Excitement is building as we approach the start of the inaugural Global Skills Showcase.
We put out a call for the 10 best skill development coaches in the world, and the response was overwhelming. We had to expand our list of presenting coaches to 19 — the calibre and depth of talent from the 150+ coaches that applied was that good.
The event will be held virtually from March 22 to 26, exclusively for members of The Coaches Site. Become a member right now for just $99 CAD, which is a limited time offer.
Until then, get to know the presenting skills coaches, who come to us from all over the world.
1. Tim Turk (Tim Turk Hockey)
Tim Turk has been an NHL shooting and scoring coach for over 25 years, working with the Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, and Arizona Coyotes, as well as many national team programs overseas. Specializing in shooting, passing, and puck preparation and control, he also teaches the technical aspects and strategies of puck protection.
Tim continues to work with NHL players, but also minor hockey teams, coaches, and players of all ages and skill levels.
2. John Riley (Philadelphia Flyers)
John Riley is a player development coach for the Philadelphia Flyers. His primary responsibility is the development and advancement of the team’s forward prospects. Prior to his current role, John worked as an amateur scout for the team from 2008 to 2013.
John spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Princeton University and also worked at Yale and Iona College. Additionally, John spent 13 years in the New England prep school world, serving as a math teacher and head coach at Kingswood-Oxford, and Brunswick School, in Connecticut.
John has an extensive background with USA Hockey at the regional and national levels. He served as director of player development for the Atlantic District for many years, and worked as a scout and regional manager for the USNTDP.
3. Brandon Naurato (Detroit Red Wings/Naurato Hockey)
Brandon Naurato specializes in on-ice skill-based player development through the use of individual video, advanced statistics, and a continual study of modern technical and tactical adjustments, to personalize programs for every one of his NHL clients. NHL players he’s worked with include: Zach Werenski, Jeff Petry, Jack and Quinn Hughes, Dylan Larkin, Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp, and Josh Norris.
Brandon began creating this system through his work as a managing partner and director of player development at Total Package Hockey from 2012 to 2020. Along with his former TPH partner Nathan Bowen, they created the first online hockey academy in the US, producing over 75 NCAA commitments and 100 OHL, USHL, and NHL draft picks.
A University of Michigan Hockey graduate, Brandon has recently worked as a player development consultant over the past three years for the Detroit Red Wings.
4. Darren Rommerdahl (Calgary Flames/Crash Conditioning)
A development coach with the Calgary Flames, Darren Rommerdahl has also coached various levels of minor hockey from grassroots to AAA midget.
His coaching highlights include winning league championships in AA midget for the Wheatland Chiefs, two national college championships with the SAIT Trojans, and provincial/regional titles and a national championship appearance with the Calgary Buffaloes.
From there, Darren refocused his hockey aspirations, and began volunteering at the grassroots level as a coach and administrator. When he got into doing development work, that opened many doors, including with Hockey Canada and the Calgary Flames.
Darren’s first assignment with the Flames was working with injured players during their rehabilitation. He now works with the Flames coaching staff and management team on development strategies for players throughout the organization.
5. Jenelle Kohanchuk (JK Hockey)
Jenelle Kohanchuk is a skills coach based out of Winnipeg. After a professional hockey career playing on teams all over the world — Boston University, Toronto Furies CWHL, MODO hockey club in the SDHL, and the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team — she retired from the game in 2018 and has brought the skills back home to develop the next generation.
Since starting JK Hockey in 2019, Jenelle has worked with various organizations and teams across the country, many of whom are Division 1 athletes, as well as those who are on the U18 and U22 National Womens’ hockey teams. JK Hockey works with all ages and skill levels, with a keen eye on helping every single player become better than they were the day before.
6. David Cunniff (Worcester Railers/ECHL)
The GM and head coach of the ECHL’s Worcester Railers, David Cunniff also has 18 years of pro coaching experience in the AHL.
A native of South Boston, Massachusetts, David played five seasons of pro hockey, including 120 games in the AHL and 148 games in the ECHL, with stops in Jacksonville, Raleigh, Albany, Louisiana, and Richmond.
