- Written by Ryan Colby
- Created: 05 May 2015
Eugene, OR. -Members of the Eugene Generals staff will be travelling to San Jose, California this weekend for the 2015 USA Hockey Pacific District Player Development Camp.
The camp in San Jose, which runs from May 7-10, is an annual event attended by the District’s top players as well as some of the most renowned coaches and managers from across the country.
Throughout the weekend, players ranging from ages fourteen to seventeen will be tested with activities on and off the ice. Players are separated into four teams per age group, for Select 15, Select 16, and Select 17. Each team also has a designated team leader, with Justin Kern and Alex Stimson serving as team leaders for Select 17 and Select 15, respectively.
At the Select 15 age group, at completion of the weekend, an elite few will be selected to attend the USA Hockey National Select 15 Player Development Camp in Buffalo, New York. Selection to this camp increases exposure and consideration for a possible invite in January of 2016 for the 40 Man Camp of the National Team Development Program (NTDP). Players at the Select 15 age group will be selected for any international competition this year.
For both Select 16 and 17, players of both those ages will also go to Buffalo for National Camp after being cleared by their respective districts, where each group will have a chance to participate in prestigious tournaments. Players of the Select 16 age group will be chosen to represent the USA Under-17 team in the international Five Nations Tournament, with notable American players such as Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Kailer Yamamoto of the Spokane Chiefs having played in the tournament in previous years.
Meanwhile, the Select 17 players will be considered to travel to the Czech Republic for the international Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup as members of the USA Under-18 team. Notable participants of that tournament include USA players such as Jack Eichel and Tampa Bay Lightning All-Star Tyler Johnson, an alumni of the Northern Pacific Hockey League where the Generals play in.
Coach Kern, who attended the America’s Showcase in Pittsburgh last month, explained how this weekend will benefit him as he enters another year of coaching.
“I want this weekend to better my career and help grow myself within USA Hockey,” Kern elaborated. “It’s always nice to move up in the USA Hockey ranks and get those opportunities to grow as a coach. I think this is another great step in that direction.”
Doungchak has been an active member of USA Hockey since he first started coaching in 1993. An Associate Coach and Chief since 2012, he has been part of the select process since 2006 as well as Nationals since 2009. Doungchak looks forward to travelling back to Northern California and reconnect with members of USA Hockey.
“It’s always nice to give back to the hockey community,” Doungchak said. “This experience will also give Justin and Alex the chance to see what goes on at these USA Hockey camps and meet people involved with the player development program.”
For Stimson, who was recently named the team’s Associate General Manager, he hopes that his first time at a USA Hockey event will provide experience that will help him out professionally.
“All these players are looking to better themselves on and off the ice, and in a way I will be looking to do the same,” anticipated Stimson. “It will be my first USA Hockey event, and it’s my role to help out however I can. Not just players under our roof, but players under any roof as well.”
Visit the official USA Hockey website for more information about player development camps and the select process.
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