2023-24 JUNIOR CANES TRYOUTS

TRYOUT REGISTRATION

  • Tier 1 AAA Youth (Co-Ed) tryout registration will close on Thursday 4/20

TRYOUT DATES

Tier 1 AAA Youth (11U-16U) April 21 - April 23, 2023 Invisalign Arena
Tier 1 AAA Girls (16U & 19U) April 29 & April 30, 2023 Invisalign Arena
Tier 2 Youth May 5 - May 7, 2023 Invisalign Arena
Tier 1 AAA Girls (14U) May 5 - May 7, 2023 Invisalign Arena
Tier 2 Girls May 5 - May 7, 2023 Invisalign Arena
Super 8 (8U) No tryouts - registration opens Spring 2023 N/A

TRYOUT SCHEDULE

  • Tryout groups will be distributed via email 24 hours prior to the start of tryouts.
  • Check-in begins 30 minutes before the start of your on-ice session and ends 10 minutes prior to your on-ice session - please do your best not to arrive outside of this window
  • Updates and changes will be distributed via email throughout the weekend. Players and families will be responsible for checking their emails using the email address provided to us during registration.
  • The schedule is subject to change
  • All players are expected to be available for their assigned sessions

 

Search by age group or birth year:

Fri 5/5 5:00 PM 9U (2014) Group A vs. Group B Red Rink
Fri 5/5 5:15 PM 10U (2013) Group A vs. Group B Black Rink
Fri 5/5 6:00 PM 9U (2014) Group A vs. Group C Red Rink
Fri 5/5 6:15 PM 10U (2013) Group A vs. Group C Black Rink
Fri 5/5 7:00 PM 9U (2014) Group B vs. Group C Red Rink
Fri 5/5 7:15 PM 10U (2013) Group B vs. Group C Black Rink
Fri 5/5 8:00 PM 15U (2008) Group A vs. Group B Red Rink
Fri 5/5 8:15 PM 18U (2005 & 2006) All groups Black Rink
Fri 5/5 9:00 PM 15U (2008) Group C vs. Group D Red Rink
Sat 5/6 7:30 AM 9U / 10U / 11U (2012, 2013, 2014) Boys & Girls Goalie Sessions Red Rink
Sat 5/6 8:45 AM 12U / 13U / 14U (2009, 2010, 2011) Boys & Girls Goalie Sessions Red Rink
Sat 5/6 10:00 AM 15U / 16U / 18U / 19U (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) Boys & Girls Goalie Sessions Red Rink
Sat 5/6 11:45 AM 14U (2009) Group A vs. Group B Black Rink
Sat 5/6 12:45 PM 14U (2009) Group A vs. Group C Black Rink
Sat 5/6 1:00 PM 13U (2010) Group A vs. Group B Red Rink
Sat 5/6 1:45 PM 14U (2009) Group B vs. Group C Black Rink
Sat 5/6 2:00 PM 13U (2010) Group A vs. Group C Red Rink
Sat 5/6 2:45 PM 9U (2014) Group A vs. Group B (new groups) Black Rink
Sat 5/6 3:00 PM 13U (2010) Group B vs. Group C Red Rink
Sat 5/6 3:45 PM 10U (2013) Group A vs. Group B (new groups) Black Rink
Sat 5/6 4:00 PM 11U (2012) Group A vs. Group B Red Rink
Sat 5/6 4:45 PM 12U (2011) Group A vs. Group B Black Rink
Sat 5/6 5:00 PM 11U (2012) Group B vs. Group C Red Rink
Sat 5/6 5:45 PM 12U (2011) Group B vs. Group C Black Rink
Sat 5/6 6:00 PM 11U (2012) Group A vs. Group C Red Rink
Sat 5/6 6:45 PM 12U (2011) Group A vs. Group C Black Rink
Sat 5/6 7:00 PM 15U (2008) Group A vs. Group C Red Rink
Sat 5/6 7:45 PM 16U (2007) Group A vs. Group B Black Rink
Sat 5/6 8:00 PM 15U (2008) Group B vs. Group D Red Rink
Sat 5/6 8:45 PM 16U (2007) Group A vs Group C Black Rink
Sat 5/6 9:00 PM 18U (2005 & 2006) Group A vs Group B Red Rink
Sat 5/6 9:40 PM 18U (2005 & 2006) Group B vs. Group C Red Rink
Sat 5/6 9:45 PM 16U (2007) Group B vs. Group C Black Rink
Sat 5/6 10:20 PM 18U (2005 & 2006) Group A vs. Group C Red Rink
Sun 5/7 8:00 AM 9U / 10U (2013 & 2014) On Ice Red Rink
Sun 5/7 8:15 AM 14U Girls AAA (2009 & 2010) On Ice Black Rink
Sun 5/7 9:15 AM 11U / 12U (2011 & 2012) On Ice Red Rink
Sun 5/7 9:30 AM 10U Girls (2013 & 2014) On Ice Black Rink
Sun 5/7 10:30 AM 13U / 14U (2009 & 2010) Groups TBD Red Rink
Sun 5/7 10:30 AM 12U Girls (2011 & 2012) On Ice Black Rink
Sun 5/7 11:45 AM 14U Girls Tier 2 (2009 & 2010) On Ice Black Rink
Sun 5/7 12:00 PM 13U / 14U (2009 & 2010) Groups TBD Red Rink
Sun 5/7 12:45 PM 14U Girls AAA (2009 & 2010) On Ice Black Rink
Sun 5/7 1:15 PM 15U / 16U (2007 & 2008) On Ice Red Rink
Sun 5/7 1:45 PM 16U Girls / 19U Girls (2004 / 2005 / 2006 / 2007 / 2008) On Ice Black Rink
Sun 5/7 2:30 PM 10U Girls (2013 & 2014) On Ice Red Rink
Sun 5/7 2:45 PM 14U Girls Tier 2 (2009 & 2010) On Ice Black Rink
Sun 5/7 3:45 PM 16U Girls / 19U Girls (2004 / 2005 / 2006 / 2007 / 2008) On Ice Black Rink
Sun 5/7 4:00 PM 12U Girls (2011 & 2012) On Ice Red Rink
Sun 5/7 4:45 PM 14U Girls AAA (2009 & 2010) On Ice Black Rink

