Atom hockey players in the Estevan Minor Hockey Association experienced a draft Thursday for the first time in their young hockey careers.
The draft was used to announce rosters for the atom division for the 2019-20 season. Estevan McDonalds franchisee Tim Jenish said it was a great and memorable evening for the kids.
McDonalds sponsors atom hockey programs throughout the country.
Danny Ewen, the marketing and operations manager for the Estevan Bruins, was the MC for the evening.
“They’re eight and nine years old, and I think it’s something they’ll remember for a long time. I know when I was that age playing hockey, I can remember who my coaches were and who were some of the kids that I played with, and it was always interesting to find out who was on your team and who your coach was.”
The female hockey teams had already been announced. The players were presented with their jerseys and posed for a picture with members of the Estevan Bruins.
Then draft moved onto the boys, who did not know which team they had been assigned to, although it had been determined by the coaches.
“We drew their names out of a Happy Meal box, and when their name was called, they would come up and they would be presented with a jersey from their coaches, and then they would go over and have their picture taken with a Bruin.”
Names were selected at random to avoid hard feelings associated with being the last player picked.
Each team also drafted a Bruins player to be a guest team member.
At the end of the season, the players get to keep their jersey and other memorabilia, and the coaches get a coaches kit with a clipboard and information from Hockey Canada.
There are three atom boys house league teams, two atom girls teams and a boys age rep team.
Jenish said it went over well, and they hope to do it again.