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From Selects Hockey to the Air Force

By Christian Gonzalez, 01/10/18, 4:45PM EST


Hockey Player Turned Air Force Officer


Featuring: Tyler Rostenkowski Selects Hockey '04 - '07

The Program.

Often times we forget that less than 1% of all athletes ever make it to the professional level. We forget about how impactful our youth careers are on our lives outside of sport. We forget that we learned how to lose through sport, how to be a more confident individual, how to keep fighting when you feel like you have no fight left, how to lose and look your opponent in the eye and tell them good game. Here at Legacy Global Hockey, we make sure you never forget, we’re here to provide you with a world-class experience in order for you to create your own legacy in life, whether it be in a rink or far away from freshly cut ice.

Selects Hockey to the Air Force.

Tyler Rostenkowski played for one of the inaugural Selects Hockey teams, an elite AAA development program comprised of the best athletes from across the US, Canada and Europe. Since Selects Hockey's inception in 2003, the program has produced over 80 NHL players, with over 60 currently on NHL rosters. Although Tyler isn’t one of those players on an NHL roster, his legacy has been just as impactful of any Selects Alumni.

Playing professional hockey is most athlete’s dream, but for Tyler, his legacy lies within the United States Air Force Academy. “Leading men of character,” was Rostenkowski’s motive for joining the Airforce Academy. “I looked forward to serving because of the people who served me [in hockey], my coaches at Selects were more than just hockey coaches, they were life coaches, they showed me how to be a better leader.”

As an officer now, Rostenkowski oversees 300 airmen of diverse background. “Selects played a significant role in preparing me for a life as a officer, it exposed me to a diverse culture at a young age and taught me how to communicate with people both domestically and internationally.

It's Hockey all the Time.

Each year, the Selects Hockey program participates in the World Selects Invitational (WSI) in Europe or North America, WSI is an Elite AAA tournament comprised of the best players and teams around the world. This year, the WSI European destinations include Bolzano, Italy; San Sebastian, Spain; and Chamonix, France; while Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will play host to the 2003 WSI in North America.

The top players from the 2003 birth year will descend on Philadelphia for the unique opportunity to compete against the best teams from around the globe.  Scouts flock to this event from every corner of North America to view the next generation of elite hockey players.  Last year’s event saw over 130 scouts from the NCAA , Major Junior (CHL), prep schools, USHL, NAHL, European, and even the NHL.. Organized by LEGACY Global Sports, the WSI will see 20 North American teams and 8 European teams compete over five days in the Philadelphia/Voorhees area.

During Tyler’s Selects career he had the privilege of playing in a WSI in Sweden. Tyler was asked what he thought Sweden was like before he went over and his response was simple -  “Hockey. “It’s hockey all the time, no matter where you’re from, especially at the AAA level.” Rostenkowski describes the culture of Sweden hockey. “They’re still developing, just like we are here in the US, but they’re just a little more advanced.”

Advice from Tyler Rosenkowski

“Be grateful for your experiences, whether you’re playing AAA hockey at regional or WSI level, or just a single A hockey player, be grateful and take advantage of your opportunity to play."

To learn more about the Selects Program at Legacy Global Hockey, Click here.

Christian Gonzalez

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