LOCAL PEE WEE HOCKEY PLAYERS HEADED TO RANGERS EVALUATION CAMP
Jeff Pexton/MHTS/PGI Photo
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Shane Calhoun, Brenden Bryant and Jimmy Rayhill, who have all skated in the New Hartford Youth Hockey and Valley Elite hockey programs, will attend the five day event at the New York Rangers Training Facility, located in Tarrytown, NY.
The three local players, along with another 45 players from around the U.S., will attend the camp, which also serves as a tryout for the Jr. Rangers Pee Wee team that will compete in the prestigious Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament, February 12-23, 2104.
That tournament will feature junior teams, representing virtually every National Hockey League franchise and players from sixteen countries around the world.
The New York Jr. Rangers Pee Wee Team is sponsored by the New York Rangers and is managed by Doug Messier, father of NHL Hall of Famer Mark Messier, who has six Stanley Cup Rings (one from 1994 with the Rangers) and an Olympic Gold Medal, to his credit.
The journey to the Rangers camp began for these three, local youngsters last August, while playing a summer tournament with their Valley Elite team at the New England Classic in Boston.
After watching them in action, a coach at the event approached the three players and their families and offered them a chance to attend this year’s Jr. Rangers camp.
“I was like, sure,” an excited Brenden Bryant told MHTS of his reaction when he was made aware of the invitation. Bryant, the son of Jon and Michelle Bryant of Frankfort, said he is a little nervous to take the ice in Tarrytown next week, “Yeah I will be nervous being out there with all those other kids, but I think I will be fine once we get going.”
Braynt also said, “It is an honor to be invited and I look forward to taking advantage of the experience.”
Jimmy Rayhill, the son of Peter and Ellen Rayhill of New Hartford, said he is a little more nervous because he hasn’t skated as much as his two buddies have this summer, as he has been busy doing “Other stuff.” He added, “Once I shake the rust off, I think I will be fine. I just want to go down there, learn a lot from the coaches each day and then make that team.”
Besides the ultimate goal of making the Jr. Rangers Pee Wee team, that will compete in Quebec next February, these three youngsters are also looking forward to the detailed evaluation and progress reports that each player attending the camp receives at the conclusion.
“I think we’re going to learn so much from being on the ice with the Ranger’s coaches everyday,” Shane Calhoun said, with an ear to ear grin. “And if we make the team and get to go and play in the tournament in Canada next season, it would be amazing.” Shane is the son of Pat and Lisa Calhoun of New Hartford.
Following the week long camp in August, players will be evaluated and then invited back for at least two practices in the month of September.
Following those practices, a final roster for 17 players and possibly two alternates will be chosen for the final roster that will take part in the Quebec International Tournament.
Tyler Watkins, who coaches with the Palm Beach (FL) Blackhawks and the Valley Elite club, will attend the five day camp with Calhoun, Bryant and Rayhill.
Congratulations to Shane, Brenden and Jimmy from My Hometown Sports on being invited to this great event!
Best of luck on your quest to join the Junior Rangers in Quebec next February!