The Return of the Monctonian Challenge

As hundreds of players and their families converge on the Superior Propane Centre for the Monctonian Challenge it’s easy to see the passion and love for the game.

Hockey dreams live on in so many of us, in so many different ways.

From the coach, to the player, to referee, to the scout and even the player agent or family advisor, the game offers so many different opportunities for growth and development.

Tournaments like the Monctonian showcase the game in all facets.

As scouts are trying to identify the prospects and make their early season lists we shouldn’t lose sight of the value of growth and development.

Of course everyone wants to win, but at the end of the day, what’s the game all about?

What’s the purpose of these showcase tournaments?

Win at all cost or expose the players to the best competition possible to ensure they develop and continue to grow.

You see everyone wins when growth and development are the main objectives.

The Monctonian is excellent Tournament to set a benchmark for player development.

As teams are gearing up for the rest of the season, draft eligible players will experience their first major test under the scouting microscope and scrutiny of that process.

One can only imagine the self imposed pressure they will this weekend.

The Monctonian Challenge triumphantly returns after being cancelled a year ago due to COVID-19.

Let’s all hope that the tireless work that has gone into organizing one of the premier tournaments in eastern Canada goes off well and that everyone follows public health and tournament guidelines. Let’s hope everyone wears their masks and does all the right things so we can continue to enjoy the game we all love.

Blair Brooks and the organizing committee deserve so much credit when it comes to this tournament. The Monctonian Challenge somehow gets better with each passing year.

From a player perspective, one can only hope that the pressure and high expectations surrounding the weekend doesn’t over shadow the experience of the game.

Over the multitude of games this weekend, you will be sure to witness some impressive performances under extreme pressure.

Every player has their own unique path in the game. Every tournament and league game means something, but all the hard work is done when very few watch during the countless hours of practice and sacrifices away from the rink, by the player, parents, coaches and team staff.

When I think of showcase tournaments I think of all the hard work and dedication of all those behind the scenes that allow the spotlight to be shown on the players.

Obviously, the Monctonian Challenge is massive, but it’s only a collection of games throughout the entire process.

Embrace the journey, embrace the grind, but whatever you do, don’t believe if you have a subpar performance this weekend that it’s the end of your dreams.

The Monctonian is a snapshot, a benchmark, it’s not the end, it’s only one chapter in your journey.

That chapter as yet to be written.

Enjoy the experience hopefully like you’re enjoying your draft year.

Don’t sabotage yourself or your performance by letting the pressure get to you. Control what you can control, play to your identity and I guarantee you will get noticed.

We all share hockey dreams, we all share a love for the game.

We all have a job to do, we all have great intentions to fulfill our role within the game, but at the end of the day no one is bigger than the game itself.

We all have unique journey’s within the game, that’s what makes the game so special.

We all have a place in the game, and when the focus remains on growth and development everyone wins, but most importantly the game wins and that’s what matters most.

The return of the Monctonian is upon us, but one should ask these questions entering the event.

What’s your mindset?

What does the game mean to you?

What are you doing every day to get better?

What type of player and teammate do you want to be?

What intangibles do you bring to the game and your team?

Everyone’s answers are different and that’s what makes the game so unique!

See you at the rink,

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