What events to watch for this offseason
It may be summer, but it’s hard to keep hockey people away from the rink for too long.
There are major hockey events sprinkled across the “off-season” calendar, and the World Hockey Hub will be keeping an eye on them as we fly through the warmer months of 2022.
Here are some of the highlighted hockey events taking place in North America this summer:
June 29 – July 10
What’s better than one Brick? Two Bricks. The organizers for the Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament have expanded the annual summer tournament to two birth years, in an effort to accommodate a birth year that missed out on the tournament last year because of COVID-19. The 2011 birth-year will play from June 29 to July 3, and the 2012 birth-year will play from July 4-10. The tournament — played in the West Edmonton Mall — is one of the most unique events in all of youth sports, and while the 2010 birth year never ended up being able to participate, it’s great to see the 2011 group not miss out on the remarkable experience.
July 4 – 5
It may be a holiday in America, but it’s a work day for one of Canada’s three Major Junior leagues. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) will start its annual draft on July 4, with the league setting aside two days to conduct its selection process of the 2006 birth-year class virtually.
July 7 – 8
The culminating event of youth hockey is the NHL Draft, where every summer the hockey world gets to experience dreams coming true for its best and brightest. The World Hockey Hub will be watching, as well, to see where the newest NHL Draft picks came from and how their youth hockey resumes shaped their journey to hockey’s highest league.
USA Hockey Boys Select 15 Camp
July 15 – 20
There are six different USA Hockey Player Development Camps, but the Boys Select 15 is the one that may have the most impact on top-level American talent. The first year of national camps for players progressing through the USA Hockey ranks, the Select 15 — held in Amherst, N.Y. — is the first big event of the year-long recruiting and evaluating process for the NTDP and junior league drafts.
Chowder Cup Series
July 15 – 17, 21 – 24, 28 – 31
The Chowder Cup — featuring a Mini, Junior and Senior divisions — brings top youth hockey talent to the Boston area for some impressive summer on-ice action. The Mini Chowder Cup features the 2008-09 classes on July 15-17, while the Junior Chowder Cup hosts the 2006-07s on July 21-24 and the Senior Chowder Cup for the 2002-05 groups on July 28-31.
Hlinka Gretzky Cup
July 31 – Aug. 6
It may not get as much publicity as the World Juniors (more on that below), but the Hlinka Gretzky Cup is a huge summer showcase to keep an eye on this year. USA Hockey and Hockey Canada use their summer player development camps as a tryout for the tournament, which will be taking place in Red Deer, Alberta this summer. It’s an Under-18 tournament that brings together elite players from across the globe heading into their NHL Draft year.
PHD Best of Best Series
The Best of Best series, in its second season, aims to bring the best GTHL, Eastern OMHA, South-Central OMHA and ALLIANCE players together for elite hockey starting at the 2010 and 2011 birth-years. The idea is to bring the players in each summer, and in their fourth year through the program, play in a full OHL/NCAA showcase event.
August 9 – 20
One of the greatest events in all of sports will be a little warmer than usual, as the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship will be taking place Aug. 9-20 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. The original tournament, which usually closes out one calendar year and opens the next, was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, but the hockey community is making sure it still takes place – this time in the dead of summer.
CCM 68 Combine
For the 2008 birth-year class in the United States, few events are as big as the CCM 68’s. Hosted in Chicago, the 68’s annually bring together the best players in the country, both boys and girls, for a weekend of on- and off-ice training and education. Alumni include Jack Hughes, Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras, Spencer Knight, Jacob Trouba, Tyler Seguin, Matthew Tkachuk, Clayton Keller and more.
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