Our Selects program has proved to be one of the most successful avenues for young hockey players to improve their skills, compete at the highest level and further their playing careers while offering world-class experiences to the athletes and their families. Countless Selects alumni have gone on to accomplish great feats both on and off the ice, and with our new Selects Spotlight, we look to promote those players and their success stories.

Flip-flops and ice skates are typically polar opposites on the footwear spectrum. But when you live in sunny California like West Coast Selects forward Alexandra Lalonde, the two items are sure to go hand-in-hand throughout the course of a day at the rink.

In the spring, Lalonde played with our U-14 WCS squad at the World Selects Invitational in Chamonix.

“My most memorable Selects experience is going to France and Italy and playing against high-caliber teams from Europe and North America,” she said. “Besides the great on-ice experience, I enjoyed the outings with my West Coast Selects team, traveling on the bus and visiting different places in France and Italy.”

Well, the on-ice experience worked out pretty well for Lalonde as her team went 7-1-0 in the tournament, defeating the East Coast Selects 2-1 in the championship game. But for the off-ice sightseeing, interacting with teammates and enjoying a trip in a foreign country was even better, it speaks volumes about her time spent in Europe.

“I have never had so much fun in my life,” she said. “I am very happy that I made so many new friends and special memories.”

Now playing for her winter team, the U-14 triple-A Anaheim Lady Ducks, Lalonde is focused on her future in the sport and hopes to one day attend an academy school before going to college. Both of her parents maintain professions in the medical field — her father as an orthopaedic surgeon and her mother as a nurse — so Alexandra has shared interests of pursuing a career in medicine as well. Until then, Lalonde works at her craft on the ice drawing inspiration from U.S. Olympic gold medalists Cayla Barnes, Hilary Knight and Annie Pankowski.

“I have been fortunate to meet all three of these women over the past few years,” said Lalonde. “Both Annie Pankowski and Cayla Barnes started playing hockey here in southern California where I live and have ties to my youth hockey program. I admire both their work ethic and approach to the game of hockey and their skill sets on the ice.”

In December of 2017, Lalonde was chosen as a representative for the Lady Ducks program to take part in the opening ceremonies before Team USA and Team Canada played a pre-Olympic exhibition game in San Jose, California. There, she got the opportunity to meet Barnes one-on-one outside the team’s dressing room (pictured above), a moment in Lalonde’s young hockey career that she won’t soon forget.

Interested in joining the Selects Hockey program? Learn more about the program and find out how you can get involved HERE. If you’re a current player looking to get featured in our next Selects Spotlight fill out the form HERE!  

The women’s college season began last week and the men’s season gets underway this weekend, so with hockey in full swing, we take a closer look at where our Selects alums will have the biggest impact on NCAA hockey for the 2018-19 season.

In men’s hockey, roughly 128 alums — including 40 freshmen — will compete for 43 of the 60 Division-I schools with players in all six conferences as well as the lone Independent school in Arizona State University.

No school features more Selects alums than that of Michigan State University, which prominently sports 10 former players that make up nearly half of its 2018-19 roster. Two Hockey East schools follow closely in Boston University (nine) and Boston College (seven), but no conference has more overall than the ECAC with 34 alums across its 12 schools.

2018 first-round NHL Draft picks Oliver Wahlstrom (Boston College) and Joel Farabee (Boston Univ.) will make their college debuts while veterans Kenny Citron (Colgate), Chase Pearson (Maine), Andrew Peeke (Notre Dame) and Chase Priskie (Quinnipiac) will take the ice representing their respective teams as captains for the 2018-19 season.

On the women’s side, more than 130 Selects alums are slated to compete in the 2018-19 season on 34 of the 40 Division-I schools. Roughly 41 of those alums will enter the season as freshmen, matching the number from last year as two of the largest incoming classes in Selects history.

The University of Wisconsin leads the pack with an unprecedented 15 former Selects players on its 26-person roster, including senior captain Sophia Shaver. The next highest are Hockey East schools Northeastern and Boston College with 10 apiece.

Loren Gabel, Avery Mitchell, Kristy Pidgeon and captain Cassidy Vinkle return to Clarkson University, as the back-to-back national champion Golden Knights look to defend their title for a third straight season.

