Our Youngest Club is in Good Hands - U-10 Coach Jeff Hopkins, News (North Central Predators AAA)

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Apr 10, 2023 | Bob McKenzie | 726 views
Our Youngest Club is in Good Hands - U-10 Coach Jeff Hopkins
The North Central Predators (NCP) are excited to introduce U-10 Head Coach Jeff Hopkins.   Hopkins, a sought after hockey skill development instructor and coach in the Orillia area, brings with him an abundance of experience. Over the past decade he has coached a number of teams in the Orillia Minor Hockey Association, including the Novice AE 2017 OMHA Champions. During the 2022-23 season, he was the Head Coach of Orillia’s U-9 rep team and was one of the coaches for their U-8 initiation program.

He has been a skills coach for the Orillia Minor Hockey Skills and Development Program since 2010 and continues to facilitate and lead the program, today. Hopkins also offers on and off ice training programs through the Orillia Hockey Academy, which he developed with NCP U-12 Head Coach Tobias Whelan.

Hopkins has been a hockey coach at Orillia’s Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School (PFCSS) since 2004, leading the team to OFSAA four times. In 2015 he became a Hockey Canada Skills Academy Instructor and brought that opportunity to the students of PFCSS. The program is offered to Grade 9 and 10 students with all levels of hockey experience. “I learned a tremendous amount about coaching and developing young hockey players from former NCP coach and colleague at PFCSS, David Pellarin,” said Hopkins. “I believe that my role as the team leader is to develop the whole player. I want these athletes to grow up to be respectful, driven, young people that want to give back to their communities later in life.”

Excited about his jump to NCP, he said his goal is to provide a safe, fun-filled, learning environment for the team and his focus will be player development on and off the ice. “I always wanted the opportunity to develop the best of the best. NCP provides that opportunity to me and I am very thankful that I earned the U-10 coaching position this season. NCP has a long history of providing AAA hockey to the smaller northern communities in our zone. I have lived in the NCP drawing area for most of my life and hockey is a major part of these communities.”

Hopkins was raised in Elmvale, ON and played AAA hockey for the Barrie Flyers. His playing experience includes time with the Muskoka Bears Junior A team and two seasons with the Couchiching Terriers Junior A team. He went on to play NCAA hockey at Plattsburgh State University of New York from 1999-2003, winning a NCAA National Championship in 2001.

“I hope that my skill development background, coupled with almost 20 years of coaching experience and leadership at all ages, will translate into a team that plays hard, practices even harder and respects the opportunity to play for NCP,” said Hopkins.

He said he will model that mindset to the player in his preparation, attitude and work ethic. “If you aren’t going to work hard at something, there is no sense in doing it at all. I am excited to give every player on my team the chance to develop to their maximum ability,” he said.

Our NCP U-10 club is in good hands....