WOLFVILLE, N.S. - Acadia Hockey Development will once again be hosting an Acadia Showcase for players ranging from 02, 03 and 04 birthdates at the Andrew H McCain arena on the campus of Acadia.
The showcase will kick off a series of outstanding development camps for every age and skill level in August that have been a stipend of local hockey player growth.
Acadia's hockey camps have been an important part of player development in the Annapolis Valley and Nova Scotia for over 20 years. The Acadia hockey program have not only helped players developed, but it has been a stepping stone for several past assistant coaches including Halifax Moosehead coach Jim Midgley; head coach of U18 Female Team Atlantic Troy Ryan; the new head coach of the Jr. A Valley Wildcats Travis Young and Manager of Youth Hockey Programs for the Pittsburgh Penguins Michael Chiasson.
"Where it is important to bring in the regions top players, it's essential that we spend time focussing on the grass roots level", pointed out Axemen head coach Darren Burns.
In Acadia hockey's recent efforts, Burns' staff including Kris MacDonald and Acadia Minor Hockey Association Hockey Development Chair Shaun Kuryluk have developed not only Select teams that travel abroad but this spring will mark the second Acadia Hockey Development Showcase camp. The AMHA was recently named the hockey association of the year by Hockey Nova Scotia for their continued effort in developing Annapolis Valley hockey players.
"Shaun and Kris' work is an example of our programs ability to help grass roots hockey in developing youth in the basic skills. We also have the university staff to be able to help guide kids who are getting to the age where they need to make important decisions in their careers", noted Burns.
The Showcase camp has been a success in not only helping player development but also offers Atlantic Canada hockey players some of the best coaches from various levels including Prep School, Major Junior, Junior "A" and the University level.
Local stand-outs Cam Whynot, Bailey Peach, Damian Harrt, Maggie Burbidge and Brent Levy are examples of kids who have been through the camps and both represented the province at last year's Atlantic Challenge Cup.
The camp's female instructors are some of the best in Atlantic Canada including U18 Team Canada member Brette Pettet; the most sought after recruit by NCAA Division 1 schools in Atlantic Canada Maggie Burbidge and Kate Spooner, a Union College NCAA Division 1 goalie.
On-ice instruction will be led by the Acadia Axemen staff as well as guest instructors including Halifax Mooseheads assistant coach Jon Greenwood.
Greenwood brings a wealth of experience from the Mooseheads, after spending two years as the Head Coach of the Cole Harbour WolfPack Midget AAA team. He has also served as Director of Hockey Development at the Maritime Hockey Academy for seven years. Jon was also recently named Head Coach for the Nova Scotia Canada Games team for 2019.
University of Maine Black Bears Associate Head Coach Ben Guite will be a guest coach at the Acadia Hockey Development Hockey Showcase. Guite helped lead Maine to the 1999 NCAA National Championship, begins his fourth season as assistant coach of the Black Bears. Following his graduation from the University of Maine, Guite spent 13 years in professional hockey.
Berwick, N.S. native Charles Grant will join the staff as well. Grant has extensive experience as a professional goaltender that includes coaching experience. Grant most recently played for the Rapid City Rush in the ECHL- an affiliate team of the Arizona Coyotes of the NHL.
A former player and assistant coach with the Acadia Axemen, Travis Young will join the on-ice coaching staff. Young was selected as the new head coach of the Jr. A Valley Wildcats hockey club in April.
Young is no stranger to the Wildcats, spending the last two seasons leading the bantam team and functioning as an assistant coach at the Jr. A level.
The Axemen hockey skill programs including the Showcase have been important in the development of local talent but also offers local coaches an opportunity to watch and learn from coaches outside the area.
A high level off-ice training led by Acadia Athletics' strength and conditioning coach, Elliott Richardson, will also be included in the camp programming.
"The Showcase and camps are designed to provide the player an experience in preparing for high level tryouts and training camps. We hope to offer a great experience to those who participate, with the hope that participants will be motivated and encouraged to seek their personal hockey goals", added Burns.
The Acadia Hockey Development Showcase Camp is scheduled for Thursday July 27 – Saturday, July 29 with registration underway now at www.acadiaathletics.ca/camps