Salmon Arm hockey fans will get the chance to see NHL players take the ice at the Shaw Centre alongside the Silverbacks for their Pro-Am game July 27.
The event, which began as a yearly feature of the Salmon Arm Hockey School, will bring Silverbacks alumni back to the city for a night of fun on the ice, mixing up the Junior A roster with a handful of former ‘Backs who have gone on to the WHL, AHL and NHL for a fast-paced scrimmage.
Curtis Lazar of the Calgary Flames, Riley Nash of the Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets, and Angus Redmond, newly drafted goaltender with the Anaheim Ducks, are among the NHL alumni confirmed to be joining the Pro-Am game.
Other former Silverbacks such as national championship winner Lucas Nichols (University of Alberta) and Jake Bean (Team Canada) will also be skating in the Pro-Am game.
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“I am looking to fill it in with some more junior spots, college players, we’re going to mix up the lineup,” says Brooks Christensen, Silverbacks operations manager. “What we have done in the past is mix them to be as close as they can and put on an entertaining show and give the fans some fun. That’s my goal and what we’re looking to do there.”
In addition to getting a chance to share the ice with hockey pros that once wore the Silverbacks jersey themselves, a bit of a prize is on the line for players with the Junior A team.
“It’s a scholarship game, so we usually put up a scholarship towards something,” Christensen says. “Whether it’s giving a local player an opportunity for them to go off to school or something like that, we like to put together a scholarship opportunity for this game.”
For the fans, the pro-am game is also a rare chance to meet some of the top hockey players who have come out of B.C. in recent years. During intermissions between periods there will be photo opportunities and autograph-signing sessions with the NHL players attending the pro-am game.
In addition to the Pro-Am hockey game July 27, the Silverbacks are partnering with Shuswap National Golf Course for a Pro-Am golf tournament the same weekend. Club pros will join Silverbacks players and alumni, along with any members of the public who sign up, for a tournament complete with prizes for best performance on individual holes and putting contests.
The tournament will be a scramble format, meaning each member of a team takes a shot from the first tee and the best shot out of the team is played as the next ball.
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The Silverbacks are also starting their summer hockey school beginning July 16 and running until Aug. 24. Their hockey school is open to all skill levels and training will be geared toward different levels of play. Registration will be open throughout the camps and more information can be found at www.shuswapelitehockey.com.