Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce the launch of its tenth Center of Excellence at the Bridgewater Sports Arena in Bridgewater Township, NJ. TPH will partner with the Rockets Sports Group, LLC. and team up with former New Jersey Devils captain, Bryce Salvador, to launch its first Center of Excellence on the East Coast.

“We are thrilled about this announcement on a number of levels,” TPH CEO Nathan Bowen said.“First off, we are grateful to the Rockets Sports Group for teaming up with us to bring our Study, Train, Play model to a state that is rich in hockey history and booming with hungry hockey players who we believe will benefit from the CoE model.  On top of that, we are extremely grateful to our good friend Bryce Salvador for connecting TPH and the Rockets Sports Group.  From the start, we knew we wanted to be associated with Bryce and his personal brand.  Bryce’s passion for development radiates off him.  I have really enjoyed building a relationship with him.  All of us in TPH are excited to join forces with Bryce and the Rockets Sports Group, to create a successful model not just in New Jersey, but hopefully in time, across the entire East Coast.”

In the Rockets Sports Group, TPH is aligned with partners who share a common vision.  Built on the principles of teamwork, sportsmanship, education, and respect, the Rockets Sports Group owns and operates the Rockets Hockey Club; which consists of over 25 Tier I boys, Tier II boys and Girls hockey programs, along with 3 junior teams that compete in the NCDC.  In addition, the Rockets Sports Group owns and operates the Rock Ice Center and the Bridgewater Sports Arena, the later which will house the New Jersey Center of Excellence.

“The Rockets Sports Group is very excited to offer the Center of Excellence a high-level hockey, academic and life-learning model for 6th through 12th graders both inside and outside the Rockets organization,” Gibson said.  “Not only are we committed to providing the very best opportunities for our Rockets families to develop on and off the ice, but we are also excited about the doors the CoE model will open for student-athletes across the Garden State.  The academy will be based at the Bridgewater Sports Arena and our doors will be open to all student athletes, regardless of what club they play for, who are the right fit for TPH’s Study, Train, Play model.”

In Bryce Salvador, TPH will collaborate with an individual whose resume includes being an NHL Captain with close to 800 NHL games played. What’s more impressive than Salvador’s playing resume is his commitment to bettering the sport of hockey.  Whether it be through broadcasting as an analyst for MSG Network, a hockey mentor, an owner of xHockeyproducts, a youth coach with the Rockets Hockey Club, or the initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion across all levels of hockey, Salvador will be invested in the day-to-day operation of the TPH-New Jersey Center of Excellence. The 43-year-old says being “all-in” is the only way he knows and is excited for the opportunity to utilize all of his hockey endeavors to influence, develop, and grow the sport of hockey throughout New Jersey.

“My motivation for building a relationship with Nathan Bowen and Total Package Hockey, and eventually connecting TPH with the Rockets Sports Group, is to bring an unprecedented development opportunity to hockey players in New Jersey,” Salvador said.  “TPH’s commitment to quality hockey training, an individualized, customized classroom experience designed to meet the demands of high-level hockey players and their emphasis on preparing student-athletes for real-world experiences will be well-received not just in New Jersey, but in time, on the entire East Coast.  I am looking forward to being involved on the ground in all aspects of the CoE and doing anything in my power to make sure student-athletes who attend the academy grow and improve on and off the ice.”

The individualized, customized classroom experience Salvador mentioned refers to the Study component of TPH’s Study, Train, Play CoE model.  Student-athletes study academically in a best-of-both-worlds environment that incorporates an NCAA-accredited online learning experience, powered by TPH’s academic partner Edmentum, with on-site infrastructure and classroom support.  This “blended learning environment” allows student-athletes to study on demand, 24/7, and interact virtually with teachers and tutors who are focused on the student-athletes across all nine CoE’s.  This is done while the individual enjoys a completely customized academic experience, led by an on-site Director of Academics, who will be with the student-athletes every day to insure growth and progress and make certain that each and every individual is studying when, where, and how he or she learns best.

