Showcase Draft to return for 2024

In May 2023, the Elite Player Pathway changed the format of the main showcase event in Sheffield, to a “Draft” Showcase, bringing a working relationship and pathway between clubs, Showcase and the England National Team Programme (ENTP) where players were graded by clubs, and scorings were used to draft players based upon feedback, into a number of teams to participate at the May event.

In May 2024, Showcase Draft is returning, but with a slightly different format from the previous year, supporting feedback given by members on potential improvements to make the event more exciting.

This year, the event will take place in Sheffield from May 24-27.

Martin Peters, director responsible for the Elite Player Pathway, said: “Last year was the first year in attempting a new format of Showcase, and as a team in many ways it was a success! However, we knew there would be changes year-upon-year to improve the standards.

“As a team, we collated feedback from members and highlighted some great ideas on improvements we can do, by tweaking the schedules and programmes.

“We have discussed how to continue to make it competitive and challenging for all players participating, and enabling players to be pushed in front of ENTP & GB Coaches.

“Last year’s leadership team (Ben, Caroline, Seth and myself) knew the event wasn’t going be perfect, but we met a number of objectives set out by the previous director and would look to review and improve like we have with other programmes.”

For 2024, the ENTP has been working closely with Scottish Ice Hockey as well as IHUK, to create a complete pathway from clubs through to the GB programmes. Showcase will also include players from both sides of the border, and the top players in the UK will come together to compete in the Showcase Draft, allowing GB coaches to see all UK-based players in one location.

Ben Pitchley, GM for Elite Player Pathway, said: “There has been a lot of work behind the scenes over the past month, reviewing feedback, discussing the pathway and how the selection process works with Jamie Thomson from SIH, and we are giving them an open invitation for their players to participate.

“This allows all the top players from the UK to attend, and hopefully continue to make the games more exciting and challenging.

“Additional to the player participation, we are looking to challenge the games, where the scoreline counts, by having the top two teams in each age group proceeding through to a final game, giving them a bonus game.”

The events start at iceSheffield, where we will welcome our Mighty Mites and Mites to an ENTP training day, before we open the main event with the return of the England v Scotland U18s game, which will be on Friday 24 May.

“It’s great to be able to welcome back the England v Scotland game, which was always a great start to the weekend,” Pitchley added.

“These two teams will play twice over the weekend, with a chance to reciprocate the games the following weekend in Dumfries, where we will also be attending with our England age group teams.

“The weekend will have support from our S&C teams who will be testing all players fitness levels using the facilities at the EIS (English Institute of Sport) alongside our medical teams, all supported with our experienced coaches and management teams.”

Jamie Thomson, Scottish Ice Hockey head of operations, said: “Scottish Ice Hockey are delighted to be working with England Ice Hockey on a number of events upcoming, and we are really excited at the opportunities our young players are going to get from this partnership. 

“England Ice Hockey’s fresh approach is something we are very supportive of, and we can see the effort and vision going into all events being planned. We are delighted to be back working with the guys in England and look forward to it for years to come.”

As an additional improvement, we are also looking to include coaches feedback sessions, using player feedback data supported from “INSTAT” which uses video footage to analyse player details during each game. The technology is fantastic to understand player strengths, weaknesses and game habits, and this improvement will help all coaches/players to support decision-making when selecting players towards future ENTP Camps.

Information will be sent to clubs early next week, where the club head coaches will be asked to support the programme, with information on each player based upon coaching feedback within our set criteria.

This information will be then collated and reviewed, and then a Showcase Select committee of coaches from ENTP & SIH will draft players into teams for the forthcoming event.

In 2024, we will be selecting:

  • 4 teams at Mites & Mighty Mites
  • 4 teams at Under 12s, Under 13s and Under 14s
  • 3 teams at Under 15s and Under 16s
  • A select ENTP Under 18s team.

Showcase Draft is aimed towards players on the GB Pathway, with players participating within the EIHA & SIH leagues and being British passport holders.

Keep an eye on social media for our new-look leadership team for the forthcoming event!

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