OMAHA has received the go ahead for a 4 year pilot project for U13 Tier 1 within the district. This league will be run similar to the Zone program at U15 and U18. For years Kelowna, Kamloops and Prince George have formed a 3 team Tier 1 league. Next season under the pilot there will be 3 more Tier 1 teams joining them to form a 6 team league. There will be a team based in Salmon Arm, drawing players from Chase, Sicamous, Revelstoke and North Okanagan. Vernon will have Lumby and Winfield and a team based in Penticton/Summerland with kids from West Kelowna to South Okanagan. As this is a 4 year pilot, those boundaries may vary from year to year as the goal is for 6 competitive teams.

This program has a number of benefits to both KMHA and players in the Okanagan.

·It will allow players to play at the highest level they are capable of regardless the size of their association. This has a trickle down effect as well, as there were always Tier 1 caliber players on neighboring Tier 2 or 3 teams.

·With a real league to play in there is no longer  a need for Kelowna Tier 1 teams to attend a high number of tournaments each season.

·There is no declare up or down, all of these teams in this pilot are tier 1. There will be no effect to tier 2 or 3 at playoff time.

·While this team will be run under KMHA, OMAHA will be involved in coach selection, evaluation/tryouts and discipline.

Tryouts for this team will begin the August 18 – 20 weekend. There will be a fee for this tryout. Players that do not make the U13 Tier 1 team will still need to pay for the KMHA rep tryouts. Please note that players do NOT have to be registered for the Tier 1 tryouts to try out for a KMHA U13 Rep team(s). They are separate tryouts.

Approximate Tier 1 Budget U13 Tier 1 Budget

OMAHA has stated the intent to have a non-parent coach. However, if there is a parent coach that they feel is much more qualified than any non-parent applicant, the parent coach may be chosen. We are very pleased to announce that the coach for U13 Tier 1 next season has been selected.

Meet Coach Jared Aulin.  Originally from Calgary Alberta, Jared was a second-round draft pick (47th overall) to the Colorado Avalanche.  With a 16-year professional ice hockey career, Jared was a promising young prospect who had a short stint in the NHL before experiencing a career threatening shoulder injury.  After missing 3 years of hockey, Jared made his way back to the game he loved so much with a respectable career in some of the highest leagues in Europe.  He’s represented Canada at Under 18’s, the World Jr Championships and the Deutschland Cup.  His experience from a pro career in both North America and Europe has expanded his knowledge in the game of hockey.

Since retiring from pro hockey, Jared earned himself a Master’s degree in Science Management from the University of Salford.  Even with a respectable education, Jared’s passion and heart still belongs to hockey.  He has since coached teams at the highest level for 09’s, 10’s and 11’s in the Okanagan area and is a big believer in skill development, having fun and something he calls the “3 C’s”, Compete, consistency and playing connected.  Jared is passionate about teaching habits, especially the habits he wished he learned at a much younger age and pushing kids to commit to discomfort in practice and in games and to be accountable.  His coaching philosophy allows kids to achieve their full potential and feel comfortable improving new skills without judgment but acceptance.

Outside of coaching teams, Jared has earned the reputation of being one of the most sought-after skills coaches in the Okanagan.  Working with NHL/AHL/Europe/JR/College players in the summer on skill development to help drive them to be better at their craft. Jared is eager, excited, and looking forward to working with Kelowna Minor Hockey.

With Jared coaching our U13 Tier 1 team and taking on skill development throughout Kelowna Minor Hockey, expect improvements, life lessons and a fun environment.

There will be a budget prepared and posted prior to the beginning of tryouts. This budget could be tweaked for extra expenses after the team is formed. When the registration process has been finalized we will send the info out.

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