After becoming the first freshman to ever win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, second-year Boston College forward Daryl Watts will certainly be the focus this season and have an opportunity to become the first to ever win the award in consecutive years as well, with the Eagles entering the season ranked in the top 10 in the country.

With more than 250 former players across the Division-I college hockey landscape, the Selects storylines for the 2018-19 season are endless. Keep an eye out for the latest in Selects news and how the season plays out for our alums.

Interested in joining the Selects Hockey family? Learn more about the program and find out how you can get involved HERE.

The 2018-19 NHL season begins Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, when the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens drop the puck at 7 p.m., in Scotiabank Arena. With that, 70 Selects alums made their way onto teams’ opening-day rosters this week for the beginning of the 102nd NHL season.

When teams take the ice this week,  26 of the 31 NHL teams will do so with at least one Selects alum on their rosters. None will do so with more than the Colorado Avalanche, who will start the season with six former Selects players including captain Gabriel Landeskog, Mark Barberio, Gabriel Bourque, J.T. Compher, Patrik Nemeth and Matt Nieto. They are closely followed by the New Jersey Devils with five including one of their captains Kyle Palmieri, Joey Anderson, Jesper Bratt, Blake Coleman and Pavel Zacha.

On the heels of back-to-back 100-point seasons and consecutive Art Ross Trophies, former East Coast Selects-O forward Connor McDavid looks to become the first player since Jaromir Jagr in ‘99 to ‘01 to win the award as the league’s top point scorer for a third straight season. He begins his fourth season with the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday when the team travels to New Jersey.

Among some of the Selects rookies slated to play in their first NHL games this week, no debut has been more hyped than that of former Sweden Selects defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. After being selected first overall in the 2018 NHL Draft this summer, Dahlin is expected to be in the lineup Thursday night when the Buffalo Sabres take on the Boston Bruins.

With 70 Selects alums active on NHL teams’ 23-man rosters to begin the season, the 2018-19 slate is sure to be action-packed and filled with plenty of storylines surrounding our former players. For a complete list of Selects in NHL organizations, check out our Alumni Section HERE. Interested in learning more about our Selects Program and how you can get involved? Check it out HERE.

Our Selects program has proved to be one of the most successful avenues for young hockey players to improve their skills, compete at the highest level and further their playing careers while offering world-class experiences to the athletes and their families. Countless Selects alumni have gone on to accomplish great feats both on and off the ice, and with our new Selects Spotlight, we look to promote those players and their success stories.

It’s been an eventful 2018 for East Coast Selects forward Mia Langlois. The New Hampshire native just began high school at Cushing Academy this fall and has already committed to play Division-I college hockey at Northeastern University. This all followed a tremendous summer on and off the ice with the Selects Hockey program.  

“My most memorable Selects experience was the 2018 trip to Bolzano, Italy,” she said. “My East Coast team won the WSI Championship. To make it even more memorable, I scored the winning goal with just 21 seconds left in OT of the semifinals game and then was named tournament MVP.”

That goal was one-of-three goals Langlois scored for ECS in the U-15 World Selects Invitational, accounting for one-sixth of her team’s offense in the tournament.

Langlois has put herself on the fast track when it comes to her hockey career, but she’s still focused on taking things one step at a time. First, she said her goals in high school are to help Cushing win a hockey championship and to get a great education.

“After Cushing I hope to play D-1 hockey and earn a spot on the U.S. National Team to represent my country in international play,” Langlois said.

The talented high school freshman draws inspiration from another New England native; women’s USA hockey star Meghan Duggan.

“Her combination of skill, leadership, intelligence, and kindness is something I look up to and strive to achieve,” said Langlois. “What she and her teammates did to make USA Hockey treat female hockey players equally is something that will benefit girls for years to come and I’m thankful for her leadership during that time.”

Interested in joining the Selects Hockey program? Learn more about the program and find out how you can get involved HERE. If you’re a current player looking to get featured in our next Selects Spotlight fill out the form HERE!  

Our Selects program has proved to be one of the most successful avenues for young hockey players to improve their skills, compete at the highest level and further their playing careers while offering world-class experiences to the athletes and their families. Countless Selects alumni have gone on to accomplish great feats both on and off the ice, and with our new Selects Spotlight, we look to promote those players and their success stories.

