Following a highly successful introduction last season to a new skill development program offered within the Thunderbirds for our members exclusively, we are excited to head into 2019/20 with Derek Popke continuing to lead the program. In addition, we are continuing our partnership 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 2022/23 season, Derek Popke and coaches with Vancouver Hockey School will be leading skills sessions for all of our Thunderbirds rep teams. Together with the teams' coaches, Derek will lead 7 scheduled sessions with each team in U11 and U13. 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 a High Performance Program for U11 and U13 players.

High Performance Program click here for more information

The High Performance (HP) Program is an in-season skills program designed for dedicated T-Birds U11 and U13 rep players who want to train, work hard, and take their game to the next level.

HP sessions are instructed by Derek Popke and coaches with the Vancouver Hockey School. As a skating consultant, Derek has worked on-ice with the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs, MML Vancouver Canadians, CSSHL St. Georges Saints, and numerous minor hockey teams. This past summer, and in cooperation with the Vancouver Canucks, Popke coached one of the most successful NHL Pre-Season Development Camps. Attendees included JT Miller, Bo Horvart, Vasily Podkozin, Tanner Pierson, Alex Edler, Sam Rienhart, Troy Stetcher, and many more. You can read Derek's full bio at www.vancouverhockeyschool.com.

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

*Players from outside associations will be invited to the program based on open spots.


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, PFGS will join our Thunderbird rep players during team practices over the season to work closely with each netminder. In addition to the team visits over the season, all U11 to U18 goalies who want to take their skills to the next level will be able to join ProFormance instructors in our Thunderbirds Goalie School.

Thunderbird Goalie School

The Thunderbird Goalie School is an in-house initiative for the association that provides the opportunity for additional instruction for goalies at all age levels from U11 to U18 in three groups. Groups will be dependent upon registration and will be separated by skill level.

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

Registration information for 2022-23 season will be distributed once finalized.