David worked in the San Jose Sharks organization for 12 years, as an assistant or associate head coach of their AHL affiliates, first in Cleveland, then in Worcester. He then moved on to coach with the Albany Devils for one season, before spending four years with the Iowa Wild, which included 26 games as the team’s head coach, and part of a season with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
7. Ted Suihkonen (Loko Yaroslavl/Neuro Hockey)
Ted Suihkonen is the skills coach and director of player development for Loko Yaroslavl, in Russia’s MHL.
The Minnesota native won championships as a player in high school with the Duluth East Greyhounds and in the USHL with the Lincoln Stars before accepting a Division 1 scholarship with the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves in the WCHA.
Alaska is where Ted got his start in coaching in 2004. He won a pair of state championships before continuing his coaching career in Europe in 2008.
8. Joachim Ahlgren Bloom (JRM Skates & Skills)
Joachim Ahlgren Bloom is the owner of JRM Skates & Skills, and has been running camps all over the world for the last seven years.
He works with players as young as eight years old, but also with athletes in professional leagues, including the NHL, AHL, KHL, DEL, and SHL. The list of players he has worked with is impressive, and includes NHLers such as William Nylander, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Noah Dobson, just to name a few.
9. Marcel Juhasz (Marcel’s Hockey School/ HC Landsberg)
After a 12-year pro career in Germany, Marcel Juhasz took over as director of minor hockey for his city’s hockey club, HC Landsberg. At the time he took over, the club had 84 active players and were struggling to fill the ice slots which had been given to them by the city. They now have over 170 active players, and are struggling to find enough ice time to get all of their players on the ice often enough.
Marcel is also a licensed skills coach and regularly does individual and group skills sessions with players of all abilities. He takes as much pride in helping a kid skate his/her first length of the ice without a skating aid, as he does with fine-tuning the stride of pro players or members of the german women’s national team, who work with him in private sessions.
10. Scott Jones (Pro Player Hockey Development)
Scott Jones has been teaching hockey development for over 20 years and continues to grow his teaching methods and techniques.
Through clear communication and positive reinforcement, Scott has a history of assisting players on aspects of their skill development while creating a clearer picture of game situations. After three years with the Washington Capitals working with prospects on the AHL’s Hershey Bears, Scott made the move in 2017 to the Vegas Golden Knights.
As a skating and skill development consultant with the Golden Knights, Scott spends time travelling across North America working with prospects playing in the AHL, CHL, and NCAA. In 2017, Scott also accepted a position as the director of skill and player development with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting.
With a genuine passion for the game, Scott enjoys seeing players improve and succeed, whether they are in the NHL or are just learning to skate.
11. Paul Ullrich (Skillz Company)
Paul Ullrich is a skills coach from Austria, and the owner and head instructor at Skillz Company. At the end of his pro hockey playing career, Paul began coaching with the Vienna Capitals organization and the Austrian national team.
During this time as a head coach in Vienna, he recognized all the technical deficiencies of his players — they needed to skate, shoot, pass, and handle the puck better if they wanted to succeed at the professional level.
Paul transitioned into working as a skills coach, signing with the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, making him the first Austrian coach in Russia. It is Paul’s goal to harness the full potential of every player he works with through the optimization of specific techniques and personal development sessions.
12. Pat Malloy (Peak Centre for Human Performance)
With nearly two decades of empowerment and development of people to higher levels of achievement, Pat Malloy is an industry leader in mentoring, coaching, and developing some of the world’s best players.
As a director at the Peak Centre for Human Performance, Pat has worked with world class teams, coaches, and players; leveraging sports science, performance analytics, and ethics in sport to create a strong structural base with successful outcomes.
Pat’s NHL coaching experience includes several seasons as a development coach for the Buffalo Sabres, as well consulting in player development for the Ottawa Senators. Pat is a former player development and performance coach with the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques.
Pat continues to individually consult with some of the best players in North America and Europe, including many NHL players.
13. Ales Hybner (Elite Hockey Training Centre)
Ales Hybner is the founder and head coach of Elite Hockey Training Center based in Prague, Czech Republic.
Ales established his own academy for youth players, focusing on individual player skills such as power skating and advanced skating techniques, for players in all age categories.
In the last 10 years, Ales has coached at camps all around the world, including Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, and China. He also has experience working as a skills coach with Charles University in Prague.
