Jed Pietila /// Michigan Hockey Advancement
Cannon Green /// 8 Week Program, Detroit CoE
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
Carson Riddle /// Detroit CoE, OHL Cup, World Selects Invite
Tiernan Shoudy /// 8 Week Program
Samuel Brennan /// 8 Week Program, World Selects Invite
Grant Hindman /// 8 Week Program
About NAHL Top Prospects
2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Schedule (all times eastern)
Monday, February 17th
Tuesday, February 18th
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 email@example.com, 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.
oledo, OH) – Forward Josh Kestner has been selected to represent the Toledo Walleye at the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Toyota on Wednesday, January 22 at 8 p.m. ET at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. The complete roster follows this release.
Kestner is heading to the All-Star contest as Toledo’s leader in goals scored with 17 and also its top point producer at 38 through only 32 games played. His 38 points are tied for fifth among all ECHL players. The 26-year-old has had at least one point in 28 of the 32 games he has played in his first season with Toledo. Kestner is currently on a run with 10 points (4G, 6A) over a seven game point streak, his second seven game point streak this year. Earlier this season, he posted a season high 11 game point streak from October 19 through November 15. The Huntsville, Alabama native currently ranks third on the Walleye with a plus 13 rating.
Following the format established last season in Toledo, the Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic will feature a 3-on-3 tournament with four teams competing for the top spot. The host Wichita Thunder will make up two of the four teams and face-off against the other two teams made up of All-Star players from the Eastern and Western Conference. These four teams will compete in a 3-on-3 tournament with rally scoring in order to crown a winner. The 2020 Kansas Star Casino/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place in between rounds of the tournament, with results counting towards the cumulative score.
There have been 68 players from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 52 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
The rosters for the Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Stars were determined in a vote of coaches, team captains, media relations directors, broadcasters and members of the media.
Eastern Conference All-Stars
G – Parker Milner, South Carolina Stingrays
D – Michael Brodzinski, Orlando Solar Bears
D – Joseph Duszak, Newfoundland Growlers
D – T.J. Melancon, Brampton Beast
D – Logan Roe, Florida Everblades
F –Roman Ammirato, Norfolk Admirals
F – Ralph Cuddemi, Reading Royals
F – Jake Elmer, Maine Mariners
F – Tommy Marchin, Atlanta Gladiators
F – Robbie Payne, Adirondack Thunder
F – Liam Pecararo, Greenville Swamp Rabbits
F – Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Worcester Railers
F – Brendan Warren, Jacksonville Icemen
Western Conference All-Stars
G – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Cincinnati Cyclones
D – Brady Norrish, Idaho Steelheads
D – Taylor Richart, Utah Grizzlies
D – Justin Woods, Kansas City Mavericks
F – Cam Brown, Wheeling Nailers
F – Josh Kestner, Toledo Walleye
F – J.J. Piccinich, Tulsa Oilers
F – Peter Quenneville, Rapid City Rush
F – Dylan Sadowy, Kalamazoo Wings
F – Tyler Sheehy, Allen Americans
F – Shawn St-Amant, Fort Wayne Komets
F – Spencer Watson, Indy Fuel
The Wichita Thunder will host a draft party on Wednesday where the team will be split into Team Bolts and Team Hammers for the All-Star Classic.
In partnership with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, four members of the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Team will participate in the All-Star Classic as part of the PWHPA’s barnstorming “Dream Gap Tour” that is visiting several cities in Canada and the United States.
Taking part in the All-Star festivities will be three members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal squad – Dani Cameranesi, Kali Flanagan and Gigi Marvin – along with 3-Time World Champion Annie Pankowski. Each player will be assigned to one of the four All-Star Classic teams, as well as participating in the Kansas Star Casino/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition.
The 13th class of the ECHL Hall of Fame will be officially inducted at a banquet, presented by BFL CANADA and Sutton Special Risk, on Tuesday, January 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview, the Official Host Hotel of the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic.
For more information on the Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic and to purchase tickets, please visit www.echlallstarclassic.com.
Ice hockey isn’t a sport people associate with the South, but one Huntsville native is making strides to change that.
Nichelle Simon is taking her shot on the ice and heading to the National Women’s Hockey League but her journey to get to this point hasn’t been as smooth as ice.
“It’s absolutely a dream come true,” Nichelle Simon said.
She’s been playing ice hockey since she was 17 years old.
“I started ice hockey later in life, and I didn’t feel like, I don’t feel like I’ve played my best years of hockey yet,” Simon said. “And I’m a better hockey player now than I was in college and I’m just not done playing yet.”
At the beginning of September, Nichelle got the chance to turn her dream into reality with a week long tryout with the NWHL’s Metropolitan Riveters.
“Actually after the very first practice that I had, they gave me the heads up that I’d be getting offered a contract,” Simon said.
But a year and a half ago, Nichelle didn’t know if she’d ever get to play hockey again after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I had a bi-lateral mastectomy in march, a year a half ago in march,” Simon said. “And I was going to try for the league that year, but obviously that put a quick stop to that.”
The next four months would prove to be the toughest challenge as she went through chemotherapy.
“I mean I struggled to make it up a flight of stairs, I had to stop three times, and that was hard for my boyfriend to watch,” Simon said. “I mean I was extremely strong before that. I lift heavy weights and stuff and I’m working out hard and here I am I can barely walk up a set of stairs you know.”
“When she had it, she went through the ‘am I going to die?’ and I said ‘no, you’re not going to die. We’re going to get through this.’ and we did,” Simon’s boyfriend, Eric Smith said.
Nichelle and her boyfriend, Eric, set big goals to help push through chemo.
“I kept saying to her, you’re going to get through this and play hockey,” Smith said.
Simon agreed to what her boyfriend said about playing hockey and added, “all I wanted was to get through so I could start working out again, and get strong and healthy as quickly as possible.”
Nichelle might not have been physically ready to be back on the ice after her treatments, but she was mentally ready to start training again.
“It was slow the first few months,” Simon said. “It was a struggle working out. It was hard to lift a five pound weight, let alone anything heavier than that. It was hard to run. It was hard to do everything.”
Now, there’s no stopping her from shredding on the ice.
“I think girls need to see them playing, no matter what; whether you get paid a lot or a little,” Simon said. “Getting paid anything to do something you love is an incredible opportunity and I want to be there to be a role model for girls and women who are coming up in the sport and it’s a very big honor to be able to do that at the highest level.”
Nichelle told WAAY 31 that no one really knows how strong they are until they are pushed to do something they didn’t think they could do. She’s proven anything’s possible if you keep believing and working hard towards your goals.
Now, Nichelle has also been a coach at the Huntsville Iceplex for 12 years and has taught a lot of kids how to play hockey and skate. On Saturday, September 14, Nichelle signed her contract for the Riveters at the rink in front of family, friends, and current and former students. Everyone we talked to said Nichelle is going to be greatly missed, but they’re all looking forward to going up to New Jersey to watch play.
“She is not just like ‘oh we’re going to play around.’ she is a hard worker, and she says you have to do that,” Simon’s player Ian Sharpe said. “She does not let you piddle around and she’s very tough and strong she really works hard.”
“You get to see her from like when she coaches you and then when she’s actually a professional,” Matthew Brown said, another one of Simon’s players.
Nichelle was only back in Huntsville for that one day and actually is headed up to New Jersey Sunday to start practicing full time. The Riveters first game of the season is coming up quickly at the beginning of October.