Ponoka native selected among top bantam players

A Ponoka native will be testing his skills on the ice among the top players in the province later this month.

A Ponoka native will be testing his skills on the ice among the top players in the province later this month.

Reagan Rabbit, who played in Leduc the past two seasons, was named to Team Central for the Alberta Cup to be held April 28 to May 1 in Canmore. The tournament features the top 160 players from eight regions with the roster selected at camps held across the province last month.

Rabbit, a 15 year-old defenceman, is a big solid presence on the blueline at five foot, 11 inches and 161 pounds, which translates into a force to be reckoned with during battles in front of the net. This past season, Rabbit played in all of the Leduc Bantam AAA Oil Kings 36 games earning five goals and six assists.

The club missed out on making the playoffs by just two points, but Rabbit was able to keep his season going for a bit longer as he was picked up by Leduc’s minor midget AAA club playing in nine of their post-season games and earning four assists. That team went all the way to the provincial final before losing to Sherwood Park.

Rabbit, who is eligible for this year’s Western Hockey League draft, will see action starting Thursday, April 28 as his club takes on Calgary South at 11:30 a.m., followed by two games on Friday as they face Northeast at 9:30 a.m. and then play Edmonton Blue at 5:30 p.m. The playoff and consolation round goes on Saturday.

In addition to having several WHL and other junior scouts on hand to watch, the tournament features an education seminar for the players put on by the WHL.

“The coaching staffs were faced with some very difficult decisions when it came to selecting the 20 players for each team. For the athletes who have earned a roster spot, congratulations. But the work is just beginning, not just for this edition of the Alberta Cup, but also in the competition to earn a spot on the Team Alberta squad that will compete later this year,” said Michael Kraichy, Hockey Alberta’s manager of Team Alberta in a press release.

From the Alberta Cup, 80 players will receive invites to the Team Alberta Under 16 provincial camp held in July. In addition, players will also have a chance to be selected to play for their province at the Western Canada Under 16 Challenge Cup in October in Calgary.