Following the partnership’s inception last year, SportChek has once again teamed up with HockeyNow to present this year’s Minor Hockey Player of the Year winners with the gift of a lifetime.
B.C. Player of the Year Josh Williams, Alberta Player of the Year Bowen Byram and Ontario Player of the Year Owen Lalonde each visited their local SportChek, where they were outfitted from head to toe in top-of-the-line equipment and apparel. The young men walked away with everything they needed to gear up for next year, and beyond, with all three slate for the major junior ranks. On top of skates, helmets, pads, undergarments and socks, the players also chose new hockey bags and sticks – all with the help of their own highly trained professional shopper.
Owen Lalonde’s mother, Elaine, shared how Jon, the employee assisting them with their selections “was catering to Owen like crazy.”
“Needless to say,” she went on, “[Owen] walked out of there very appreciative of an overwhelmingly generous gift. All the newest and nicest equipment was Owen's for the taking. Believe me when I say he does not take any of this for granted nor feel entitled. He realizes that he is very fortunate to be in this position.”
Indeed, all three players were hugely grateful for the shopping spree, which was the icing on the cake of being named the top minor hockey players in their respective provinces.
It seems especially fitting to be able to present the SportChek prize to this year’s winners considering the sacrifices they have each made to pursue their dreams. From Williams’ long hours hitting the books (both textbooks and hockey history!) to earn top grades, to Byram’s long-distance move to play on a high calibre team, to Lalonde’s farewell to other sports he was excelling at in order to focus on hockey – they are certainly a very worthy group.
Needless to say, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these young athletes, who were were blown away by the experience.
"We really appreciate what HockeyNow has done for all the kids," said Shawn Byram, father of Alberta winner Bowen Byram. "Bowen got the chance to go to SportChek and pick out some fantastic gear and that's pretty neat for kids to be able to do that.”
The SportChek shopping spree was the perfect way to honour this year’s award recipients, who are sure to remember the day for years to come – as they no doubt move up the hockey ranks.
B.C. Player of the Year
Alberta Player of the Year
Ontario Player of the Year
1) Prospect Profiles: Alexander Alexeyev, Hunter Holmes & Xavier Bouchard
2) Ask a Coach: University of Vermont Associate Coach Kyle Wallach: Academics, Recruiting & Preparation
3) 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year: November Shortlists
4) Cornered Coach: The Peanut Gallery
5) The Search Begins for the 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Players of the Year