It is the dream of every young fan to meet their hockey idols. This past weekend, the Vancouver Canucks offered 80 minor hockey players the opportunity to skate alongside the team’s stars of tomorrow as part of the Train with the Young Stars Contest. Sponsored by Tim Hortons, the contest was part of the larger Young Stars Tournament that saw the Canucks’ top prospects compete against up-and-comers from opposing NHL teams in Penticton, BC.
The application process saw over 700 entries from boys and girls aged 5-15 from all over British Columbia. With 80 kids chosen from that pool, the winners participated in a 60-minute on-ice session with a handful of Canucks Young Stars prior to Sunday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Split up into two groups, one set of winners completed drills with Canucks prospects Hunter Shinkaruk, Alex Grenier, Ludwig Blomstrand, Henrik Tommernes, Miles Liberati and Adam De Champlain. Meanwhile, the second group of winners skated alongside Bo Horvat, Eddie Lack, Jordan Subban, Mitch Elliot and Jeremie Blain. Led by Okanagan Hockey School instructors, the Canucks Young Stars helped their more youthful counterparts at puck control, fastest skater, accuracy shooting, hardest shot and breakaway competitions, providing a new and truly unique experience for both the prospects and the children.
After honing their abilities on the ice with the Canucks’ prospects, our contest-winners received autographs and snacked on donuts and drinks provided by Tim Hortons before settling into their seats for the Canucks game against the Oilers. Despite a 2-0 deficit midway through the second, the Canucks prospects rallied for a 5-2 win, capping off a truly memorable night for our 80 contest winners!