The 2022 Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) Showcase promises to be a premiere event, especially with an all-star team of organizers and volunteers that are dedicated to curating an exciting weekend of hockey and family-friendly entertainment.
The showcase will be held at the Eagle Builders Centre in Blackfalds, AB in late September, and the weekend offers a unique chance for all 16 AJHL teams to gather in one location. Regular season games will be played in front of a concentrated collection of scouts and evaluators, representing many different postsecondary and professional organizations from the National Hockey League (NHL), NCAA Division I, II and III schools, plus Canadian colleges and universities, as well as the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).
The AJHL Showcase is a grass-roots celebration of Junior hockey in Alberta and it would appear early on that event organizers are keen to emphasize that fact. The focus will be on providing fans with a fun, family-friendly, festival-style event, according to organizer and Business Operations Director, Trevor Thomas. He explained that he and his team intend to create a comfortable experience for everyone who attends the event; from the players, scouts and fans, to the staff and volunteers.
“What will be the ‘fan experience’? What is the experience going to be like for the volunteers?” inquired Thomas, rhetorically. “For these types of events, you need a lot of volunteers to pull them off successfully, so you want it to be a good experience for all the people that are coming through the doors, and so we’re looking to create that welcoming environment.”
Planning a large event like the AJHL Showcase can be an ambitious task, but this is not the ‘first rodeo; for Thomas… literally. He was previously involved in the planning of two premiere events in Alberta: the 2021 Canadian Finals Rodeo, as well as the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships.
Games will be played at the Bulldogs home arena, The Eagle Builders Centre, in Blackfalds, AB. which is a brand new facility with all the latest amenities, great sight-lines and a modern layout, which makes it perfectly suited for hosting large-scale events in central Alberta. Confident in the on-ice product, and the host venue, Thomas explained that his focus will be on elevating other aspects of the overall fan experience during the Showcase. While he didn’t get into specifics just yet, he hinted at the ‘bigger picture’ in regards to offering multiple avenues for entertainment, engagement and excitement.
“We know the hockey is going to be fantastic, as it always is,” explains Thomas. “But what else is going to be happening? We’re looking at a lot of different things, (creating) that festival environment, whether it be in or out of the Eagle Builders Centre. So when people come to Blackfalds they’re going to have a good time, there will be lots to do. It’s not just coming to a hockey game, it’s coming to an event.”
The 2022 AJHL Showcase will be held from September 29th – October 2nd and a full schedule for the will be announced alongside the League Schedule in July, 2022.
For more information on the 2022 AJHL Showcase in Blackfalds, AB CLICK HERE.
Article by Bryan Wilson.