It will certainly be an exciting and unique summer experience for fiveValley Junior Warrior players. Following exceptional seasons with the VJW program, Chris Kreider, Ben Wiggins, Ryan Heavey, Glenn Stowell and Alex Carpenter were recognized by USA Hockey and selected to participate in Select camp in July. While Kreider, Wiggins, Heavey and Stowell will represent the Valley Junior Warriors at the Select 17 Camp in St. Cloud (MN), Carpenter will head to Rochester (NY) to take part in the Select 14 Women’s Camp.
Just how impressive is this feat for these VJW players? Each summer USA Hockey conducts Select Player Development Camps for young athletes from throughout the country. The athletes are chosen from tryouts conducted within USA Hockey Districts, with some slots reserved for at-large selections. The goal is to attract the best players, in their specific age group, to the USA Hockey national program.
After being evaluated by the national scouting program, college and junior recruiters and professional scouts, some Select Camps continue on for international competition. Having five VJW players recognized is a strong statement about the strength of the program and the products it produces each year.
Kreider, Wiggins, Heavey and Stowell have been teammates on Ken Cleary’s U-18 team and now they will travel together to St. Cloud (MN) to compete alongside each other at USA Hockey Select 17 Camp.
Kreider is coming off a strong sophomore season at Phillips Andover Academy. A Boxford native who transferred to Phillips from Masconomet Regional High School last fall brings size, speed and skill to the ice. One year after garnering Salem New Hockey Player of the Year honors while playing for Masco, Kreider dominated the world of New England prep school hockey and was one of Andover’s top scorers.
Two other key players for both the VJW U-18 and Phillips Andover squads are rising seniors Stowell and Heavey. Stowell is a 5-9, 165 pound netminder who hails from Hadley (MA), while Heavey is a 5-11, 170-pound defenseman from Andover. Heavey is no stranger to national play as he participated in the 2007 USA Hockey Boys' Select 16 Camp. Athleticism clearly runs in his family as his cousin-in-law is Kristine Lily, captain of the US Women's National Soccer Team.
Wiggins, a rising junior at Nobles and Greenough School, is a strong forward who has also competed for Ken Cleary’s U-18 team. Both Stowell and Wiggins will join Kreider at USA Hockey Select Camp next month.
Carpenter is one of the shining stars for women’s hockey in the Northeast. A rising freshman at The Governor’s Academy, Carpenter has been a dominating force since she first laced up her skates.
This past season, Carpenter earned Tournament MVP honors at the New England Division II Championship. She not only led the Govs to a 3-2 double overtime victory against Middlesex in the team’s final game, but she also figured in on every goal her team scored throughout the playoff week. She finished her first season at The Governor’s Academy with 37 goals and 41 assists in 23 games.
Carpenter, a ’94 Elites standout whose father Bob Carpenter is an 18-year NHL veteran player and coach and the current director of program development for the Jr Warriors, has always shown special athletic talent from an early age. During her first year of Mite B hockey, she posted an incredible 50 goals.
She was also the first girl to play in the Morristown, NJ Little League in 25 years and was the first girl to ever play as a 10-year-old. Her national resume is also quickly taking shape as she has played in three national hockey tournaments for the New Jersey Colonials.
Carpenter will head to Rochester (NY) on July 19-25 to compete in the USA Hockey Girls Select 14 Camp.
You can follow all action at the USA Hockey Select Player Development Camps at www.usahockey.com.