What is the Brick tournament?
The Brick is one of the three top amateur tournaments in the world along with the World Junior Championships and the International Quebec Pee Wee tournament. The Brick is offered for one age group (ten year olds) each July. In 2017 it will be for the 2007 birth year players.
When does the Brick tournament take place?
Exact dates vary from year to year but it always takes place around the 4th of July.
Where does the Brick tournament take place?
Edmonton, Alberta at the West Edmonton Mall.
How long is the Brick tournament?
The Brick is a six day tournament. Round robin play starts on Monday and the finals and closing ceremonies finish on Sunday. Players would need to arrive, typically, two days before the opening round game. Due to traveling west, time change, a scrimmage game in Edmonton the day before the tournament start players need to be in Edmonton the Saturday before the tournament starts.
The championship game takes place Sunday at 12:30 PM and is followed by the closing ceremonies. All players/teams are required to participate in the closing ceremonies and on ice jersey swap. Flights departing Edmonton should not be booked prior to 5:00 PM.
A week in Edmonton may sound like a long time, but it flies by. There is plenty to do in the Mall itself; Water Park, Galaxyland, Santa Maria, Ed's Rec Room, Dining & Nightlife and more. A popular place for the team to visit and take the kids is the Northlands Park.
How many games do you play at the Brick?
There are six round robin games, quarter finals, semi finals and championship game. There are two divisions of 7 teams and you play the six other teams in your division. The top three teams advance to the playoff round. Teams will play one game per day (except for one day that you play twice) during the round robin portion of the tournament.
What teams go to the Brick?
While some other tournaments call themselves invitationals, they do not compare to the selection process of the Brick. There are 14 charters that are extended to the top programs in North America and only those can bring teams to the tournament each year. They are: Junior Bruins, Pro Hockey Toronto, Winnipeg Junior Jets, Detroit Red Wings, CT. Jr. Rangers, Chicago Jr. Blackhawks, Minnesota Blades, Team Pennsylvania, BC Junior Canucks, Regina Junior Pats, Team Brick Alberta, Team California, Montreal Ice Storm and the Toronto Bulldogs.
Who is eligible to play on the Junior Bruins “Brick” team?
Each of the aforementioned teams who play at the Brick have a geographical protected area that they can select players from. In addition to that teams are allowed an “import(s)”. An “import” is any player who lives outside of the teams protected area. The Junior Bruins protected area are Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. They can take as many players from those four states as they want. The Junior Bruins are allowed 2 import as well. If you live in another team’s protected area but want to play for the Junior Bruins, you would need to get a release from that team and you would still be considered an import.
What is involved in participation on the Junior Bruins “Brick” team each year?
There is a mandatory tryout process that all players must attend. Once the roster has been set the team will play in three tournaments leading up to the Brick (most likely a tournament in Toronto, the Boston Showdown in Marlboro, MA and the Icebreaker in Marlboro, MA), scrimmages and 12-15 practices. Participation and attendance at all tournaments and practices is mandatory.
Do players need to have played with the Junior Bruins AAA teams in the past to be considered for inclusion on the Brick team?
No, as we do every year, we wipe the slate clean and see who showed up at tryouts and take the players we feel are the best. Each year our Brick team has players that have played with us in the past as well as those that are new to our program and playing with us for the first time.
We do encourage all players interested in playing on our Brick team to come to our tryouts for the two-three years prior to the Brick year (7, 8 and 9 year old teams). It certainly helps if we have some familiarity with the players and families from playing for us in the years leading up to the Brick. We also encourage those to come to our Brick Training & Evaluation Camp in August.
The Brick is a big commitment and the teams and families spend a lot of time together and it helps the Bruins staff to have some relationship and history prior to the Brick year so we decrease the probability of making a mistake in player/family selection.
What type of player are you looking for on the Brick team?
What we learned in our first few years is that you can not go there with just the 9 forwards, 6 defenseman and 2 most talented goalies you can find. You need talent, and a lot of it, but you also need players who are willing to play a “team” game, play in all three zones and do all the little things in order to win games.
You need to find players who can fill certain roles on the team. There are players that might fit a certain need on the team; team might need a left shot winger for the final spot or the team needs a right shot defenseman or someone with size or a player who brings tons of speed to the mix to round out the roster. This is one reason why we have open tryouts in addition to the staff going out and watching games throughout the fall and winter. There are players we may miss while watching a game on a Saturday morning at rink XYZ but that stands out during the tryout process.