Thirty-three elite hockey players will converge on the Shaw Centre to participate in the 26th annual Salmon Arm Hockey School Pro-am Scholarship Game on Aug. 10.
Fans will be able to watch a number of local products including Ottawa Senators forward Curtis Lazar, who remembers going through the hockey school as a young player before becoming a stick boy for the game.
“For things to come full circle and be able to be a player in it now, it’s pretty cool,” said the 2015 World Junior Gold Medalist.
It will be Lazar’s third time stepping on the ice for the game, and the most exciting thing for him will be to find the instant chemistry with his old friends from the area, while putting on a show for the fans.
He is currently entering his contract year with the Senators and as a group; the hope is for a bounce back season after a lack luster campaign a year ago.
“We’re heading in the right direction,” said Lazar.
“We have some acquisitions and a entirely new coaching staff. It’s a pretty exciting time to be a part of the Ottawa Senators. I know for myself it’s a big year for me knowing it’s my contract year. I want to amplify my offensive game. I want be the X-factor to help the team get over the top.”
Additionally, he would like to embrace a more offensive role and believes the opportunity is there for the taking.
Salmon Arm Silverbacks alumnus and hometown boy, Shane Hanna, considers this event a fun experience for him to meet new players as well as catching up with others.
“Every year it’s been a fun time,” said Hanna.
“It’s always good to go back to your hometown and play in front of the fans that watched you grow up and become a better player. I like to have fun; especially playing with some of the players who I haven’t played with for years. It’s nice to come back and play with them again.”
The biggest difference for the senior Michigan Tech rearguard compared to his time in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) has been the consistency factor and having to be productive on a nightly basis.
He is currently enrolled in his last year of a marketing degree.
For Hanna, playing 93 games for the team he grew up watching was an honor.
Puck drop for the Pro-Am Game is at the Shaw Centre at 7 p.m. on Aug. 10.
Tickets are $7.00 and can be purchased at the Silverbacks General Office, Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Office, Big Al’s House of Hockey and Brushstrokes.