Vancouver Hockey School’s Derek Popke has been leading a couple skills sessions for the Thunderbirds rep program this past season, and starting in September he will be taking on an official role with the T-Birds. In his Hockey Advisor role, Derek will be leading the on-ice skill development program for all Hockey 2-4 teams and the rep program. In addition, he will be running the Vancouver Hockey School’s Elementary Hockey Program for a number of age groups.
As a hockey skating consultant, Popke has worked on-ice with the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs (2009-2014), ECHL Victoria Salmon Kings, BCHL Penticton Vees, MML GV Canadians, CSSHL St. Georges Saints, and numerous minor hockey associations. In 2009, a record 19 players who skate with Popke were drafted in the WHL Bantam Draft. As one of the lower mainland’s most respected skating coaches, over 50 of Popke’s skating clients have been selected in the NHL draft in the past 7 years. His focus remains teaching balance, speed, and power with and without the puck. In 2012, he was named host of Minor Hockey Talk on Sportstalk CISL AM-650. Most recently, he was a key note speaker on hockey skating at The Coaches Site Coaching Conference featuring top coaches from around the world.
Welcome to the TBirds, Derek! We can’t wait to have you fully involved with the future skill development of our players.