Youth hockey is like owning a boat, "B.O.A.T. - Bring Out Another Thousand." Money is no object and never try to make economic sense of it...you can't.
my son was fortunate enough to play in "the brick" 15 or so yrs ago. still talks about it to this day as one of the most fun things he's ever done. its different for all kids i'd imagine. my son went on to play prep school sports, did junior hockey here and in canada and played hockey in college. that's a lot of hockey but truly still lists the brick among his most fun times in the sport. there are probably no less than 20 kids that played in that tournament in the NHL right now including one boy from his team who's a legit star in the league. countless others in the minors and who played college hockey at various levels. if you can afford the trip i highly recommend it, (must be even better now), it's a ton of fun, the production is top notch and the kids are treated like stars. if you have to take a second mortgage to do it, i'd say pass. it's a great memory and fun time but it comes at a price. for out family it was a great decision and wonderful memory.
just my opinion
Good for you and your kid. It might not be for everyone but it sounds like it worked for you.