“TPH goes above and beyond in their academic model,” Salvador added.  This is something I was immediately drawn to when I first spoke with Nathan, and this is something I know families in New Jersey will appreciate.  The CoE is not a virtual school.  The CoE tuition doesn’t come with a separate fee for academics.  The experience is all-inclusive and creates a hybrid online, on-site experience.  The students learn to interact with technology and communicate with their teachers virtually.  But, the Director of Academics- that person is like a coach, creating the environment that holds students accountable and pushes them to be successful.  TPH doesn’t farm out the academic experience.  They take no shortcuts.  Their approach is holistic and geared towards anything and everything related to the growth and development of the student-athlete.”

The development of the student-athlete includes emphasis on growth in four areas:as a hockey player, athlete, student, and person.  When it comes to on and off-ice training, CoE attendees train according to a blueprint that emphasizes individual and small group skills, habits, concepts, and details that often get neglected at the club level.  With practice time and practice ice at a premium, the CoE hockey training model breaks the game down into its smallest parts, starting with foundational skills techniques, before progressing to application in game-like situations that maximize the use of hockey sense.  All of this is done while the individual improves his or her relative strength, speed, athleticism, and endurance off the ice.

With New Jersey hockey families often on the “go,” Bryce Salvador believes the CoE on and off-ice training model will allow hockey players to “dig-in to the parts of the game that really matter.”

“I truly believe TPH’s training model is going to have a slow-down, speed-up effect on the hockey players in our region who attend the CoE,” Salvador said.  “The on-ice instruction, drills, and overall practice environment gives kids so many repetitions of the fundamentals that often get passed over in team practices. Players can take a breath, slow down, and concentrate on perfecting skills that are necessary to master in order to reach the next level.  This, combined with a daily, structured routine, will speed up development at a time when the development window is wide open for these 6th through 12th graders, from both a physical and cognitive perspective.”

Simply playing a role in a student-athlete’s development is what CEO Nathan Bowen says has been and always will be TPH’s motivation in expanding its Center of Excellence model.   But “talk is cheap”Bowen states, quickly pointing to the 39 CoE alumni who have committed to or are currently playing NCAA Division I and Division III hockey, the 70+ alums who have been drafted in or have tendered with NAHL and USHL clubs, as well as the 6 CoE alums who have been drafted to the NHL.  Bowen hopes that in time, hockey players from the Garden State will add to this list.

“Our leadership team in TPH has had its collective eye on New Jersey for a longtime.  We think New Jersey is a sleeping giant when it comes to hockey and we hope the CoE will be a missing link that will accelerate development and advancement for hockey players across the state.  Teaming up with invested partners like the Gibsons, who live development every day, and working alongside Bryce,who has committed his adult life to using hockey as a vehicle to bettering young hockey players on and off the ice, means that today, we in TPH are a lot closer to living our company vision- which is to positively impact the lives of student-athletes through the game of hockey.”

TPH invites all interested New Jersey Center of Excellence candidates to visit the links below to learn more about the CoE model. In addition, interested families are invited to attend an upcoming TPH-New Jersey on-site open house on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at the Bridgewater Sports Center.  Two time slots are available to register: 7:00 – 8:00 PM and 9:00 – 10:00 PM.  You can register at the link below.

Yesterday the North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the rosters that will represent each team at the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. Ten #TPHTrained alumni made these rosters and will compete in this event next month at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Below is our alumni by roster:

