Just a decade ago, few would have pegged Spruce Grove as the hub for a junior hockey league showcase.
Yet that’s exactly what the city has become, as the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre prepares to host its sixth event in eight years from Sept. 25 to 27.
Ryan Bartoshyk, commissioner of the AJHL, notes the importance of location for the event.
“Spruce Grove is an ideal location for scouts,” said Bartoshyk.
Those scouts, who attend from all over Canada and the United States, don’t have to travel very far from the Edmonton International Airport.
Not to mention the convenience of the venue, as its layout allows scouts to watch multiple games at once if they so desire.
It’s a common occurrence to have each level of hockey well represented: Most NHL teams are present, as well as a lot of university-level teams, in addition to the Western Hockey League and the NCAA.
The scouts keep coming back, and in greater numbers. Brenda Hawryluk, who spearheads the volunteerism at the showcase every year, noted the positive feedback she has received from the scouts over the showcase’s existence.
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