Chestermere athlete, Kyle Crnkovic is preparing for the U18 Canada National hockey team try out’s while gearing up for his second season playing for the Saskatoon Blades.
Approximately 44 athletes from across Canada are chosen to attend camp and try out for the U18 Canada National hockey team in Calgary.
“I was super excited, I played in the under 17 for team Canada, and it was an unbelievable experience representing Canada,” Crnkovic said.
“To have the chance to go to the tryouts and try to make the U18 team is truly an honour, I’ve put in the work, so hopefully it all goes well,” he added.
Although Crnkovic was chosen to try out for the national team, he is focusing on working hard throughout the summer, and preparing for his second season playing left wing for the Saskatoon Blades.
Currently, Crnkovic is working out five days a week, working on speed, upper body, lower body, and cardio, while skating three or four days a week.
“I’m just trying to get bigger and stronger and be really ready for the start of the season,” Crnkovic said.
Throughout Crnkovic’s hockey career he has hit a variety of milestones such as winning the Bantam Prep Championship.
“Being drafted to the WHL was huge for me. Then in 2012, I went on a Europe trip playing hockey.
“I got to play with my brother, and all the family went, that was one of my best memories,” Crnkovic said.
Although Crnkovic has hit many milestones and achieved his goal of playing in the WHL, he was forced to overcome many challenges, including a shoulder injury.
“I hurt my shoulder that was pretty tough. It was my first injury,” Crnkovic said.
He added, “We had great support staff in Saskatoon, they helped rehabilitate me and get me back into playing shape. It’s all good now. It just sucked at the time.”
Despite the amount of time and dedication it has taken Crnkovic to get to this point in his hockey career, playing was an easy decision for him after he fell in love with the sport watching his brother and father play.
“I used to go to all of their games, and just fell in love with it, and wanted to get right into it, Crnkovic said.
“Hockey is important to me, because I fell in love with it, and made so many friendships playing it,” Crnkovic said.
He added, “My whole family loves hockey and supports me. It’s just super important to keep playing it. It’s a no brainer for me.”