Central

Jed Pietila /// Michigan Hockey Advancement

East

Cannon Green /// 8 Week Program, Detroit CoE

South

Matt Hutton /// Nashville Jr Predators

Ryan Dickinson /// 8 Week Program, Detroit CoE, OHL Cup

Richie Parent /// Tri-State Spartans, Indy CoE

Nick Trela /// 8 Week Program

Selects Blue

Carson Riddle /// Detroit CoE, OHL Cup, World Selects Invite

Selects Blue

Tiernan Shoudy /// 8 Week Program

Selects Red

Samuel Brennan /// 8 Week Program, World Selects Invite

Grant Hindman /// 8 Week Program


About NAHL Top Prospects

The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the most highly-scouted events in junior hockey.  Last season, over 220 scouts attended the event, which featured almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. It continues to be an important part of the NAHL event model, which includes the NAHL Showcase in September and the NAHL Robertson Cup National Championship in May.
The number of players each NAHL team is sending to the tournament, in which teams from the four NAHL divisions: Central, East, Midwest and South and two NAHL Selects teams, was based on each team’s winning percentage within their group as of January 21, 2020. Each team is comprised of 18 players (10 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goalies).
One of the things the NAHL does better than any other junior league is seeing their players earn an NCAA opportunity while playing and being showcased in the NAHL. To date, 175 players have already made an NCAA commitment during the 2019-20 season. The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament plays a big role in that success, with over half of the players who played in last year’s Top Prospects Tournament, earning an NCAA opportunity following their participation in the event. The event continues to provide the hundreds of NHL and NCAA scouts in attendance with a look at the best, uncommitted players the NAHL has to offer, as well as, some potential NHL Draft picks.

2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Schedule (all times eastern)

Monday, February 17th 
12:00pm: South vs. NAHL Selects Red
2:30pm: Midwest vs. East
5:00pm: Central vs. NAHL Selects Blue
Tuesday, February 18th 
10:00am: NAHL Selects Red vs. Midwest
12:30pm: East vs. NAHL Selects Blue
3:00pm: South vs. Central

Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce a partnership with Sequoia Choice, an Arizona public charter school that will help deliver the TPH-Edmentum NCAA-accredited, customized, blended academic learning experience to student-athletes at its eighth Center of Excellence, which will open its doors at the Ice Den Scottsdale for the 2020 school year.

 

“We feel extremely fortunate to be entering into an academic partnership with Sequoia Choice,” TPH CEO Nathan Bowen said.  “Sequoia will implement the same rigorous, robust Edmentum curriculum and CoE learning experience provided across all of our Centers of Excellence, to our student-athletes at our TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence.  The leadership within Sequoia schools are passionate about student success.  Their motto of ‘every child is individually known’ makes them a perfect partner for us and Edmentum, and a perfect fit for our future student-athletes, who seek a flexible yet customized learning experience.  We are very excited about working with Sequoia to positively impact the lives of student-athletes at our Phoenix CoE.”

 

Sequoia Choice is a tuition-free Arizona public charter school and Legal Educational Agency of Edkey, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Sequoia was one of the original schools authorized by the Arizona Department of Education to provide distance learning services to Arizona students in grades K-12, and have continued to innovate and advocate for Arizona online schools since 1998.

 

Sequoia Choice will work alongside TPH and Edmentum to provide the CoE learning experience, one that is built on individualizing and customizing the learning experience based on where, when and how each individual learns best.  The Academic Site Coach and Sequoia leadership will push TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence attendees to produce positive academic outcomes, which Bowen says, is one of the primary goals with the Center of Excellence model.

 

“We always say that hockey training is the intrigue that drives interested families to the front door.  Hockey is what gets them interested in the model.  But we believe it is our responsibility to give student-athletes every opportunity to not only achieve their hockey goals, but their academic goals as well.  The CoE model allows our student-athletes to dream big and chase hockey, academics and career all at once.  This announcement puts us in a great position to ‘exceed expectations,’ which is the mission of Total Package Hockey.”

 

Interested in learning more about the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence?  Click here.

Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce expansion into the Heartland of America, as it will launch its ninth Center of Excellence inside the recently opened Centene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights, MO, a suburb of St. Louis.  The Centene Community Ice Center is an $83M facility that is home to many organizations including the NHL’s St. Louis Blues.

