Four Hockey players from Terrace have been selected to participate in the U16 BC Cup.
Kenneth Nordstrom, Austin Turner, Tanner Watt and Ryan Roseboom have all made the cut out of 44 players who tried out for the northwest zone.
Scott Westgate is the district evaluator for the northwest zone in the U16/U17 male high performance categories.
“There’s a process that we go through where we put them through skills sessions and games,” Westgate said. “There is a team of evaluators that watch the kids and rank them
and then we pick the best 20 kids.”
Terrace sent eight players in total to Smithers April 1-3 to participate in the tryouts, which were open to any second year bantam.
The northwest zone includes areas from Ft. St. James to Prince Rupert.
“Skating ability is number one, and then the other skills we are looking for is passing, shooting and handling the puck,” Westgate said.
“It’s a pretty big deal I think for the kids, it’s sort of an identification process,” Westgate said. “It’s a big leap, for a lot of them they have never played this kind of hockey before. To some of them it’s not quite a such big jump, but for most of them it’s probably the best hockey they have ever played.”
The tournament will take place in Kamloops and will host 200 U16 players from across the province playing on 10 teams in a jamboree-style tournament.
“The players are ranked and then placed on different teams,” Westgate added, explaining they try to keep the teams as fair as possible.
“The tournament is going to be pretty good actually because it is going to be the best 200 kids in B.C., so I am pretty excited for that,” Kenneth Nordstrom said, adding the outcome he would like most is to get some good visibility from western hockey league scouts.
This is something which is bound to happen for the four Terrace players, as Westgate said the tournament will be very well attended by scouts.
“At every step they’re watched,” Westgate said.
Of the players from the north only Nordstrom and Turner will be playing together on the Bruins team. Both Roseboom and Watt will be playing separately on the Star’s team and the Canuck’s team.
After the tournament, players will be whittled down to approximately 60, who will be invited to attend another camp in Penticton this July.
In Penticton players will be short-listed to 30. These players will be watched during their regular hockey season from September to November 15. At the end of those evaluations 20 will be selected to go to the Western Bantam Challenge. This is where the top 20 U16 hockey players from B.C. to Manitoba
compete in a round robin tournament.
All four of the Terrace players have had a successful season on the ice this year – their team won the provincial title earlier this month in Smithers.
Coach for the bantam reps, Jesse Schroeder, said participating in the U16 says a lot about who a player is, the level of their abilities and the area they come from.
“Tanner Watt has a great shot, is strong on the puck and has a great cycle game down low. Ryan Roseboom has a great hand and has a second skating gear that few players have,” Schroeder said. “Kenny Nordstrom is a skilled defenceman with a wicked shot, and Austin Turner – he’s a complete hockey player that has the ability to take over any hockey game.
“Terrace can produce good hockey players, absolutely,” he added.
The president of Terrace Minor Hockey Association Lynne Nordstrom said she is very proud of these players, all of whom deserve to be where they are.
“The objective of the program is to enhance the over all performance, but it just gives them that confidence to go that next round too,” Lynne said. “These kids are going to be first year midgets this year and it’s a whole different ball game there, it’s very competitive.”
“The north is finally being seen as competition,” she added in reference to the Terrace bantams rep’s provincial win, as well as the Burns Lake victories, where both their peewee and bantam teams came first in tier four provincials.