Like any typical younger sibling, Cassie Hall wanted to do everything her big sister did. And, like a typical older sibling, Courtney Hall may have reluctantly obliged but secretly enjoyed having a life-long partner in all of her activities.

It seems like since birth, Courtney had always had an influence on Cassie’s hockey career, paving the way for the younger sister to follow in her footsteps. Playing hockey in the basement or in the driveway, rollerblading and training together, the ‘04-birth year forward was bound to do whatever the older Hall did as well.

Like her older sister, Cassie joined the West Coast Selects program in hopes of improving her hockey skills and getting an incredible life experience by competing in world-class tournaments against international opponents.

“Going to France a year ago was my first trip to Europe,” Hall said. “We got to play so many European teams, and I made friends with girls I never would have met otherwise.”

Hall’s ‘04 WCS squad went 8-0-0 in the U-14 World Selects Invitational in France last spring, scoring a goal and four points en route to a championship. But the most entertaining moment of the trip came off the ice that week.

“Coach Manon and I were both afraid to go up the gondola to Mount Blanc,” she said. “But we went anyway and I was so glad I did, the views were amazing!”

Now playing for the U-14 Detroit Little Caesars this season, a team in which older sister Courtney serves as a student-coach, Cassie hopes to continue following in her sister’s footsteps while pursuing a college career.

“My biggest hockey influence is my sister, Courtney,” she said. “She played on the ‘01 West Coast Selects and will be playing Division-I college hockey [committed to St. Cloud State University].”

Want to be in the spotlight? Find out more about our teams, camps and academy by joining our Selects program HERE! Already played in our Selects program and want to share your story? Tell us about your experience!

With some of the best ‘00 and ‘01-birth year players from the U.S., the 2018 All-American Prospects Game in St. Paul, Minnesota, last night featured 14 formers Selects players among some of the best talent in the country. Hosted by USA Hockey, the AAPG is an annual event that regularly features many players projected to be selected in next year’s NHL Draft, as Team Langenbrunner topped Team Leopold 6-4 by scoring four unanswered goals.

Alums Cameron Rowe and Dustin Wolf manned the goal crease for Team Leopold with Spencer Wright on the opposite end for Team Langenbrunner, a tough spot to be in for what tends to be high-scoring affairs with a wealth of offensive talent on the ice.

Among those highly-talented forwards were alums Robert Mastrosimone, Michael Gildon, Danny Weight and Shane Pinto, who all skated for Team Leopold. John Farinacci and Trevor Zegras were on the other side representing Team Langenbrunner. Mastrosimone skated on the top line for Team Leopold alongside highly-touted prospect Jack Hughes and Zegras played the middle on Team Langenbrunner’s top line with the game’s Most Valuable Player, Matt Boldy.

Henry Thrun and Braden Doyle patrolled the blue line for Team Leopold while Marshall Warren, Case McCarthy and Zac Jones played defense for Team Langenbrunner; Warren and McCarthy operating as the team’s second pairing.

Now in its seventh year, the AAPG has featured the likes of NHL stars Jack Eichel, Seth Jones and Dylan Larkin in previous games as well as other prominent Selects alums like Ryan Donato, Alex Tuch, Troy Terry and Luke Opilka. Last year, alums Joel Farabee and Oliver Wahlstrom competed at the event in Buffalo, New York, before being selected in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft this past summer. Of the 42 players who participated in the event on Wednesday night, 34 have committed to major NCAA Division-I schools including 13 of the 14 Selects alums.

Four Selects alums made the trip to China with the Boston Bruins for two preseason games this week, as part of the NHL’s efforts to help grow the game of hockey throughout Asia. Among the 40-plus players combined between the Bruins and Calgary Flames were former Selects players Ryan Donato, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Urho Vaakanainen and Jakub Zboril.

Selects alum Ryan Donato (second from left) traveled to Asia with the Boston Bruins as part of the China Games. He is seen here with teammates at the Great Wall of China. (Travis Basciotta/Boston Bruins)

Donato, a member of the ‘96 Cougars Selects team, made his NHL debut last March after being selected in the second round of the 2014 Draft. He picked up an assist in the Bruins’ second preseason game on Wednesday.

A former Boston University alternate captain and member of our ‘96 Sweden Selects, Forsbacka-Karlsson is slated to join the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Providence this season but has already made a splash in preseason. Nicknamed “JFK”, the 2015 second round draft pick chipped in an assist on Boston’s second goal against the Flames.

