I have moved from Girl's Hockey back to U15 Bantam AA boy's. They start with a body checking clinic in a few weeks and then try-outs. Calgary is a city of 1.2 million people and the players have to play in the organizations which have boundries. All of the hockey up until U13 Pee Wee is organized in these area, I live within the Trails West area and two of my kid's played for Trails West. They have multiple teams for each age group. I think they had 14 Pee Wee teams last year and the kid's are evaluated at the start and play in divisions where the evaluator decide they belong.
When they are done Pee Wee they can move on to what are considered elite organizations that have from U15 Bantam to U20 Jr. B teams. The city is divided into 4 Quadrants and the players must play within the boundaries of the organization. I am coaching with the Royals organization.
The Royals have 3 AA Bantam and one AAA team of U15 players. Because the U18 Midget level is 3 years they have one Minor Midget U16 team, two Midget AA teams and one AAA team which are U18. They have two U20 Jr. B teams. Players wanting to play Jr. A or Major Jr. U20 play in Provincial Jr. A leagues (they can play NCAA from these) or to Major Jr. where they are considered pro and can't play NCAA.
Parents and players really want to be drafted by the CHA major junior teams and they draft Bantam age players. It isn't that big of deal in my mind as the three most successful players I have worked with a lot were never drafted and did pretty well. i.e. Dany Heatley, Mason Raymond, Ryan Duncan (Hobey Baker now playing in Europe).
I am coaching a Bantam AA team and have a good coaching staff and look forward to the season. Jim, my son who has coached college women with me. Ron Gerlitz who played at the U of Calgary and pro in Germany and Alex McDermott who is from Nova Scotia where he played defense and wants to get into coaching. Gaston Schaeffer will be our skating coach and the Roays have a company that works with the goalies and another company who do the off ice training.
Some coaches like me to post my practice plans and comments and this is where they will be.
I am looking forward to the season.