OLDS — Five kids who played for the U13 Olds Grizzlys participated in the U13 male Prospects Cup in Red Deer May 11-14 and turned some heads.
Those players were Nolan Hardy, Jaxon Jaffray, Evan Mueller Noah Ulry and Reed Howell.
The two south teams faced off against each other in the seventh versus eighth-placed teams on the Sunday. South Black beat South Gold 8-4. Ulry had a goal and an assist in the final game. Jaffray also scored and was named player of the game for his squad, South Gold.
Overall, Jaffray also scored four goals and picked up one assist for five points in four games.
In one game, Jaffray’s team played against North Grey, coached by his dad, Jason Jaffray.
“Jaxon scored the first goal of the game but my team won 7-5,” Jason wrote in an email.
“This is always a great event for the boys as it is their first experience representing Team Alberta,” he added.
The Albertan interviewed Jaxon Jaffray.
“It was a really fun time for my first time playing for Team Alberta,” he said.
“Obviously we don't have the outcome we wanted, but it was still a great time with it and our coaches (were) really nice.”
Jaffray admitted the level of competition was “pretty tough.”
“I expected it to be pretty tough, but I really enjoyed playing the top players from other places,” he said.
Jaffray was asked why he thinks he was named a game MVP.
"I just try to work hard in the corners, as hard as I can, try to get the pucks to my linemates and maybe they can get it back to me,” he said.
Jaffray’s goal this fall is to try out for – and hopefully make – the U15AAA Red Deer Rebels squad.
Jaffray knows that with each rung up the ladder, the competition gets tougher so he plans to work extra hard this spring and summer.
He played spring hockey (the final tournament was held this past weekend). He also works out in the gym.
"My hands are probably my best part of my game,” he said but added there’s still room for improvement.
“I'm really trying to get my shot to another level.”
He also worked on his skating this year, taking weekly power skating lessons.
The eventual goal is to play junior – maybe major junior – hockey and crack a NHL lineup.
“I've got to put a bunch of work in the make it that far, but I'm willing to do it,” he said.