 player Team Alberta roster is named.
“We want to put together a highly competitive team and we think out of these 34 athletes, we will be able to do that,” said Team Alberta Head Coach, Bryce Thoma. “To go from 80 players down to 34 is no easy task, but it will be exciting to watch all these players perform with their club teams.”
The Challenge Cup sees Alberta and the other three Western provinces’ top U16 talent compete against each other. 2012 will be the third year for this event; Alberta captured gold in 2009 with a 6-4 win over Manitoba and gold in 2011 with a 10-4 win over Manitoba.
Six players from the 2009 Team Alberta U16 Team were drafted into the NHL in the 2012 NHL Draft, including Mathew Dumba (7th), Mitchell Moroz (32nd) and Mike Winther (54th). Brayden Point, who finished last season by scoring seven goals and ten points in 14 playoff games with the Moose Jaw Warriors, was a part of the 2011 Team Alberta U16 Team.
(From Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)