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When my son did them it was a full-ice 5 on 5 scrimmages. There was a quick warm-up (5-7 minutes) but no formal skills component, just scrimmaging. I believe it was 90 second buzzers with full line changes.
The fastest, most aggressive kids stand-out in these types of tryouts. That seems to be what they are looking for. If your kid doesn't fit this mold I would not bother, just my opinion. This is a more in-depth review I read before brining my son, http://www.rutschhockey.com/review_jrbruins-training-camp.php
I partially disagree with the others that if your good enough they will find you. That is 100% true as the kids get older but not as much at the mite and squirt level, especially if your kid does not play at the elite level where these coaches may have seem him play. That being said, I don't think there is a kid on the team that doesn't already play at the elite level in the EHF or E9.
For the 2013's there are two teams - the National Elite and the Elite. It could vary by age group, not sure about that. The top kids go to Nat'l Elite and next best go to the Elite. The talent drop from the two teams is significant and most, if not all of the kids play EHF or E9 in addition to Jr. Bruins. Jr. Bruins are a tournament team so they don't have a regular season like your club teams and the schedule is designed so they don't overlap with the club teams.
Go to YouTube and type in "Jr Bruins" and you will find videos of the tryouts and games so you can see style and level of talent.
Sorry, copied the wrong link for the tryout article. Here is correct one: http://www.rutschhockey.com/review_jrbruins-tryouts.php
This is helpful, thank you. So it seems as though you really need to be playing for one of their teams before the Brick year (thinking 2012 in this case). I assume most of the kids who make that team already are on a Jr Bruins team and then in the Brick year they just create a new Brick team, and maybe bring in another kid or two from elsewhere.
Then anyone who doesn't make that team could possibly make on of the other teams. It looks like though in many of the Brick Series tournaments (Boston, Vegas, Chicago, etc.) there are multiple Jr Bruins teams. So do all of these teams pretty much go to these tournaments, and then the only difference is Brick year there is a separate team for just that tournament?
I suppose it could vary from year to year but in general I would say your right - the Brick team is comprised of kids who have already been playing for them. If your kid is a top talent on an elite level team I would say he has a shot so just because he hasn't been on the Jr. Bruins team in the past shouldn't be a deciding factor. The bottom line is that these coaches want the best team they can get.
Also correct, it you don't make the National Elite team (Brick team) you could still make the Elite team. Not sure the particulars of the travel and how they decide which teams go. If you decided to tryout they should be able to give you a better idea on that. It seems the National Elite team travels more but it probably varies from tournament to tournament.
Good luck either way.