Fun the top priority at prestigious Brick hockey tournament
Some of hockey’s top 10-year-old players are in Edmonton this week, taking part in an invitational tournament that has attracted some 200 future-NHL players in its history.
The Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament features 14 of the best clubs from across North America.
In its nearly 30 years, the event has seen plenty of soon-to-be professionals attend.
“It’s cool to see that Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and those guys have played here,” said Cade Nystrom, Team Minnesota’s goalie.
But not just Matthews and Marner. Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Brendan Gallagher and Jordan Eberle were all Brick invitees at one point, too.
“Someone said to me, ‘Imagine being a 10-year-old boy and being able to play in this environment,’” Cade’s father, Brook Nystrom, said.
“I said, ‘I’m a 47-year-old man and I’m geeking out.’”
Airdrie player Nathan Cole told CTV News Edmonton he was proud to be one of the players representing his home.
“I’m one of the only people in Alberta that gets to do it and it’s really an amazing experience.”
But while the tournament has gained notoriety for the players it attracts, the chairman said it’s not the purpose of the event.
“It’s about playing in the ice palace, playing in a domed area, playing in the middle of a shopping mall, going to a water park,” Craig Styles said.
“Those are the things that seem to come out, not that ‘I one time played against one of the best players in the world.’”
One player told CTV News Edmonton: “I just want to keep on having fun and take this in for the rest of the weekend.”
The Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament runs July 1 to July 7 at West Edmonton Mall.
With files from Joey Slattery