 

“We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to not only bring our Center of Excellence academy model to St. Louis, but to have the opportunity to be part of a facility that will do so much good for the growth of both hockey and entertainment in the St. Louis area,” TPH Chief Executive Officer Nathan Bowen said.  “The Centene Community Ice Center is far from just a hockey venue.  The opportunities and amenities the facility will offer families in the St. Louis area is exciting to say the least. TPH is very pleased to be able to add the CoE to the list of services provided by the facility.  Today’s announcement completes a project we in TPH have been working on for over a year.  I want to thank Patrick Quinn, Chairman of the St. Louis Legacy Ice Foundation for his hard work, persistence and friendship.  We would not be making this announcement today if it wasn’t for Patrick.”

 

Patrick Quinn, a native St. Louisan with deep roots the game locally as a player, parent, coach and club founder echoed Bowen’s sentiments.

 

“We are delighted to welcome TPH to the Centene Community Ice Center,” he said.  “From the onset, I have been nothing but impressed by Nathan Bowen, the TPH brand and the Center of Excellence model.  The CoE offers a unique hockey training experience, combined with an academic and life-learning experience that will benefit players across the Heartland and provide them a chance to live at home as they pursue their hockey ambitions.  St. Louis just improved its ability to develop hockey players, students and future leaders with this announcement today.”

 

For Quinn, it is important that the St. Louis market understand what the Center of Excellence model is, and also, what it is not.

 

“The most important aspect of the CoE model is that it isn’t restricted to student-athletes who live in certain zip codes or play on certain teams,” Quinn said.  “The Center of Excellence is open to 6th through 12th grade girls and boys who have the character, work habits and desire to maximize their potential on and off the ice.  The CoE operates during traditional school hours so that the student-athletes can make it to their club team’s events in the evening.  Players from CarShield, the ‘AAA’ Blues, Kirkwood, Chesterfield, St. Peters, Rockets or any other local club are welcome at the CoE.  The CoE is for the right hockey players from metro-St. Louis and across the Heartland, as the Centene Community Ice Center was built to grow the game here in the Heartland.  My hope is that boys and girls from outside St. Louis, be they from Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas or Nebraska, will also see the CoE as a place to achieve their goals and still be close to home.”

The 277,000 square foot Centene facility opened its doors in September and features four NHL-sized ice surfaces, including a covered outdoor rink that will also be used to present concerts, community events and children’s programming.  TPH will join the St. Louis ‘AAA’ Blues, St. Louis Lady Cyclones, Lindenwood University, the St. Louis Blues Alumni and the NHL Blues as the primary tenants in the facility.  Additionally, the facility is home to the 3,000 square foot artificial ice surface Bauer Team Training Center along with the over 9,000 square foot Mercy Sports Performance Center Powered By EXOS.  The Center of Excellence academic space will actually border the NHL’s Blues training facility and provide endless possibilities for TPH to achieve its goal of individualizing and customizing the learning experience for all student-athletes.

 

“The CoE classroom we are designing at Centene will provide student-athletes with a physical environment that matches the type of culture we look to foster in the classroom,” Bowen said.  “Our space will allow our Director of Academics to create four different learning environments so that each individual student-athlete is studying in a physical space that he or she learns best in.  Whether it be traditional seating, a private learning space, high top tables or comfortable lounge-style seating, our student-athletes will experience the customization that we in TPH pride ourselves on.”

 

The classroom “culture” Bowen referred to centers around TPH’s unique academic learning platform provided by Edmentum.  The TPH-Edmentum platform is designed to meet the demands of the aspiring elite male and female hockey player who desires structure, discipline and accountability, but requires the flexibility to pursue his or her hockey and career goals without the fear of missing school.  The “blended learning environment” shaped by TPH includes academics on demand, with 24/7, fully accessible NCAA courseware and full-time instructors who are dedicated to the student-athletes across all nine Centers of Excellence.  Courses are available live as well as on-demand, with accessible instructors who hold virtual office hours.  CoE attendees also have access to a virtual tutoring service, in the event academic assistance is needed after-hours or right on the spot during the CoE school day.

