For all of professional sports developing talent starts at the grassroots level within the community with the youth programs. For baseball it’s Little League, basketball it’s the youth leagues, same goes for soccer. This is where its starts for those seeking to make it into professional sports one day.
Yesterday the Golden Knights and Nevada Storm had a milestone moment in the history of sports for the Vegas community by establishing a long standing partnership with the activation of the Youth Hockey Programs.
Prior to the Golden Knights arrival The Nevada Storm have been developing their youth hockey program at the Las Vegas Ice Center. Their program was originally founded under the name Las Vegas Storm who joined the Western States Hockey League in the 2014-2015 season.
In 1993 the Western States Hockey League was founded and during the 1994-2011 seasons the WSHL was a fully sanctioned institution under the USA Hockey program. The WSHL features a 30 hockey team league that spans across 14 states in which is divided into 4 division (Midwest, Mountain, Western, and Northeast).
The division the Storm currently are a member for is the Western Division that is California heavy along with 2 Arizona based programs in Peoria and Gilbert.
Owned and operated by John and Kirk Brooks the Las Vegas Storm owners also own the Tri-City Storm which are members of the top US based developmental league the United States Hockey League.
Their U16 AAA team is currently coached by Mich Sanford. Sanford a veteran coach who is coaching his 7th season in the WSHL in which he reunited the Storm back in the 2014. As a former hockey player himself Sanford suited up for the Chilliwack Chiefs of BCHL back in the 2001-2002 season where he recorded 47 goals an added 58 assists during that campaign.
For the Nevada Storm going forward they will be changing their name and full under the banner of the Vegas Golden Knights and be called the Junior Vegas Golden Knights and begin operations this coming fall at the new Summerlin Practice Facility across from the Red Rock Casino.
Leading the charge to oversee the operations of the program has been bestowed to the responsibility of the Summerlin Practice Facility General Manager Brad Sholl.
Prior to his arrival to Vegas Sholl ran the Toyota Sports Center in Los Angeles for the past 15 years. There he was the General Manager and developed the Lil Kings and the LA Jr. Kings AAA programs.
“I can’t wait to get it going. I thoroughly believe this city is going to become a hockey hotbed.” -new practice facility GM Brad Sholl
It’s going to be exciting going forward for the Vegas and Summerlin communities to watch on and witness the future talent of the Vegas Golden Knights organization grow and maturate.