Fort St. John native headed to U-17 Hockey development camp

Tristan Nielsen playing for the Edge Schools Mountaineers. Photo by James Dewar.

CALGARY, A.B. – In just over a month’s time, one of the Energetic City’s very own will be competing for a spot on one of three Canadian teams that will play in the 2016 World U-17 World Hockey Challenge.

Tristen Nielsen will be joining 110 other players in Calgary for Hockey Canada’s U-17 Development Camp, which takes place July 26th – Aug. 1st. The trip to the rink won’t be a long one for Nielsen, who has lived in Calgary for the past three years where he plays and studies at the Edge School. Last season was an impressive one for Nielsen, who scored 46 points in 42 games, leading the Edge Mountaineers Midget Prep team with 1.10 points per game.

Originally from Fort St. John, the 16 year-old Centre played minor hockey in Dawson Creek for three years before enrolling in the Edge School, a move which he says has made all the difference in his game. “It’s the biggest difference I’ve ever had, the reason I am where I am, probably. That and my dad.” Nielsen told over the phone. He says that the ability to be on the ice every day during the school year, and five to six times per week during the summer are crucial for his player development, adding that the biggest improvement for players at his age is during the six months of the off-season.

After the week-long camp, 66 players will be making the cut and divided into three teams that will be playing at the U-17 Hockey Challenge in Sault St. Marie Oct. 28th – Nov. 5th. Nielsen says that he hopes to impress the team’s scouts and coaches with his incredibly physical play. Though only 5’9’ tall, he weighs in at 185 lbs.

Making the roster would be another feather in an already full cap for the power forward. Nielsen was named team captain for the Edge Mountaineers in his second year, a role which he continued into this year despite his coach not naming a Captain or Assistants this past season. Last June, Nielsen was drafted 20th overall in the first round of the WHL Bantam Draft, and won a silver medal for Team Canada at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games this past February.