Going International with Sixty HD

Oct 24, 2022 | Craig Peterson

Two player skate up the ice at the 2022 Sixty Hockey Development Camp.
Photo by Bar Down Photography

Will send teams on European Tours to 2023 World Selects Invitational Events

It is the premier spring youth hockey tournament of the year, and Sixty Hockey Development will be there to compete in 2023. The World Selects Invitational (WSI) series has featured some of the best youth hockey players in the world for more than a decade. Not only that, but it’s taken place in some of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The tournament is a perfect combination of culture and competition through the game of hockey.

This spring, Sixty Hockey Development is assembling four AAA-level teams to compete in the WSI at various locations. The opportunity to compete against international teams was just something that general manager Paul Dovich said he couldn’t pass up.

“To be a part of the WSI is a tremendous honor,” said Dovich. “Being a part of the Nashville event [last summer], we got to see how amazing it could be when the whole world is involved. Having the opportunity to bring teams together and play and experience Europe was something I couldn’t pass up. We’re looking forward to it.”

Sixty Hockey Development debuted in the North American WSI in 2022, bringing top-level kids from across the country to compete in Nashville. Now, Sixty will have the opportunity to take its talents abroad and experience the tournament in an entirely different way.

Schedule, Dates, Locations Set For 2023 WSI

The 2008 AAA tournament will take place in Stockholm, Sweden. The 2010s will travel to Chamonix, France, while the 2009s go to Prague, Czech Republic. 

Bolzano, Italy, will host the 2011 AAA event near the end of April. The 2009s will travel to Prague, Czech Republic, the same week in May the that 2010s visit Chamonix, France. The 2008s close out European action on May 17th in Stockholm, Sweden.

Each host city is unique in its own way. From a Vasa Museum visit in Sweden, to a Vitava River cruise in the Czech Republic, participating in a WSI is more than just a hockey tournament. Immersive cultural experiences like Chamonix city tours in the shadows of Mont Blanc make these European tours unforgettable trips for the whole family.

With all transportation provided to and from airports, hotels and ice rinks, parents can rest easy and enjoy a European vacation. Meanwhile, kids compete, socialize and connect with other like-minded youth hockey players from varying backgrounds that span the globe.

“It really is impressive to see,” said Dovich. “On the ice, you get all these different styles and types of player and matchups when you play the Czechs or the Russians or Swedes. But then off the ice, kids from different teams and different countries are making real connections with each other. Even despite the language barrier, they’ve got their phones out and using Google Translate, following each other on Instagram and stuff. It’s very cool.”

Started With The Sixty Camp

Sixty Hockey Development originated in 2019, when Dovich and company assembled ‘The ‘06 Sixty’ Camp. They wanted to do something different and get some of the best 12-year-old hockey players in North America together for an extended weekend camp to develop and compete. The inaugural camp featured 60 players from the 2006 birth year, with names like James Hagens, Christian Humphries and Teddy Stiga — current members of the U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP) — as well as Owen Keefe and Will Felicio, who are currently playing in the United States Hockey League (USHL).

That camp dovetailed into spring and summer tournament teams that competed at major events like the Montreal Meltdown, Lobsterfest and the Warrior Boston Elite Invite. When the team won, and won again, and won again, people began to take notice.

“Through word of mouth, it just grew,” said Dovich. “Parents just started to see we were putting good teams together. Kids were developing and good things were happening.”

As successful as the tournament teams were, the main focus was always the Sixty Camp. It quickly expanded to more age groups, and in 2022, included more than 340 top-level youth hockey players from five different birth years. Designed to foster 60 skaters at each age group, the Sixty Camp is a four-day long event filled with on-ice drills, skills and competition. Between sessions, players are exposed to off-ice training and treated to informational presentations regarding college hockey, academics and nutrition, among other topics.

“What I’ve always said with the Sixty [Camp], is if you want to learn and you can compete, you’re more than welcome to come,” said Dovich.

The Best Tours In Youth Hockey

While the Sixty Camp has become a major fixture in the youth hockey community, its European tours to WSI events look to expand the organization’s footprint internationally.

Open to all AAA-level players, Sixty HD is accepting applications for 2023 WSI tournament teams from the ‘08, ‘09, ‘10 and ‘11 birth years. The field of teams at the AAA events currently consists of as many as 10 different countries. Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Norway and Latvia, among others, are expected to be in attendance. Applicants are thoroughly evaluated for consideration by Dovich and his team, and every submission is replied to, regardless of acceptance status.

Learn more about Sixty Hockey Development, and how you can get involved by following the links below:

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