Kånken Retention Award finalists

Kånken Retention Award finalists

The Alliance of European Hockey Clubs and Fjällräven are proud to announce the finalists for the 2023 Kånken Youth Retention Award:

  • EC Red Bull Salzburg (AUT)
  • Academy Rudi Hiti Bled (SLO)
  • DHC Icecats Linz (AUT)
  • Kárpáti Farkasok (HUN)
  • Barani Banská Bystrica (SVK)

The competition for the Kånken Youth Retention Award has never been so even as the case is this year. The E.H.C. has identified these five youth clubs or programs from four nations. It’s pure coincidence that all the applicants this time are from central Europe.

The criteria for the award, which was introduced in 2017 by the Nordin family, the majority owners of Fjällräven, are as follows:

To be awarded annually to a European ice hockey youth program which emphasizes sustainability through social responsibility and high retention rates among its participants.

Fenix Outdoor / Fjällräven contribute €5,000 and the same amount comes from the E.H.C. Alliance which means that €10,000 will go to the winning club/program. A representative of the winning club will be invited to the Fenix Outdoor European Hockey Awards in Prague on 13 June to receive the award from a representative of the E.H.C. partner.

The jury, which consists of executives from Fjällräven and from the E.H.C., put considerable weight on how the clubs explained in their application how they plan to use the €10,000.

A short presentation of each finalist:

EC Red Bull Salzburg: The well-known Austrian hockey academy applies on behalf of their “Eishockey 1x1” project, which is an initiative meant to pass the fascination of ice hockey to children in the area around Salzburg. The idea behind the project is to attract and recruit new children to the sport. https://www.eishockey1x1.at/

Academy Rudi Hiti: Named after the legendary Slovenian/Yugoslav hockey player, Rudi Hiti, the youth academy from the hockey hotbed of Bled, runs several development programs. And for more than 25 years, the academy also organizes international summer hockey camps, with professional instructors and with participants coming from primarily Slovenia, central Europe and the Balkans. https://www.rudi-hiti.si/sl_si/

DHC Icecats Linz: The club from Linz, Austria prides itself on being the lone women`s hockey club in the country which has his own program for girls. Their mid-term plan is to have a team in every women`s hockey league in Austria and Europe (DEBL1, DEBL2, EWHL) with girls educated at their academy. https://www.icecats.at

Kárpáti Farkasok: As a second-year applicant, the Hungarian club Kárpáti Farkasok qualifies for the final five because of their understanding that “ice hockey is more than a sport, that the sport helps the individual not only to be a better athlete, student and most importantly, a better person”. The club is from Érd, a community some 19 kilometres southwest of the capital Budapest.

Barani Banská Bystrica: The Slovak club, which only started in 2019, tries to get away from the stereotype that every young hockey player tries to become a pro. The slogan of Barani is “Best Club in Developing People”, and the main focus points are: Responsibility, Teamwork, Respect, Openness, Growth and Joy, Love & Passion. https://barani.sk

Former winners of the Kånken Youth Retention Award:

2020: Pilsen Wolves, Czechia

2021: EC-KAC Klagenfurt, Austria

2022: Pelicans Lahti, Finland

The winner will be announced on 13 June during the E.H.C. European Hockey Awards Gala Dinner in Prague.

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