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Area hockey players take strides towards future

Aaron Sawatzky of Didsbury was the Moose Jaw Warriors 16th pick in the first round of the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft while Dermot Johnston of Olds was Prince George Cougars' 43rd overall pick in the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft
MVT stock hockey skates
File photo

Two area hockey players are among 80 athletes invited to the 2023 Team Alberta Male Under-16 Summer Camp and have also been drafted into the WHL.

Eight goalies, 24 defence and 48 forwards born in 2008 were invited to attend the camp scheduled for July 4-9 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer.

Defenceman Dermot Johnston of Olds and Aaron Sawatzky of Didsbury, along with the other athletes, will be vying for a spot on the roster that will be competing in the 2023 WHL Cup.“Throughout the course of the season and the Alberta Cup, we’ve watched many talented players,” said Mike Kraichy, manager of Elite Male Hockey. “This is the next step in the process, and we’ve selected players who we believe have what it takes to represent Alberta at an elite level.”

Selections were determined based on the Team Alberta scouting process throughout the 2022-23 season and the 2023 Alberta Cup. From summer camp, a short list will be set and those players will be scouted with their club teams until the 20 player-roster is named.

Last week, Sawatzky was the Moose Jaw Warriors 16th pick in the first round of the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft.

The Prince George Cougars selected Johnston in its 43rd overall pick in the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft. Johnston played with the Red Deer Rebels U15 AAA.

Prospects Cup

Meanwhile, five area hockey players were selected to play in this past weekend's Prospects Cup, which is Hockey Alberta’s youngest tournament for under-13 male athletes.

Noah Ulry, Nolan Hardy and Evan Mueller, all of Olds, were part of the South Black team while Jaxon Jaffray of Olds and Kade Davidson of Cremona were on the South Gold team.

The Prospects Cup is the first step of the Hockey Alberta Development program. It provides second-year U13 athletes, coaches, trainers, and administrators an opportunity to discover the qualities of competitive hockey in a well-organized regional camp and select team competition.

The tournament concluded Hockey Alberta's 2023 Spring Showcase.