Our program guide outlines the overall Junior Canes process and provides details about season structure, practice schedules, game counts and fees. It can be downloaded here.

Tryout dates are listed above. 

TIER 1 AAA YOUTH will be held April 21st through April 23rd, 2023 for co-ed teams from 11U (2012 birth year) through 16U (2007 birth year). USA Hockey does not recognize or sanction Tier 1 AAA hockey for teams younger than 11U.

TIER 1 AAA GIRLS will be held May 5th through May 7th for 14U, 16U and 19U girls-only teams for players born between 2004 and 2010. 

TIER 2 YOUTH AND TIER 2 GIRLS will be held May 5th through May 7th for players born between 2005 and 2014. Girls born in 2004 will also be age-eligible. 

 

The Junior Canes will open up tryout registrations mid-March 2023 when the 2023-24 coaching staff is announced. 

We are in the final stages of program design and budgeting for the 2023-24 season, and will post tryout fees and program fees in Mid-March. 

All tryouts are open registration and are not subject to residency rules. 

At the Tier 1 AAA youth and girls level, most of our teams will operate using a modified weekend model to accommodate out of area and out of state athletes. CAHA, our USA Hockey Affiliate and governing body, allows Tier 1 AAA teams to roster a limited number of "out of affiliate" (non-NC and non-SC) athletes. Out of affiliate athletes are always welcome at our evaluations, but placement is extremely competitive due to the roster requirements. 

At the Tier 2 level, teams operate using a weekday model for team practices. While there are no restrictions on "out of affiliate" athletes, players attending our tryouts should be prepared to make the commitment to attend all practices and team events. 

For both Tier 1 and Tier 2, residency is based on where an athlete will live during the 2023-24 season. If you are moving in from out of state, you are not considered an "out of affiliate" athlete. 

The primary goal of the Junior Canes evaluation process is to determine short-term placement to maximize long-term development, opportunity and success for each athlete.

To achieve this goal, players go through possible combinations of off-ice athletic testing, drills, small area games and full-ice scrimmages. During these sessions, players are evaluated by the team coaches as well as a panel of Junior Canes staff coaches. Following each session, team coaches meet with the evaluation panel to discuss players and eventually come to an agreement on recommended placement. 

All players should plan on being available to  attend each session throughout the entire window, although placement decisions can and will be made throughout the entire weekend. 

Q: What's the difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2?

A: In short, USA Hockey splits their youth and girls hockey divisions into two tiers with different rules regarding rostering and different paths to national championships. 

Tier 1 AAA hockey is designed to be the top level of competition in youth and girls hockey. There is an approval process for associations to be allowed to form Tier 1 AAA teams to maintain a high level of play, and there is typically more travel involved because there are fewer teams to compete against. There can also be a higher cost as AAA teams typically train more often and attend more events in lieu of leagues and exhibition games. 14U and older AAA teams compete at the state level for the right to advance to USA Hockey Districts, and then the 16 winners from Districts advance to the USA Hockey National Championships. 