14. Joel Lenius (Skate to Excel Inc.)
Joel Lenius is the owner and managing director of Skate to Excel Inc., the technical director for Hockey Edmonton, and the head coach of the U18 AAA Edmonton Pandas.
He has worked with organizations like the Edmonton Oilers, Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, University of Alberta, MacEwan University, NAIT, and Under Armor, just to name a few.
Skate to Excel Inc. offers individual, small group, and full-sized classes to various AAA, junior, post-secondary, professional, and NHL athletes in Western Canada – with devotion to purposeful, innovative, and progressive repetitions of technical and tactical skills.
Joel is also heavily involved in coach education and program development, teaching at various clinics for Hockey Canada, Skate Canada, Hockey Alberta, and the OHF, while also speaking at several conferences. He has written numerous skill development articles and is currently writing a book on skating development.
15. Venla Hovi (Okanagan Hockey Academy)
Venla Hovi is the head coach of the female U17 prep team at Okanagan Hockey Academy. She is a former on-ice instructor for the Jets Hockey Development and was the assistant coach for the University of Manitoba Bisons.
Following a long playing career, the native of Tampere, Finland has gained experience coaching both female and male players of all ages and skill levels.
She is the founder and director of VH Hockey, a training platform for athletes, including hockey camps, and a future mentorship program. She is also a video analyst coach for 44 Vision Hockey, a platform that helps players to improve their game through video breakdown.
Venla is an active advocate for gender equality and enjoys inspiring younger generations to better the future in hockey.
16. Dwayne Blais (National Skill Development Association)
Dwayne Blais has been involved in skill development for over 25 years, working with players and teams from minor hockey to the NCAA, OHL, and NHL. After an NCAA and pro playing career, Dwayne began coaching with Western University and in the QMJHL with the Saint John Seadogs.
Dwayne now works with the London Knights and Western University as a skill development coach. He previously worked with the Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators.
Dwayne has created a curriculum for a variety of skill development programs throughout Canada and the United States. You can find many of Dwayne’s teaching techniques online at the National Skill Development Association, where he shares his knowledge with parents, coaches, and players to help them gain a better understanding of how to teach applicable skills necessary to play at the next level.
17. Derek Miller (Next Generation HKY)
A former professional hockey player with experience coaching internationally, Derek Miller founded Next Generation HKY in 2002. Today, Next Generation HKY provides individualized on-ice development to over 7,500 athletes in the Ottawa region, including being the development provider for the Ottawa 67’s and University of Ottawa Gee Gees and Carleton Ravens.
The focus of the company is to ensure every athlete receives the gold standard in instruction. With an uncompromising commitment to low ratio, Derek’s individualized approach has resulted in unprecedented customer loyalty and helped earn him the prestigious Ottawa Top 40 Under 40 Award. Derek notes that helping players achieve their development goals and being able to play a part in their hockey journey is the most rewarding portion of his role.”
18. John Kennedy Jr (National Sports Academy)
Born and raised in Michigan, John Kennedy Jr’s career in hockey has taken him to the other side of the world.
Following a successful NAHL career, which included winning a national championship with the St. Louis Bandits under head coach Jon Cooper, John was recruited to play for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Engineers.
He then played semi-pro in the CHL, before moving to Australia in 2012. John won two AIHL national championships with the Newcastle Northstars, and began coaching the team in 2019. John is responsible for co-founding the National Sport Academy (NSA) Hockey — Australia’s leading hockey development academy helping and advising the top players to get recruited overseas and advancing their hockey journey.
With NSA John works with the local hockey community to introduce people to the game, develop players’ abilities, and help provide resources for coaches.
19. Gary Tan (Gary Tan Ice Hockey Academy)
Gary Tan is the founder and head coach of Gary Tan (G10) Ice Hockey Academy, which is Malaysia and South East Asia’s first and only private hockey academy, since 2015. The academy features the best hockey programs for beginners to National Team players.
Gary has more than 15 years of coaching experience and has coached at various levels in different countries around the world (Canada, USA, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong), running different hockey programs, development clinics, and skills camps. In 2005 and 2010 he had the privilege of travelling to Toronto, Canada to work with World Class Hockey Development and also attended numerous camps and seminars conducted by the IIHF.
In addition, he started the first ever hockey programs in Malaysia (2005) and Indonesia (2014) along with coaching the National Teams for both countries.