The words "nontraditional hockey market" are becoming more and more foreign to the city of Nashville. From the record attendance numbers for the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena to the club’s grassroots hockey efforts to grow the game throughout the region, pucks and sticks are becoming commonplace in Middle Tennessee.
For the locals who are now beginning to grow up playing the game, their chances of getting noticed are improving, too. In an ice rink south of Nashville, there’s an annual showcase for young players from all across Tennessee, the southeast, the continent and the world, affording them an opportunity to play and perform in front of coaches and scouts from junior and college programs from all over the country.
The Elite Edge Hockey Showcase, recently held in Franklin, Tenn., hosted more than 250 participants, over 70 of them from the Volunteer State, for four days of games, fitness testing, video sessions and team-building exercises, all with the goal of providing exposure to players who might not otherwise get a chance to advance.
And while a camp of this stature may be "nontraditional" in the south, hockey in Tennessee is anything but.
Here now, a collection of stories from the 2015 edition of Elite Edge…