AP's Coaches Blog; Evolve-ing As A Company

While fellow Newfoundlanders wait (and wait...and wait...) for summer to arrive, lets recap some things that have transpired in the hockey world recently.

Xtreme Hockey partnered with Rochester, NY-based Evolve Hockey this past weekend for a Summer Travel Team pilot project. 3 players from Xtreme Hockey (Nolan Avery, Jack Chafe, and Carter Hynes) combined with players from Syracuse, Ithaca, Buffalo, and Rochester, NY to form the first ever "EX Selects" 2006 team. The team participated in the CCHA Sports North American Showcase Tournament in Toronto, Ontario, and while the results weren't what the squad wanted, the trip was a major success. "There will be some growing pains with a new venture, but we are treating this like an expansion team" said Evolve Hockey President Chris Collins. Collins is the type of coach that players want to listen to; the Fairport, NY native played 192 AHL games with 4 AHL teams, and was the runner-up for the Hobey Baker Award in 2005-06 (The Hobey Baker Award goes to the NCAA Division I's Most Valuable Player). Look for more #xhockeyplayers to participate in the EX Selects trip to Ottawa, Ontario in July....stay tuned!

The QMJHL Midget Draft took place "on the island" this past weekend, and there was no shortage of #xhockeyplayers hearing their names called on draft day. Nick Gosse was the highest pick of the day, going to Rimouski with pick number 48. Chris Murphy was next off the board with pick number 95 (Moncton), followed by Kyle Mcgrath (101, Charlottetown), Devon Newhook (103, Saint John), Liam Leonard (116, Quebec), and Matt McKim (127, Rouyn-Noranda). Matt Templeman rounded out the selections by going to Moncton at pick number 230. Congratulations to all players who were drafted! This is a special weekend for a lot of teenaged athletes, however, it can also be a heartbreaker to those who don't get picked. To any player who wasn't picked on Saturday; don't sweat it. Arguably the most successful NL-born hockey player of all-time (Teddy Purcell) was passed over in the "Q" draft, and he made out just fine.

Congratulations to #xhockeyplayers Maggie Connors on her recent commitment to Princeton University (NCAA Division I Women's Hockey). Maggie attended Xtreme from Squirt to Bantam, and has been attending Shattuck St. Mary's Prep School in Minnesota, USA the past couple of seasons. Way to go Mags! Connors' big announcement comes not long after #xhockeyplayers Izzy Weist committed to RNS Prep in New Brunswick for next season. Two words....."girl power!"

Sticking with the "girl power" theme, congrats to Abby Newhook on a great performance this past weekend in Toronto. "Abs" played in a top-calibre female tournament and was the youngest skater there! Not only did Abby show up to the tournament; the St. John's native decided that she wanted to make the tournament All-Star Game. Newhook (2003) will be on every prep school and university radar after such a showing..... look for the youngest Newhook sibling to do great things in hockey in the very near future.

Until next time,