Desired Outcome

The NSWC Rep Tryout process is designed to adequately assess and evaluate each athlete, ultimately building the strongest MHA teams to represent NSWC in League play (PCAHA or other). The evaluation process is a two-pronged approach that assesses a player on their skills, game play and team fit:

  1. Player Evaluation: players are scored by professional evaluators and division coaches through a skill assessment session and scrimmages to determine their placement in a Working Group. Working Group placement = average of skill score & scrimmage scores from phase 1.
  2. Team Formation: Coaches / Working Group Coaches assess a player’s skills and game play, coach-ability and overall team fit through multiple practice drills, scrimmages and potential exhibition games.

This evaluation process will help NSWC and its coaches create an individual development plan for each athlete.

The Hockey Department is responsible for the annual planning and execution of the tryout process, and comprises:

NSWC Director of Hockey Ops & Technical Directors: Process Owner
NSWC General Manager: Executive Sponsor
MHC Chair and Division Coordinator: provides execution support Board Liaison: updates the Board

Tryout Process Guiding Principles

  •  NSWC’s Hockey Department owns and manages the process; members provide support, as directed by the Director of Hockey Ops.
  •  The tryout process’ steps will be transparent and defendable: pre, during and post tryouts.
  •  Player tryout experiences will be consistent, regardless of division or year.
  •  Player placement decisions are made in the best interest of the team.
  •  Player feedback focuses on supporting and improving the individual player, over the long-term.

2020-2021 Tryout Process:

Phase 1:

  • All players registered for rep tryouts will participate in an initial evaluation, consisting of scrimmage games and a skill evaluation practice to determine who moves on to Rep working group or Hawks.
  • These selections will be based on the cumulative player reports provided by the evaluation staff.
  • Players will be notified by email which working group they have been assigned to.

Phase 2:

2.1) The remaining players will participate in a second evaluation, scrimmage games, to select and place the players in either the A1, A2, A3, A4 working group.

2.2) Players will be notified by email which working group they have been assigned to.

2.3) These selections will be based on the cumulative player reports provided by the evaluation staff from Phase 2 only.


Phase 3:

3.1) The A1 coaching staff will begin by releasing players to the A2 working group. This will trigger the release of the players from the A2 working group to the A3 team and so on.
3.2) This releases and the players selected for each team will be made by the respective coaching staffs of each team.
3.3) At this stage, these releases will be made in person or by zoom and could include the parents of each player (preferred)
3.4) Reassigned player will be contacted by the Coach or Working Group Coach of their new Working Group regarding practice and game schedules.


Evaluation reports will be sent to each family after the completion of the team selection process. Individual Player Development meetings will be conducted in the first 2 weeks of the season to review the evaluation and to construct a plan for future player development.


For the 2020-2021 season, Rep tryouts are held after Labour Day weekend in September and will be completed by October 4th, 2020.


Evaluators are retained annually by the Hockey Department to assess and score each player. Player scores are then used to form Working Groups.

  • Evaluators are formally reviewed and approved by the Hockey Department, General Manager and the MHC Chair to ensure that no conflict of interest exists. E.g. relatives participating in the division being assessed.
  •  They possess a high-level of hockey knowledge and experience.
  •  Each division will have a minimum 4 evaluators.
  •  Evaluators would include the head coaches of that divisions rep teams and can also include assistant coaches.
  •  A lead evaluator will be assigned to each division to ensure each player received a proper evaluation and that all evaluation criteria are considered.
  • The NSWC Technical Directors will oversee each division to ensure each player received a proper and that all evaluation criteria are considered.
  •  Goalie evaluation skates will be managed and graded by a NSWC goalie coach. Technical Directors will have final say on goalie placement.


Communication Guidelines

  • Parents would not be able to contact NSWC hockey staff until 48 hours after the final selections for each team had been made. Requests for additional feedback or to dispute a selection must be submitted via email and contain an outline of reasoning for the request/dispute.
  •  At this stage parents could be, based on the discretion of the Director of Hockey Ops, provided the rankings of where their child fit in the overall evaluation process.
  •  Any parent who does not follow these communication guidelines, harasses the hockey staff, or is disruptive within their assigned team will face a 2 week suspension from hockey related activities at the NSWC.

