The Alberta Junior Hockey League continues to be a leading developmental league for student-athletes. Forty-five players, which represents 14% of last years rosters, accepted offers to play hockey at NCAA institutions. Currently 10% of the rosters have accepted offers for 2004-2005 season. Equally important are the increasing numbers of alumni participating in Canadian institutions. This past hockey season there was over 100 alumni from the AJHL competing in the Canadian Inter-university Sports (CIS) and Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).
As parents and players become increasingly aware of the opportunities for quality prospects, the need for relevant information and comprehensive advice becomes ever more important. Working with coaches, team administration, and league officials, the Education Consultant’s primary mandate is to provide players and parents with guidance and information that fosters knowledgeable and comfortable decisions.
Kirk Lamb continues to relish his role as the education consultant for the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Kirk’s junior career began with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He went on to play with the Bonnyville Pontiacs where he earned the opportunity to attend Princeton University and participate in Division I of the NCAA. Having captained his team and graduated with an honours degree in economics in 2001, Kirk went on to play professionally in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and ultimately retired in 2002. His playing career has certainly provided him with significant insight into the options available for teenagers.
Lamb was the Princeton University Tigers and Ivy League scoring leader, as well as a first-team all-Ivy League and second-team all-ECAC selection, in 1999-2000. He led Princeton in scoring again in 2000-01 and was a second-team all-Ivy League choice.
“I’m trying to present a message so people can make informed decisions,” said Lamb. “I never say go this way or go that way.” He has addressed the AJHL teams, along with the rural midget and bantam teams. He has more meetings scheduled with AJHL teams at spring camps and has also conducted parents meetings for numerous AJHL teams.
“I encourage parent meetings,” he said. “Parents ask more questions and do more research than most players.”
Lamb explains the pros and cons of the Canadian Hockey League, Canadian Junior “A” Hockey League, Canadian Inter-University Sports, Canadian Colleges and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
“I told the AJHL steering committee that it’s a good idea to have more meetings with bantams and midgets,” said Lamb.
He explains that parents and players should be making decisions, about educational opportunities, before the players attend training camps in the CHL or Junior “A”.
His calendar was busy with meetings about two weekends per month from September through January. But he is giving something back to the game that has given so much to him, including a quality education.
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