The top boys and girls hockey players ages 14-18 in Minnesota will take the ice this weekend in the CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Programs. The weekend’s events will include the HP 14 Spring Festivals, HP 15 Spring Festivals, HP 16 & 17 Final 54 Festivals and the CCM National Invitational Tournaments.
“We’re excited for another full weekend of spectacular hockey,” said Mike MacMillan, Executive Director of the MHCA. “All the players participating in this weekend’s events will benefit from great competition while being evaluated by some of the top scouts and coaches from the NHL, college and junior leagues.”
The Girls’ NIT, Final 54 and HP 15 events will be taking place at Braemar Arena in Edina, while the corresponding Boys’ events will be held at Plymouth Ice Center in Plymouth. The Girls’ and Boys’ HP 14 events will occur at the Heritage Sports Center and Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth, respectively.
Every year Minnesota Hockey, in conjunction with CCM, the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association and the Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Associations, host two of the top showcase tournaments in the country, the Boys and Girls CCM High School National Invitational Tournaments (NIT). This year’s Boys CCM NIT will be held on April 21-24 at Plymouth Ice Center, and the Girls CCM NIT will take place at the same time at Braemar Arena.
“Many high school players have the potential to play at the next level after their high school career is over,” said Mike MacMillan, Executive Director of the Minnesota High School Coaches Association. “This tournament will give these young men and women a chance to showcase their abilities in front of scouts from the NHL, NCAA and junior leagues.”
The Boys CCM NIT will feature the top 18U (1999) players from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan as well as a Senior All-Star Team from North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts and Minnesota.
The girls’ tournament features teams from North Dakota, Wisconsin and Northern Midwest as well as a Senior All-Star team and an 18U team from Minnesota. The Minnesota Seniors team was selected from players participating in the High School Senior Classic. The Minnesota 18U team has been chosen from high school juniors with a 1999 birth year.
The Final 54 Festivals feature the top 54 boys and girls hockey players in Minnesota that were born in 2000 and 2001. During the Final 54, each age group will be split into three teams. The teams play two games within their age group and one crossover game against players in the other age level.
Following the Final 54 Festivals, the top players from each age group will be selected to represent Minnesota Hockey at a national festival/camp, sponsored by USA Hockey, which involves the best players from each of the USA Hockey districts. The national camps are used by USA Hockey to identify the top performers in each age group for possible opportunities to represent the U.S.A. at advanced levels of national and international hockey competition.
The HP 15 Spring Festivals consist of the top players with a 2002 birth year. The festivals consist of Bantam/14U and high school players who participated in tryouts and skill sessions within their Minnesota Hockey district before being selected for the festival. The district teams compete in a round robin format.
A team of knowledgeable coaches and scouts evaluates all of the players for participation in the CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Summer Camps in St. Cloud, MN. The top players from the summer camps are selected to represent Minnesota Hockey at a USA Hockey Player Development Camp.
The HP 14 festivals will feature the best boys and girls hockey players born in 2003 from across Minnesota. The HP 14 programs, which were first introduced last year, are conducted similar to the HP 15 level in which players begin with tryouts at the district level and participate in a series of skills session before advancing to their festival.
New this season, Minnesota Hockey will be adding a summer camp component to the HP 14 programs. Players from each district team will be evaluated throughout their three games at the festival for an opportunity to participate in a five-day training camp this June.
The CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Programs are a prestigious series of tryouts, camps, and festivals that provide the top players from each district or section a chance to play with and against the best players in the state. These programs are conducted in conjunction with USA Hockey and are referred to as “Select” programs in other parts of the country.