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Player Development

We have assembled a coaching staff comprised of top coaching talent from across the region to lead the program, many of whom played the game at the highest levels including the NHL, AHL, and european professional leagues. Our coaching staff follows an age-specific development plans designed to provide players with the ability to achieve their individual potential while emphasizing the team-first environment. Our development program design is led by our Hockey General Manager, Francois Methot with consultation from our Hockey Development Group that includes former NHL players Stephen Gionta, Matt Murley, and Nathan Paetsch.  Learn more about the Development Group.


Research from USA Hockey shows that our youth players are in their optimum “window of trainability,” so our program will focus on skill development. We utilize age appropriate training systems to help our players maximize their full athletic potential with an emphasis on skating, speed and agility, puck control, shooting, and passing. In addition, we encourage creativity and nurture the players’ developing “hockey sense” through a variety of drills and small-area games.

Jr. Amerks were early adopters of USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM). ADM is an athlete-centered, coach-enhanced, administrator-supported framework that aims to help all individuals realize their athletic potential and utilize sport as a path toward an active and healthy lifestyle. This can be accomplished by following the 10 Guiding Principles and the age group recommendations that focus on developing all aspects of hockey performance in a developmentally appropriate manner, based on research and best practices in youth sports, human development, coaching, and the sports sciences.


Advanced Skills and Powerskating

Our players will participate in advanced skill development sessions that use the Power Edge Pro training system, as well as other power skating and training programs designed for elite athletes. Power Edge Pro is an on-ice player development system that focuses on Reactive Countering Training™, engaging multiple motor skills simultaneously to develop a player’s small area game performance. This training method challenges players to complete complex patterns while maintaining puck control, and provides five times the repetitions of standard drill based practices—leading to faster development of elite skills. To see the program in action checkout the RIC Academy.


Off Ice Training

Every player in our program will participate in off-ice training sessions at Next Level Strength and Conditioning. Next Level’s mission is to empower athletes on their journey to self-improvement by prioritizing character development, injury prevention and performance enhancement. Next Level athletes use the latest in sports performance and functional training under the close guidance of positive role models and highly qualified professionals. While functional strength training is a critical component of the program, Next Level’s comprehensive approach to training helps athletes achieve maximal results. Mobility, corrective exercise, power, speed, agility, energy system specific conditioning, skill development, nutrition, sleep, and hydration are all key factors to our players reaching their full potential. 


Goaltender Training

Goaltenders will be offered regular goalie specific instruction throughout the season from our elite coaching staff and through our training partners from RIC Acacemy and Janosz School of Goaltending. The training program is designed to follow an ongoing progression plan throughout the season. The drills and coaching techniques used are designed to build a highly competitive, mobile, athletic, and fundamentally sound goaltender capable of advancing through the hockey ranks. Watch a clip of our specialized goalie clinics that are available to anyone in our program free of charge