BY RANDY SCHULTZ –
It is a warm spring day in June at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex on the campus of Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. Outside, the temperatures hover around the 70-degree mark.
But inside the temp is much cooler but the hockey action is hot on the ice. A group of 53 boys have been divided into four teams, with two teams aged between the years of 2001-2002 and two other teams between the years 2002-2003.
Over a period of four hours, two games were played in a hockey showcase atmosphere with onlookers including family, hockey coaches and media. On this particular Saturday the NewEdge Hockey Development Academy held their 2019 College Prep Showcase Games.
But this hockey showcase had a bit of a twist to it. While most showcase events usually cost anywhere between $200 and $500, this one was free.
“NewEdge Hockey Development Academy offered this elite level showcase event at no charge as a thank you to the players and families that chose to train with us,” said Rob Sedia, founder of NEHD. “Approximately 90 percent of the players playing in this showcase chose to train with us.
“But you did not need to be a NewEdge Hockey customer to participate in this showcase.”
Did NewEdge Hockey make any money at this event?
“No,” continued Sedia. “Not only did NewEdge Hockey Development Academy not make any money from this event, we donate several thousand dollars and many hours to make this event possible.”
With 53 players available, a draft was held five days prior to the showcase. The first overall draft picks for all teams received gifts from Howies Hockey and Adidas. MVP’s from both games received awards.
All players received jersey/socks. Each bench was supplied with Gatorade, water, towels, tape and tools.
Each game had live access via LiveBarn and was recorded as well. Each players team and number, as well as video copy of the game was supplied to NEHDA’s NCAA and Junior Coaches list.
“It was an honor to be chosen to play in a game like this,” commented Andrew Sarafin, who scored a hat trick in the second game and was voted the game’s Most Valuable Player for his team. “I knew several of the players from both teams.
“It’s great to be able to play in a game like this where there is a high level of competition. It’s a great experience.”
NEHDA’s Prospect Development Program is designed to develop, educate, and advocate for players in the 2001-2003 birth year range. With direct contact to 30 NCAA Division I coaches in connection to 17 NCAA Division I programs, multiple USHL, OHL, NAHL, BCHL and EHL coaches and representatives.
“NEHDA provides player information and connection opportunities to players and their families interested in pursuing any college’s or junior hockey leagues we are connected with,” concluded Sedia.”We feel it’s a great experience and has its rewards for the players.”
(photo by Janet Schultz)