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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.