RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Junior Hurricanes hockey program is just a few months away from hosting the South East Showcase. They’ll do so at the brand new Wake Competition Center.
“You know, for us and this program, it’s huge,” said Junior Hurricanes owner Jocelyn Langlois.
The Carolina Hurricanes — the NHL team, that is — practice rink will also house the Junior Hurricanes program. It gives the Triangle’s young players one of the finest facilities in the nation. The upcoming showcase will be one of the first events to take place at the new facility.
“Having a showcase, we have scouts, we fly scouts over here, put them in a hotel, and give them a good show,” Langlois said. “Now, with the new facility and new rink, we’re really excited to have the showcase here and putting on a great event for everyone.”
One thing is certain: the venue will be first class. The Hurricanes have been in need of a practice facility for years. Now they’ve gotten it, and youngsters with stars in their eyes will benefit from it.
“Bringing in kids we’re trying to recruit, it kind of opens their eyes to, ‘Wow, this is pretty special,'” said Junior Canes Elite head coach Brad Gaylord. “We want to make sure they feel special when they come here.”
“This just takes it to a whole another level,” added Kevin St. Jacques, who is the head coach for Junior Canes Premiere. “Having the NHL team downstairs, as well, is just an unbelievable perk.”
The Eagles hockey program and the Junior Hurricanes merged a few years ago. The backing from the professional club has helped the program flourish.
“Our program is school first, hockey second,” Gaylord said. “We want to make sure we develop their path to their school that they hopefully want to go to.”
The South East Showcase in late September could be just the ticket for that. Some 20 teams from up and down the east coast will battle in the new, state-of-the-art facility.
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