RoughRiders amped to host Rocky Mountain Challenge
Once again this fall, elite youth teams from across the United States and Canada will venture back to Denver to try their hand once more in the Rocky Mountain Challenge.
An East Coast Elite League (ECEL) showcase, the tournament is hosted by the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders – a charter member of the ECEL that strives to help place players at top junior and college programs throughout North America.
“To be able to do this again for our players is such a tremendous opportunity,” RoughRiders director of hockey operations Derek Robinson said. “Events like this are what bring exposure to the growing pool of talent we have here in Colorado.”
This year’s event runs Oct. 2-4 at the Ice Centre at the Promenade. It’s part of a four-event series of showcases hosted by the ECEL. The East Coast Fall Challenge was held earlier in September back in Walpole, Mass. After Colorado, the showcase heads to Cromwell, Conn., for the East Coast Holiday Classic Dec. 18-20. The ECEL showcases wrap up with the East Coast Elite Championships Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2016.
Last season’s showcase featured over 20 teams across the 14U, 16U and 18U levels, as well as a presentation from USHL director of player personnel and recruitment Doug Christiansen. This year’s Rocky Mountain Challenge figures to be even larger. While the age focus has been narrowed to 16U and 18U only, over 24 teams will be participating across the two levels and more high-profile presentations are expected as well.
“Virtually all of our players have aspirations to play at a higher level, and this provides them exposure to schools and scouts from the east coast,” Robinson said. “Obviously, it was good exposure for the East Coast teams last year as well because interest was overwhelming for this year’s Challenge.”
— Zach Fogg