The 2018/19 season is now a month old with teams completing four weeks of schooling and practices. As student-athletes begin to settle into their routines and their regular seasons begin to take shape we look at the month of September leading up to this point.
This month’s alumni spotlight player is Riley Fiddler-Schultz. The nephew of longtime NHL veteran Vernon Fiddler, Riley spent the 2017/18 season with the NAX Elite 15s recording 31 goals and 22 assists in 36 regular season games. He would go on to score another 5 goals and 2 assists in 5 playoff games as he helped the Elite 15s capture the CSSHL Championship. The Calgary Hitmen drafted the Edmonton, Alberta native in the 7th round, 148 overall in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft. Making the jump to junior in his first year of eligibility as a 16-year old, Riley joins former NAX players Luke and Josh Prokop for his first season in the WHL.
Goalie coaches Allen York and Dave Rathjen have been working with the goalie’s minimum twice a week to focusing on tracking drills, mechanics, movement mechanics, rebound control drills, teaching them situational play, angle and rotation work, stance adjustment, and puck handling fundamentals.
46 former NAX players find themselves on junior rosters this season with the following breakdown:
The NAX family grew by one in the month of September as head coach Garrett Meger and his wife Kendall welcomed Remy Dale Meger into the world on September 11. It was a short celebration for Coach Meger as he was back in the rink coaching the team to a 6-2 win over Edge in their season opener on September 23. They finished the month of September with back-to-back home games against OHA Edmonton.
The Bantam Prep team plays five games in October with all of them coming on the road in Calgary.
Meet the 2018/19 Bantam Prep team:
The Elite 15s got off on a winning foot sweeping a weekend series against Prairie Hockey Academy with victories of 4-1 and 6-5. The bus trip to Moose Jaw was highlighted by a Karaoke contest that saw Riley See crowned as champion. They played three more games in the month of September at a CSSHL showcase in Penticton against West Van Academy, OHA, and Pursuit of Excellence. Skill coaches Rob Brown, Jason Strudwick, Paul Manning, and Kane Lafranchise have been teaching the forwards offensive zone entry to attack and down low attacks to the net, while the defencemen have been learning puck retrievals, partner support, and the fundamentals of defence. Skating coach Brian Shackel has regularly attended practices for 45-minute power skating sessions with a focus on inside and outside edge control. The highlight of the month for the Elite 15s was a team sleepover at the Parker residence, which included a ping-pong tournament won by head coach Brayden Toma.
The Elite 15s play seven games in the month of October, including their home opener against OHA Edmonton:
Meet the 2018/19 Elite 15s team:
The Female Prep team has played eight preseason games in the month of September leading into their regular season play, which will begin October 5 in Penticton. To prepare for the season the focal points of practice have been creating first-person angle to contact, supporting above opposing teams’ outlets (staying on the defensive side), and layers of support in all three zones. Skating coach Brian Shackel has regularly attended practices for 45-minute power skating sessions with a focus on edge control. Skill coaches Rob Brown, Jason Strudwick, and Paul Manning have been teaching the forwards offensive zone entry to attack and down low attacks to the net, while the defencemen have been learning puck retrievals and partner support. Outside of the rink, the team has spent afternoons at the Rec Room and rock climbing.
The Female Prep’s play five games in the month of October, highlighted by a trip to Penticton:
Meet the 2018/19 Female Prep team:
After 5-4 and 7-1 wins over OHA Edmonton in preseason action the Midget Prep team started their regular season off in Calgary on September 28 playing IHA, Banff, and Edge this weekend. As players have sporadically returned from junior camps the team has been focusing on zone entries and attacks and getting up to speed on their system play, specifically the defensive zone and special teams. During scheduled class time the group has worked on setting both individual and team goals, and going through video of their neutral zone system and forecheck. As a team, they went to Rock Jungle for some rock climbing and team building and had a great time there.
The Midget Prep’s play nine games in the month of October beginning with a trip to Winnipeg:
Meet the 2018/19 Midget Prep team: