Nolan Brett will play in the World Selects Invitational elite boys’ tournament
Nolan Brett will play in the World Selects Invitational elite boys’ tournament for 2005 birth years May 1 to 5 in Mont Blanc, France. Brett came up in the Woodstock Minor Hockey system and plays 'AAA' with the Brantford 99ers. Submitted photo
Nolan Brett had little idea where hockey could take him when he began the sport.
The Beachville local and Woodstock born Brett will play in the World Selects Invitational elite boys’ tournament for 2005 birth years May 1 to 5 in Mont Blanc, France.
The 12-year-old Brett, who’ll be 13 at the tournament, got the invite when his dad took a call while they were on their way to the first game of their playoff series against the Huron-Perth Lakers in late-February.
“It was really exciting,” Brett said of the invite to a North American squad featuring players from both sides of the border, including two more from southern Ontario. “It’s a world tournament for my age group, so it’ll be really good.”
The tournament will have 18 teams, including six teams from North America but also Finland, Russia, Sweden and other European countries.
Teams play five games over a three day round robin and the final two days are a playoff format with the eventual winner being decided. The invitational tournaments take place throughout the summer for different boys and girls age groups throughout Europe and the United States.
While the goal’s to win the tournament, it’ll give players the opportunity to play against different competition and style of play.
“To be on the ice with different players and style of hockey will help improve the way I play,” Nolan Brett said, noting his favourite player’s Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid.
“I hope to come back with a medal, but I think it’ll help me back check, improve my shot, my all around game,” he added.
The Grade 7 student at Laurie Hawkins Public School has spent the past two years with the Brantford 99ers ‘AAA’ teams. He completed his minor peewee season this past year. He came up in the Woodstock Minor Hockey Association system after picking up the sport at about six.
He credited his coaches along the way, including his head coach for the past two seasons Brent Van Den Akker, as well as his older brother Keaghan Brett.
Keaghan Brett spent the past season with the Woodstock Navy Vets after time at ‘AAA’ with the London Jr. Knights and the Brantford 99ers. The two brothers practice for about an hour each day in their lengthy basement setup with puck boards, nets and enough room to wear roller blades to move and shoot.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without them,” Nolan Brett said of his coaches and brother. “They’ve been a big influence and my brother’s been a big help for me.”