Every year, Hockey Canada hosts its U17 Development Camp, a week of development, skill building, and bonding for many of the top hockey players throughout Canada. This past year, the NOHA had 4 players attend the camp at Hockey Canada headquarters in Calgary, Alberta.
We had the chance to talk to two of NOHA’s promising players—Chase Stillman and Jack Matier—to get an idea of what their experiences at the camp were like, and what they’re looking forward to in the upcoming season.
Development Focus: Principles of Hockey
A large component of the Development sessions at the U17 camp, according to Stillman and Matier, was a focus on the Principles of Hockey, and, particularly, stopping in front of the net during practice. The habits a player develops during practice become their movements during a game, so developing the right habits during practice is incredibly important.
Team Bonding Across the Country
With 112 players invited to the camp from all across the country, the teams were diverse and filled with the top talent. For Jack Matier, that meant meeting new players starting at the airport, and bonding with teammates from the Western provinces. Chase Stillman already knew a number of the players on his team through his time with Team Ontario for the Canada Winter Games, but still met and formed friendships with players from other Provinces, and especially players from Quebec.
After such a valuable experience, both Stillman and Matier are excited to put the Development principles they learned in Calgary into action with their new teams.
Stillman, who will play in the OHL this season for the Sudbury Wolves, is excited to play in the League and continue to develop into a better hockey player. His advice for NOHA players? To work hard, consistently. Working hard will get you noticed, and what’s important is to have more heart than the other players. He also suggests ignoring programs like mock drafts, and to believe in yourself. Focusing on the game and continually making yourself a better player are what matters in the long run.
During the summer months, Stillman loves playing baseball and being on the water participating in any water sports he can. It’s important to be a multi-sport athlete, he says, and having a summer break gives players some freedom between seasons.
Jack Matier is looking forward to getting to know his new team as he begins to play for the Ottawa 67s in the OHL. His advice to NOHA players is to go into the new season with a fresh mind, and to listen to your Coaches. They’re all great hockey minds and are there to help you be the best player you can be. He also stresses staying in the North as opposed to moving down south to play. Being away from home at such a young age can be stressful and doesn’t always work out in the best interests of the player. If you’re a strong player, they will find you.
In the summer months, Matier loves to play golf and loves to fish.
For more information on the Hockey Canada U17 Development Camp, click HERE
The NOHA wishes all players a great 2019-2020 season!