Jr. Kings trio impresses at CCM International Invitational

Three members of the Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ 16U AAA Major team - forwards Jake McGrew and Cole Guttman and defenseman John St. Ivany - were selected to compete in last weekend’s CCM International Invitational, which was showcased in New Hope, Minn.

Hosted by the Upper Midwest High School Elite League, the event included two teams comprised of top players from the Tier 1 Elite League - Tier 1 Black and Tier 1 Gray.

Jr. Kings 16U AAA Major head coach Jack Bowkus led Tier 1 Gray, which advanced to the championship game where it fell to Team CCM, 4-2.

“Our boys played extremely well and competed extremely hard all weekend,” Bowkus said of the Jr. Kings trio. “It was a worthwhile event on a number of levels, and I think all of the kids benefited from the competition and exposure.”

Tier 1 Gray bested Minnesota Red in the quarterfinals, 4-3, before routing Minnesota White in the semis, 10-0.

“The scouting presence was second to none,” Bowkus added. “There were so many NHL scouts in attendance, along with those from the NCAA ranks and high-end junior programs.”

Ed Ginger, head coach of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets who guided the Tier 1 Elite Black team over the weekend, agreed the showcase was a resounding success.

"This was such a great event to be a part of,” said Ginger. “The quality of play and competition was outstanding. Both of our teams did an outstanding job representing the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League and themselves throughout the weekend.  

“I think the perception of our league was elevated by the performance of the players at the CCM Invite.”