ALUMNI SHINE AT PREDS CAMP
Date: Jun 28, 2019
By BROOKS BRATTEN
Sure, scoring lots of goals or dishing out assists may help a young hockey player’s cause when it comes to advancing to the next level, but it’s certainly far from a guarantee.
Rob Cowie knows that better than most. That’s what made the professional scout for the Nashville Predators a perfect fit to speak to over 200 skaters at the Elite Edge Hockey Showcase this week in Middle Tennessee.
Cowie never played triple-A growing up, never participated in an all-star game, was never drafted into the NHL. However, after a 13-year pro career, including two seasons spent with the Los Angeles Kings, the Willowdale, Ontario native is still in the game, still working in the top League in the world.
So, that’s the message Cowie addressed to those hoping to carve out a path just like he did – just because you’re not a superstar as a teenager doesn’t mean you should give up the dream.
“If you’re not the best player when you’re 15, that’s not the time to be discouraged, that’s the time to really dig in,” Cowie said. “There are different timelines for everybody and there’s different roots for everybody. There’s lots of ways to get to the next level, but at the end of the day, it all starts with a commitment and desire.”
A discussion from Cowie is just part of what the participants receive during their four days spent at Elite Edge. The on-ice sessions are paramount, but just as important are the off-ice training sessions and the chance to hear from people like Cowie as to what it takes to make it in the game.
“We try to tell the kids, ‘You’re always being watched,’ and something like this is a perfect example of it,” Cowie said. “You’ve been watched, you were identified as a good enough player and now you’re at the next level. Just to be at this camp is next-level stuff. There’s no reason, geographically, for a kid to say they didn’t make it because a camp like this in the southeastern U.S. is unbelievable.”
When the attendees depart at the end of the week, the hope is that they’ll not only be better hockey players, but better people as well, equipped to handle the different situations that may arise over the coming years as they look to commit to junior or collegiate opportunities.
For Cowie, confidence is high that’ll be the case, thanks to the exposure and experience that can only be gained at a showcase such as this.
And although not everyone at Elite Edge can be named to the All-Star team at week’s end, they’ll all leave with the means to make a name for themselves one way or another.
“As a scout and as a guy that helps try to develop players, I can confidently say that everybody walks away here knowing what it takes,” Cowie said. “At the end of the day, its about knowing this is what it takes to get to the next level, whether it be junior or the pros… Now it’s up to you to do it.”