Watch above: A new marketing campaign by Budweiser features Saskatchewan-grown professional hockey players. Aaron Streck unveils the new campaign and has local reaction to the recognition.
SASKATOON – Saskatchewan has produced close to 500 hockey players who have suited up in the National Hockey League, currently 41 players have that privilege.
“Everyone of those players is a favourite to someone no matter who they are,” said Zane Hagel, with Budweiser Canada.
Pound-for-pound, Saskatchewan has produced more pro hockey players than any province in the country and Budweiser is acknowledging that in it’s new ad, ‘Saskatchewan, the home of goal scorers.’
“It really started with defining what are the essentials of hockey, it started with our first commercial in Saint-Jerome, Quebec where we talked about where the hockey pucks are produced for the country and that just evolved into what’s one of the most iconic aspects of the sport obviously the goal. How do the goals get there? They’re from the players. Where do the players come from? They’re from Saskatchewan,” said Hagel.
The tribute to the players and fans that call the land of the living skies home begins airing this weekend.
Jeff and Rita Schenn, who star in the commercial, know a little bit about raising pro hockey players as their sons Luke and Brayden are teammates on the Philadelphia Flyers.
“They had a real passion for the game and they really worked hard at it, I guess a big part of Saskatchewan for them anyways was kind of a cool story, we had five outdoor rinks on the street and they lived on the rink until pretty much they were playing in the WHL,” said Luke and Brayden’s father Jeff Schenn.
“There’s something in the soil here, its absolutely amazing,” said Saskatoon Blades President Steve Hogle.
Spotting a player from Saskatchewan usually doesn’t take long.
“I think there’s a reason why you see more players from Saskatchewan per capita in the NHL then from anywhere else in the world and we got guys that have as much skill as anyone in the world but there’s that underlying factor of grit and hard work and they come by it honestly in this province and its an intangible coaches die for,” said Hogle.
While hockey remains in the heart of young players growing up in Saskatchewan, there are sure to be more provincial players putting pucks in the net and striving for Lord Stanley’s Cup.