Vancouver Thunderbirds Hockey - Skate.Shoot.Soar.

For the 2018/19 season, Thunderbirds are excited to have Derek Popke returning as our skill development lead. In addition, we have partnered with Pro Formance Goalie School to conduct a goalie development program that will include team visits along with advanced opportunities to develop.

Skills with Vancouver Hockey School's Derek Popke

During the 2018-19 season, Derek Popke will be leading skills sessions on Wednesday evenings for all of our Thunderbirds rep teams. Together with the teams' coaches, Derek will lead between 6-8 scheduled sessions with each team over the course of the season depending on the division. Your coaches will provide the dates of these sessions as part of the team's calendar.

In addition to these sessions, Derek will also be leading additional weekly sessions as part of an Elementary Hockey Program for Atom and Peewee players. See below for more information.


Elementary Hockey Program (EHP)

Elementary Hockey Program (EHP) is an in-season skills program designed for dedicated T-Birds rep players who want to train, work hard, and take their game to the next level.

EHP sessions are instructed by Derek Popke. As a skating consultant, Derek has worked on-ice with the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs, ECHL Victoria Salmon Kings, MML Vancouver Canadians, and numerous minor hockey teams. His current list of NHL clients include Jason Garrison (Las Vegas Knights), Kevin Bieksa (Anahiem Ducks), Ben Chairot (Winnipeg Jets), Troy Stecher (Vancouver Canucks), and Erik Gudbranson (Vancouver Canucks) to name a few. You can read Derek's full bio at

Players are placed in appropriate skill groups at the discretion of EHP coaches in order to maximize the teaching efficiency and learning experience of each individual player. Sessions do not conflict with T-Birds practice or game slots.

Dates: Sept 27/28, 2018 - Feb 21 (Group A)/Feb 28 (Groups B and C), 2019

EHP sessions will not be held on the following dates: Oct 4/5, Nov 8/9, Nov 30 (Group A), Dec 6 (Groups B/C), Dec 21/22, Dec 27/28, Jan 3/4, Feb 15


Goaltender Development with Pro Formance Goalie School

Pro Formance is one of the leading goalie development programs in BC and has been training goalies in the Vancouver area for the past twenty years. Led by their Chief Instructor, Rob Fuchs, along with other instructors will join our Thunderbird rep players during team practices over the season to work closely with each netminder. In addition to the four team visits over the season, all atom to midget goalies who want to take their skills to the next level will be able to join Pro Formance instructors in our Thunderbirds Goalie School:

Novice Major/Atom goaltenders: Fridays from 4:15 - 5:15 pm at Kitsilano Arena.   

Peewee/Bantam/Midget goaltenders: Fridays from 5:15 - 6:15 pm at Kitsilano Arena.

Note: Goalie to Instructor ratio is a maximum of 4 to 1.

Sessions start October 12 and run for 12 sessions with the last session being on January 25. Cost $650.  Please click here to registerSpace is limited and spaces will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis at each age level.  

Note: the Thunderbird Goalie School will not have sessions on the following dates: November 9, December 21, December 28, January 4.