Prince Albert, SK – There was one word that stood out to Rhett Rhinehart following his time at Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase.
“The big thing the coaches stressed there was details, like following attention to detail, staying within their mentality and following their game,” Rhinehart said in a phone interview.
Rhinehart was one of 111 players in Calgary last week for the annual development camp that is used to fill three Canadian teams for this November’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, BC. The camp featured both on and off-ice activities, as well as three scrimmages for each team to wrap up the week.
If he makes one of the Canadian squads, the high-profile tournament won’t be unfamiliar territory. Rhinehart patrolled the blue line during the 2016 Western Canada Challenge Cup for Team Alberta, who went on to win the gold medal following a 3-2 overtime win over BC in the final.
The camp allowed Rhinehart to catch up with some of those players, as well as meet some of the players who he has previously competed against.
“You get to play against all of those different guys during the winter. It’s nice to be on the other side of it, playing with them and being able to connect with them.”
Rhinehart, who turns 16 in November, was the Raiders’ first round pick – 13th overall – in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. He suited up for the Yale Hockey Academy Midget Prep last season, ending the year with nine goals and 21 assists in 25 games.
The Lloydminster, AB product picked up an assist in three games, helping Team Green to a 2-1 record. Rhinehart noted that the competition was another step up from Midget AAA.
“The top level kids at Yale were close to the top level kids at the camp,” Rhinehart explained, adding that there was no drop off in talent in Calgary. “Everyone was equal. There wasn’t a weak player out there.”
Rhinehart will use this camp as a precursor to the Raiders’ training camp, which opens at the end of the month.
“It was very high paced, very physical, a lot of kids competing for a spot on Team Canada,” he said. “It’ll be the same thing coming from that camp to the WHL. I think that I’ve just got to keep playing my game.”
Season tickets for the 2017-18 season are available. For more details, head to raiderhockey.com or visit the Raider Office from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.