John travels to the 2012 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships and begins his scouting process. He plans to invite the best 35 players present at the tournament. He watches countless games and begins making his list. He explains to the viewer what lays ahead for the selected few and more specifically what hems looking for in his players.
The arrival and introductions
All the different players arrive in the Gatineau area. Not sure what to expect, the players are immediately thrust into the Hit the Ice experience and specifically the rigours of an elite hockey development program. For the coaching staff it’s important that everyone understands from the get go what is expected.
Monday morning rolls around, the time has come to get things going. The first day will see the players get a taste of their first on-ice practice. A surprise is in store for those thinking it would be a leisurely skate and many of the players will see that being a top prospect is much more than just being good on the ice. The coaching staff gets to see the actual talent of the team and more importantly their work ethic.
NOT A PRO YET
For the second off-ice workout the players travel to a different locale where they are initiated to training like a pro. First hand, they witness true professionals' train. Their morning experience lures them into a false sense of security that brings the head coach to call a few players out and announce that not everyone will be playing in the final game.
Shorty but a Guddy
The players have been practicing for three straight days and to get the morale and intensity up, NHL rookie and Florida Defenseman Erik Gudbranson joins the boys for a skate. The pace of the camp brings on a few casualties as injuries begin to creep up on the team. John decides to end the practice with a scrimmage that gets the players excited to finally see some game action.
Much needed rest
The players rejoice as they are given a day off. Although the experience has been mind blowing, some time away from the rink can only help. For the injured, the time off allows them to heal. The team takes part in a fun team building activity where no prisoners will be taken.
Ready to roll
An announcement that the team will take part in a fully refereed intra-squad game the following day changes the team dynamic and teammates will now become opponents. An injury has left a hole in the team’s roster that is quickly filled by another prospect.
The second week of training begins with a bang as John questions some of the player’s reactions following the intra-squad game. The roster board sends a clear message to a few of the camps top players. One of the coach’s old players presents some hockey memorabilia to the team and offers his thoughts on the game.
Young NHL hockey superstar, Evander Kane shows the forwards what it takes to play a power game and with only a few days left before the scrimmage the intensity is ramped up. The players are introduced to what scouts will be looking for by one of the NHL’s most reputable hockey men, Randy Lee from the Ottawa Senators.
Do what it takes
A surprise visit from Arron Asham, one of the few Aboriginal players currently playing in the NHL shares his thoughts with the team and provides true inspiration as they begin to prepare for their all important game. Looking back on the past few weeks, the coaching staff feels confident that they've done their bit to get the players prepared, all that is left is in the boys' hands.
The calm before the storm
With less than 48 hours before the final game, the players are beginning to feel the nervous energy. One last practice to put the final touches on a great work week will see John set his lines for the game. To calm their minds, the players take part in a special pre-game meal.
The Big Game
The moment all of these players have been waiting for, the showcase game. For the past two weeks every single player has done what he can to get ready. An unexpected event rocks the team’s roster and John is forced to make a tough decision that could have a major impact on the game. The boys head over to the Meredith Centre for a quick morning skate and to get accustomed to the rink. Unfortunately, John must also break the news to the players that will be sitting out.
The final outcome
The team returns for second period action with the score all tied up. Although the first period was filled with hard hits and some dirty play the players know that they must focus, as the next goal could be the difference maker. With scouts looking on, who will shine and who will falter?