SaskFirst Male Bantam Tournament Set for Regina
December 27, 2018 - The Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA), in partnership with the Western Hockey League (WHL), is set to host the SaskFirst Male Bantam Tournament, December 28 to 30 at the Cooperators Centre in Regina.
A total of 160 players, born in 2004, were selected to take part in the three-day tournament. Teams will hit the ice first thing in the morning on Friday, December 28, for individual team practices. The tournament schedule is a round-robin format with games beginning in the afternoon and carrying on through the weekend.
Earlier this month Regional Camps were held in the North and South regions of the province; players in zones 1-4 attended the South Regional Camp in Lumsden, while players from zones 5-8 attended the North Regional Camp in Aberdeen. From there, the top eight (8) goalies, 24 defencemen, and 48 forwards were selected from each regional camp to take part in this showcase tournament. After evaluation are complete at this weekend’s tournament, the Top 80 players will then be invited to take part in the February tournament, being held in Saskatoon.
The SaskFirst Bantam Program is open annually to all second year male Bantam (U15) players in the province. The program is intended to provide players opportunities to get seen by scouts from a variety of leagues, including the Western Hockey League (WHL) who will have representatives from all 22 teams in attendance and will be scouting players for their Bantam Draft in May 2019.
The SaskFirst Program was introduced by the Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA) in 1988 and since that time the program has brought great pride and accomplishment within our province. The SaskFirst Program was designed to provide a better understanding of the game as well as to promote the development of quality players, coaches, trainers and officials. The participants are enriched as individuals and can achieve self-satisfaction and enjoyment as part of the hockey community.
The SaskFirst Program is a gateway to Hockey Canada’s High-Performance Program which includes their National Teams such as the World Juniors. There is a long list of notable players who have gone through the Bantam SaskFirst Program which includes NHL players Ryan Getzlaf, Brayden Schenn, and Derrick Pouliot, just to name a few. Up and coming players such as Ethan Bear, Kole Lind and Cale Fleury also went through the SaskFirst Program.