Vaakanainen(18th 2017) and Zboril (13th 2015) both helped man the blue line for the Bruins while in China. Both are former first-round picks of Boston with Zboril going 13th overall in 2015 and Vaakanainen 18th overall in the 2017 Draft. Both also played prominent roles on European Selects teams, Vaakanainen with ‘99 Finland and Zboril with ‘97 Czech teams.

With more than 250 alums currently active in NHL organizations, the Selects Hockey presence at the world’s highest level grows stronger with each passing year. To find out more about who some of our other prominent alums are, click HERE for a comprehensive list of NHL and NCAA Selects players.

‪Congrats to this year’s class of Boys MVPs! From Western Canada to the East Coast, ‘07s to ‘03s, take a minute to check out each teams’ representative for the 2018 spring/summer season!

Our Selects program has proved to be one of the most successful avenues for young hockey players to improve their skills, compete at the highest level and further their playing careers while offering world-class experiences to the athletes and their families. Countless Selects alumni have gone on to accomplish great feats both on and off the ice, and with our new Selects Spotlight, we look to promote those players and their success stories.

LGS Selects Program Spotlight: Brooke Becker

It was the spring of 2016 in the Czech Republic and defenseman Brooke Becker was skating with the U-15 East Coast Selects. From the blue line, she scored three goals and six points in five games against teams from four different countries. What an experience it was for this girl from Western New York.

“My team was able to compete in the world championship game,” Becker said. “Although we didn’t win it was a great experience.”

In a Selects vs. Selects finale, Becker’s ECS squad fell to the West Coast Selects 3-0 but for the 5-foot-8 defender, the memories from that trip far exceeded the results on the ice. Traveling overseas, visiting a foreign country and getting to do it all with new friends and teammates proved to be far more important than the outcome of any game that week in Europe.

Since then, the 2002-born, right-hand shot Becker has verbally committed to NCAA Providence College for the 2020 season and will spend the 2018-19 season with the U-19 Buffalo Bisons. As a member of the Selects program, she has grown and developed both on and off the ice competing with some of the best girls around the world at her age group. All of those experiences have led her to this point in her young career.

“I hope to play on the U-18 National Team and continue my hockey career throughout college,” she said.

With two full seasons of youth hockey remaining before Becker makes the jump to collegiate hockey, she pulls inspiration from other successful women’s hockey players who have reached heights that she hopes to attain one day.

“Meghan Duggan is my biggest hockey influence,” Becker said. “Not only does she captain the Women’s National Team, but she is so talented and so hardworking. I especially admire how passionate she is for the game.”

Want to be in the spotlight? Find out more about our teams, camps and academy by joining our Selects program HERE! Already played in our Selects program and want to share your story? Tell us about your experience!

Our Selects program has proved to be one of the most successful avenues for young hockey players to improve their skills, compete at the highest level and further their playing careers while offering world-class experiences to the athletes and their families. Countless Selects alumni have gone on to accomplish great feats both on and off the ice, and with our new Selects Spotlight, we look to promote those players and their success stories.

“The highlight of my selects experience was definitely winning the World Selects Invite,” said P.J. Neal.

A forward for the ‘03 East Coast Selects-O, Neal led the team with eight points during their perfect 9-0-0 run to a World U-15 Championship at this year’s World Selects Invitational in Philadelphia.

“It was amazing because you knew you were playing some of the best kids in the world and that the competition was the best out there,” he said. “This sense of beating the best made winning way more special.”

Neal credits two major influences who have both spent time as coaches for our Selects program.

“Martin St. Louis had a huge impact in the last two years on my skill development and hockey IQ and helped me develop those parts my game,” Neal said. “Noel Rubin was the most influential coach I have ever had because he taught me to love hockey and the grind that comes with it.”

The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Connecticut native capped off his Selects experience with a world championship and is slated to play for the U-16 Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers and Avon Old Farms School for the 2018-19 season. His focus now is completely on hockey and how to advance his career.

“My goal is to be a Division-I student athlete,” said Neal. “While playing hockey, I believe receiving and education is very important.”

Want to be in the spotlight? Find out more about our teams, camps and academy by joining our Selects program HERE! Already played in our Selects program and want to share your story? Tell us about your experience!