Tier 2 is more of an "open" division with a wide range of levels of play. All associations in good standing with USA Hockey can form Tier 2 teams, and teams are classified as "AA" and "A" to aid with scheduling. 14U and older Tier 2 teams compete at the state level to advance directly to the USA Hockey National Championships where the top 48 teams compete. 

The Junior Canes do not classify our teams as "AA" or "A" because in most cases our Junior Canes Red (2nd teams) compete at the regional/local AA level and our Junior Canes Black (1st teams) compete at a hybrid AAA/national AA level.  


Q: Do I register for both tryouts?

A: Players will need to be registered in order to be considered for roster spots, so please register for each program you are interested in. There will be time to register for Tier 2 tryouts after Tier 1 tryouts are completed if you prefer to wait. In the event that you register for both and accept an offer for a Junior Canes Tier 1 team, you will be refunded your Tier 2 tryout fee. 

Per USA Hockey bylaws, all Tier 1 AAA tryouts are open to any age-eligible player who wishes to be evaluated. 

While there are no requirements to register or attend AAA tryouts, we do ask for athletes and families to strongly consider player safety when making the decision to register. Athletes will be skating with and against the best players in North Carolina and surrounding areas, and especially in age groups where checking is allowed (13U+), it is highly recommended that players should have a level of hockey awareness and skating proficiency that will allow them to anticipate and avoid contact. 

While general start and finish times will be posted well in advance, we will be unable to schedule player-specific times until registrations close 24-36 hours before the tryout window. In some cases, we will adjust tryout groups so it's possible that schedules change throughout the window. 

In general, players should plan on being available throughout the entire evaluation window and remain flexible for last minute schedule changes. 

The Junior Canes strongly believe that the opportunity to advance from one level to the next is absolutely critical in a sport like hockey where players grow and develop at different rates. The best players at 10U are rarely the best players at 16U. We truly use these evaluation sessions as an opportunity for players to stand out and demonstrate a readiness to advance. 

We also live in one of the fastest growing regions in the United States and each year we have multiple new families in each birth year who move into the area to be evaluated and placed appropriately. 

Having said that, the Junior Canes also strongly believe that every day is an opportunity to be evaluated. Our coaches spend hundreds of hours evaluating each player throughout the season on their performance, behaviors and attitudes.

While offers cannot be made outside of the windows provided by USA Hockey, most coaches enter the tryout window with a general idea of where players stand. But all coaches enter our tryouts with an open mind and no decisions are made until fully discussed with the evaluation panel during the tryout weekends before offers are made. 

Our expectation is that any player who attends Junior Canes tryouts does so with the intent of accepting an offer from one of our teams should they receive one. 

During the evaluation process, we reserve the right to make the assumption that any player who attends a tryout session with a different association does so with the intent of playing there and does not wish to be considered for a Junior Canes offer.


Q: But what if my player doesn't receive an offer from the Junior Canes? Are we out of luck?

A: For players who do not receive an offer during TIER 1 YOUTH tryouts, they will receive a player evaluation with feedback from the sessions along with a discount code and an invitation to Tier 2 tryouts two weeks later. (Note - USA Hockey tampering rules prohibit all associations from offering or promising an offer for Tier 2 teams prior to May 5th, 2023)

For players who do not receive an offer during TIER 2 YOUTH & GIRLS tryouts, Junior Canes staff will contact other area travel hockey associations to assist with finding a roster spot for the 2023-24 season. Each season, all players who wish to play travel hockey have the opportunity to play travel hockey. 


Q: What if my player already has a promise for an offer from another organization without attending their tryouts? Can we still attend Junior Canes tryouts and decide between the best offer afterwards?

A: CAHA rules allow families up to 48 hours to commit to an offer, so having an offer from another association does not prohibit players from attending our tryouts. However, we still have the expectation that any player who attends our tryouts does so with the intent of accepting a Junior Canes offer if one is extended. 

 


Q: Why should families do research up front to decide where to tryout instead of "playing the game"?

A: Travel hockey is a significant commitment for the entire family. Our goal is for each family to make informed, well-thought out decisions about that commitment instead of making emotional, on-the-spot decisions during tryout weekend during what can be a stressful time. 

We have worked hard to build a program that provides the best training, opportunity and level of competition for the athletes and families who desire to be Junior Canes, regardless of which of our teams they're a part of.

Should you have questions about our programming to assist with making decisions in advance of tryouts, please feel free to contact us anytime and we'll be more than happy to provide additional information that's specific to your family.