 

While Bowen enjoys telling the “story” of academics at the Center of Excellence, he is the first to admit that data points that support the message are what families care about most.

 

“Over the three years TPH and Edmentum have been partnered, we are proud to say that 67% of our student-athletes are maintaining a 3.7-4.0 GPA.  In addition, 90% of our student-athletes are maintaining an A or B average, and last year, on average, students across our CoE’s placed above the national average on both the SAT and ACT.  We are proud of these numbers, especially when you consider that online courseware is often more rigorous and robust than that of traditional school.”

 

Just as the academics at the Center of Excellence are individualized, customized and proven, so too is the hockey training.  TPH’s Hockey Development model is built on 7 pillars, starting with character traits, athletic qualities and hockey qualities and then expanding to foundational skills, blended skills, and habits, concepts and details central to success on the ice.  CoE attendees train off the ice 4-5 days per week and participate in on-ice training sessions 4 days per week, where emphasis is placed on the skills, habits, concepts and details that often get neglected at the club level, where, as Bowen says, the emphasis is more on team play versus the “individual parts that make up the whole.”

“Our Hockey-Athlete training model is designed to provide instruction and reps on the fundamentals that make a hockey player successful,” Bowen said.  “Once the individual learns the A-B-C’s behind the foundational skills we teach, they are put in drill situations that maximize the use of hockey sense, while utilizing obstacles and people that force awareness, just like in the game.  Our training blueprint isolates the parts that make up the whole, and most importantly, is built on skills, habits, concepts and details that are relevant and transferrable once the puck drops.”

 

While Bowen and TPH get excited any time it launches its Study, Train, Play model, the CEO admits there is a bit more enthusiasm with this announcement, pointing to three factors: timing, quality and reputation of the market.

 

“St. Louis has been an established hockey market for decades and the success of the NHL Blues has certainly added to that,” Bowen added.  “Most people within hockey circles are well-aware of the number of current and future NHL players who have honed their skills in St. Louis, including an unprecedented 5 first-round NHL Draft picks in 2016.  Simply put, we are grateful to be a part of the ever-growing St. Louis boys and girls hockey landscape and are very fortunate to be able to execute the TPH vision of positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through the game of hockey in a facility that will push us to turn our vision into a reality on a daily basis.”

 

Hockey families from across both St. Louis and the Heartland are invited to attend our first open house, presented virtually via Zoom, on Monday, February 3 at 7:00 PM CST.  A link to RSVP is included below.

 

  • Click here to RSVP for our upcoming virtual open house on Monday, February 3 at 7:00 PM CST.
  • Click here to download our Center of Excellence brochure.
  • Click here to request more information on TPH-St. Louis and the Study, Train, Play

 

About St. Louis Legacy Ice Foundation

The St. Louis Legacy Ice Foundation was founded to provide the St. Louis region – with an emphasis on youth – with the opportunity to develop their skills in ice sports in setting that foster personal growth and excellence.  The Centene Community Ice Center is our “flagship” facility ensures that our region will attract major ice sport events and tournaments, contributing to economic development and job creation, with the resulting effect of strengthening ice sports across our region.  In these and related endeavors, we champion the value inherent in ice sports: commitment, good sportsmanship, teamwork, personal integrity, and respect for others and self.  Visit us at www.legacyice.org and www.centenecommunityicecenter.com.

For more information on the St. Louis Legacy Ice Foundation, contact Patrick Quinn at pq@legacyice.org, or (314) 619-9929.

 

Thank you to all that attended the Bob O’Gorman Freedom Memorial Tournament in Huntsville, Alabama this past weekend. There were 35 teams in attendance for the 5 divisions below are the winners of their respective brackets.

We were excited to host the 53  44 teams who traveled to Nashville to compete in this year’s MLK Tier II / AA Jr Predators Showdown. Congratulations to the 4 champions and thank you to all teams that joined us for a exciting and fun weekend.