Considered a power forward, Andrew George is a hockey player who likes to finish his checks. And next April, he will get a chance to do just that during an international exhibition in the Czech Republic as a member of a Minneapolis-based all-star team.
It should be quite an experience for the 13-year-old forward, who was an integral part of last year’s KC “AA” PeeWee team here. And after being selected to the Thunder Bay Northern Hawks “AA” squad back in April, George made quite an impression at tournaments in Calgary and Minneapolis.
At the latter, George was named one of the tournament’s top 20 players and invited to become a member of the Selects there.
The accomplishment didn’t surprise Lorne Ricard, who was his coach with the KCs last season.
“He’s a big, tall kid who was one of our best players last year,” said Ricard. “He’s a great kid. I have nothing but good things to say about him.
“He’s a big power forward who’s able to play rough-and-tough but never dirty,” he noted.
George admitted his size and strength probably helped persuade the Selects’ coaching staff to make to pick him. At 5’11” and 150 pounds, he was an imposing figure on the ice at the PeeWee level.
“I like to hit lots. I have just average speed and stickhandling [ability],” admitted the teen, who notched 30 goals and 20 assists with the KCs last season.
“The coaches said they picked me because I have a lot of heart and desire. I think my size helped me a bit because size really helps when coaches are looking for a bigger player,” he reasoned.
But he also has a knack for scoring, as evidenced by his 30-goal performance last year. Ricard referred to George as the team’s “big gunner” who had a good, hard shot.
Still, as talented as George is, he admitted it was a tad tougher to score at those “AAA” tournaments when he found himself playing against some of the best teams in Canada and the U.S.
“In ‘AAA’ compared to ‘AA’, it was like playing ‘AA’ in town compared to playing house league,” reflected George, also a quarterback with the Muskie ‘C’ football team.
“It was hard to score. The checking was tighter and you scored only when the other team’s made mistakes,” he recalled.
“I’ve kind of thought about [moving on to ‘AAA’] but I just play hockey for fun, football’s my favorite sport. Other people are telling me to go and have fun,” George added.
In fact, he admitted he was surprised to be selected to the ‘AAA’ Selects team, especially in just his first year playing at the PeeWee level.
“On my [KC] team, we have a lot of pretty good players but no one really stands out,” said George. “I’ll be nervous a bit going there but I’m just going to go and have fun.”