By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
Hockey Manitoba announced Friday the players invited to attend the U-16 Program of Excellence (POE) TOP-40 Camp held May 8-11, 2014 in Portage la Prairie. The POE TOP-40 Camp is the second major phase of the Program of Excellence which is the selection process for the U-16 (Male) and U-18 (Female) Team Manitoba rosters. The TOP-40 Camp rosters have been finalized following the 2014 Manitoba Games and Bantam AAA playoffs/provincials.
A total of 40 players have been invited to the U-16 camp, comprised of four (4) goalies, twelve (12) defensemen, and twenty-four (24) forwards. The U-16 TOP-40 Camp roster will feature a large amount of Western Hockey League draft picks anticipated to be selected in early May. This will mark the third season of the POE Top-40 Camp which was formerly known as the POE Summer Camp, however in an effort to streamline programming towards the philosophies of the Sport Canada Long-Term Athlete Development Model and Hockey Canada’s Long-Term Player Development Model the camp was moved to May as of 2011. Historically POE summer camps have taken place in June or July, which essentially forced young players to continue to participate in high-intensity summer hockey teams/tournaments as opposed to using those months as an important resting and training period off the ice. The POE TOP-40 Camp is an integral piece in determining not only the short list of skill & talent for Team Manitoba but also a significant importance is placed on team building, off-ice behaviour, and estimating individual character and leadership qualities.
U-16 Team Manitoba will compete at the 2015 Canada Games (Male Hockey) held February 21 – March 1, 2015 in Prince George, BC. Following the POE TOP-40 Camp a short list of approximately 27 players will be invited to a skills & conditioning camp in July and a pre-season prep camp in August. U-16 Team Manitoba staff will scout the early portion of the 2014-15 hockey season and will invite another short list to attend an exhibition tournament with the final roster of 20 players being named in mid-December 2014.
Hockey Manitoba will release the U-18 Program of Excellence (POE) TOP-40 Camp roster on Tuesday, April 15. The U-18 TOP-40 Camp is hosted simultaneously with the U-16 TOP-40 Camp, both in Portage la Prairie, May 8-13, 2014.
For more information about the Hockey Manitoba Program of Excellence please visit www.hockeymanitoba.ca/players/
Team Black Roster
Team White Roster
— with files from Hockey Manitoba