© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Brayden Point races through the neutral zone with the Moose Jaw Warriors Saturday.
For the first time in his life, Moose Jaw Warriors forward Brayden Point will be wearing the maple leaf.
Point was selected to the Team Pacific roster on Thursday for the upcoming 2013 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge.
“It is cool that I get to wear the maple leaf on my chest for the first time,” said Point. “That is something I am looking for to.”
He got a text from his friend, Payton Lee from Cranbrook, B.C. saying he had made the team and congratulations was how Point found out he was one of 18 Western Hockey League players chosen. An official phone call by Team Pacific coach, Jason Becker confirmed the news.
“Getting the call from Jason was really exciting for me,” he said.
At the age of 16, Point is excited to put on a jersey not only to represent his province, but also the country.
“I watch the World Juniors and it is not like that yet, but it is a huge honour,” he said.
Point will join his other teammates from Alberta and British Columbia in Victoriaville and Drummondville, Que. from Dec. 29 to Jan. 4 for the Challenge. The 27-game tournament features the best players in the world in the 1996 age group.
There was a weeklong camp that players went to in the summer and it was the first time ever that both provinces tried out and practiced together. The top 22 athletes were chosen from those two provinces, rather than 11 from Alberta and 11 from B.C. like in the past.
“We had a few different coaches and we had a different Team Pacific staff each night. It was good to learn from them and see different techniques and d-zones,” Point explained the camp experience.
Although the speedy centre leads the Warriors in rookie scoring with six goals and 16 points, the Calgary native is willing to play any position the coaching staff asks of him.
“I’m not too sure, but I will be happy with any role they give me and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability,” he said. “I am just going to work my hardest to the Pacific region proud.”
Team Pacific has never won a gold medal at this tournament, but has claimed silver five times and bronze five times. Last year, the event was held in Winnipeg where Ontario won gold, USA won silver and Pacific won bronze.