Parent Responsibilities

Parents are reminded to adhere to the NSWC Code of Conduct as well as the following:

  •  Evaluators are not to be approached or communicated with directly about the tryouts or players’ score / performance.
  •  Remain in designated viewing areas during the tryout process (evaluators will be in the upper viewing area, parents in designated viewing areas).
  •  Issues must be resolved through the Conflict Resolution Process (refer to page 29), adhering to the “24-hr no contact” rule.
  •  Review online and printed material related to the tryout process – be educated before your player participates.


Player Evaluation Scores

  •  Each player would receive a 1 to 5 score in the following categories, with each category is weighted as follows to contribute to the players’ overall grade:

Skating – 25%
Puck Skills (Puck handling, passing, shooting) – 20%
Offensive – Defensive Tactical Play – 15%
Hockey Sense/IQ/Playmaking – 20%
Competitiveness, Attitude & Body language – 20%

  •  Each evaluator would provide a digital report on each player following each Phase of the try-out. In addition to numerical scoring, commentary is required for each player to help guide future development.
  •  These reports will create an automated, overall score for each player. In addition to the automated score, detailed coaches’ commentary will be included in the report to help guide future improvement/development.
  •  A ranking of all players based on their overall score, in addition to their ranking in the individual skill/attribute will be produced following the evaluation.
  • Goalies will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Rebound Control
Reading the play
Puck handling
Save Selection


The evaluation process requires a significant amount of planning and support in order to operate effectively. Parent volunteers are required in several basic capacities to ensure that the best interests of players are protected at all times. The Hockey Department will ensure there are no conflicts in relation to volunteers and the role and age group they are assigned.

Development Balancing

Balancing is only necessary when more than one team exists at the Hawks (House/C) level in any age group.

The teams will participate in a minimum of 2 balancing games conducted by the Hockey Department. Players will be evaluated in each game and final rosters will be posted on the Club bulletin board and sent to parents via email. The Hockey Department will endeavor to ensure that the teams are of equal strength as regulated by the PCAHA.


Season Start Date

The 2020/21 season will begin for all players September 9-11.  This season NSWC will take a different approach to the start of the year.

Player Testing

 Traditionally the first time back on the ice for a player is a tryout. Tryouts can place considerable pressure on young athletes. This season, the first few days back on the ice, the NSWC Hockey Department will be running player testing independently of the tryout process.

September 9-11, players will proceed through a number of stations that will measure speed, shot velocity, shot accuracy, agility, etc. This will allow the Hockey Department to begin to build an Athlete Report that includes scores from the recorded tests. These tests are not part of the tryouts. The goal of the tests is to provide players with data on where they started, metric wise, at the beginning of the season. Throughout the course of the year, the Hockey Department will hold test days to evaluate where players have improved and where there is still room for growth. Future testing sessions will be held before Christmas break, at the end of the season, and right before summer break.

At the conclusion of the NSWC Player Testing, age group specific ice times will begin.


U11 (formerly Atom) – September 12

U11 players will follow the Hockey Canada mandated U11 Canadian Player Pathway. Players will be randomly grouped and ran through a minimum of 4 skill sessions starting September 12. At the conclusion of the 4 skill sessions, U11 players who have opted into tryouts, will then proceed with that process.

U13 (Peewee), U15 (Bantam), U18 (Midget) Rep Tryouts – September 12

U13-U18 players will begin tryouts September 12.

U9 – U6 (formerly Initiation or H1- H4)

U9 to U6 players will take part in balancing skates beginning September 19. These sessions are strictly to provide a sense of our young players’ abilities in order to create balanced teams for the season. THIS IS NOT A TRYOUT. Every player makes a team.

U13, U15, U18 Hawks

For players not wishing to participate in the tryout process this season, first team sessions will be September 14-20 depending on age group and team ice time.

Female U18, U15, U13, U11, U9, U7

First ice times for Female teams will be September 14-20 with regular team coaches.