Three Battlefords players make next stage of SaskFirst tryouts

By Craig Beauchemin
June 24, 2016 - 12:00pm

Three hockey players who play in the Battlefords are among the invites for the final stage of the SaskFirst selection camp.

Battlefords AAA Stars defenceman Luke Reid and Battlefords AAA Sharks forwards Keara Amson and Jordan Kulbida have been invited to the U16 portion of the camp which is being held in Notre Dame July 27 to August 4.

“We started out with a tryout for our zone team,” Reid explained. “After that we went to Regina for a tournament with a few games, and from that came the top-40 team which is what we’re going to now. “

The SaskFirst program was introduced in 1988, and promotes a team concept which encompasses the pursuit of common goals. The program has seen gold medal performances at the 1995 Canada Winter Games, 1998 Western International Under 17 Hockey Challenge and the 2004 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge.

Reid played midget hockey as an underager last season, suiting up for 43 games with the Stars recording six goals and nine assists. He was drafted by the Victoria Royals in the second round of this year’s Western Hockey League draft, 26th overall.

Kulbida and Amson meanwhile were two of the standout offensive players for the Sharks during a tough 2015-16 season. Kulbida scored five goals with seven assists in 28 games while Amson chipped in with nine goals and two assists.

“Tryouts were just like a regular tryout, but the zone tournament had games so it was a bit more intense,” Reid said. “I know quite a few guys just from playing with them at all these tournaments so it’ll be nicer to get to see them again and get to know them better.”

The schedule for players includes classroom exercises, fitness testing and practises. The girl’s side feature the top 44 female players in the U16 category and the top 42 players in the U18 category, while the male side features the top 43 players in U16 only.

“I think it will help me a lot,” Reid said. “To be competing against all those top players will show me where I am as a player. I just want to make as many teams as I can and do as good as I can.”

The camp includes many other WHL draft picks, including the highest drafted Saskatchewan born player, Logan Barlage, who was drafted fourth overall by the Swift Current Broncos.

Reid also believed this camp will help him better prepare for his first WHL training camp, as he plans on officially signing with the Victoria Royals in the near future.


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