Some of the players are bigger. And some are the same size.
Playing against the best 10-year-old hockey players in North America, Coldstream’s Ollie Reid said his favourite thing about the opposition he’s has faced, and will face, is having them try to catch him.
“I like to make people miss,” said Reid, a Grade 4 student at Kidston Elementary School. “My strength is my skating and I think I’m agile and elusive on the ice.”
Reid is a offensively gifted forward, one of only two players to make the final British Columbia Selects Team Brick roster from the Interior. The group is a travelling team gearing up to play in the prestigious The Brick Invitational July 1 to 7 at West Edmonton Mall.
The tournament bills itself as the most prestigious hockey tournament in North America. Each year, 175 of the best 10-year-old players in the world compete in Edmonton.
The Team BC Brick roster is composed of nine forwards, six defencemen and two goalies. Players are considered to be the top young players from B.C., Washington, Idaho and Oregon.
Reid, who played for the Vernon H&L Glass Wolfpack atom A development team in 2018-19, has been catching the eye of hockey officials pretty much since he started playing at age three.
“(Former Vernon Vipers assistant) coach Kevin Pedersen was an assistant coach in the Brick program and he heard about Ollie and came to see him play,” said Reid’s father, Ryan.
“He called me and we met for lunch. I’d heard about the Brick program before but that got the ball rolling. There’s not a lot of exposure for small-town kids.”
Tuning up for Edmonton, Reid likes to shoot pucks in the family driveway with his younger brother Berkeley.
He and his team played tournaments recently in Toronto and Vancouver , with Team BC finishing third in both. Reid led the team in scoring in Vancouver with 17 points in seven games.
“I have been watching Ollie play since he was seven and from that young age, Ollie has such great promise with his high hockey IQ and skill set,” said Team BC head coach Jon Calvano.
“His skill allows him to be a difference maker during the games. For such a talented kid, he shows he’s been coached extremely well and can still play a team game.”
Calvano coached a number of current NHL stars in the program. BC Brick graduates include former Penticton Vees defenceman Dante Fabbro (Nashville), Kyle Turris (Nashville), Jordan Eberle (Isalnders), Ryan Nugent Hopkins (Edmonton), Seth Jones (Columbus) and Morgan Rielly (Toronto).
Reid wears No. 13, the same number as another BC Team Brick alumnus, 2018 NHL Rookie of the Year Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders.
Also graduating from the program are Vernon’s Hudson Kibblewhite and Jacob Boden.
“Those guys are like role models for me,” said Reid of the Vernon kids. “Hudson was a former linemate of mine a couple of years ago.”
Each player on The BC Brick team is responsible for two local jersey sponsors. Reid’s are Pleasant Valley Dental-Dr. Sean Bicknell and Nature’s Fare Markets.
“It’s important to have the local sponsors. They help out quite a bit,” said Ryan Reid. Local sponsors have their logos on the player’s sweater.
Three Vernon organizations are program sponsors—SilverStar Mountain Resort, Tolko and Kal Tire. Their logos are on an equipment bag given to each player.