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Improving individual skills is the emphasis at Blue Jackets Hockey School

by Alex Busch / Columbus Blue Jackets

Starting this week, youth hockey players from around the state will get the unique opportunity to learn from proven and talented coaches, improve their skills and gain a positive life experience during Blue Jackets Hockey School.

The coaches include several former players and coaches based around the Columbus area, including former Blue Jackets Andrew Cassels and Martin Spanhel.

JD Kershaw, Blue Jackets Vice President of Marketing, said the emphasis on the players’ learning experiences hover around the growth of individual skills instead of team fundamentals.

“Our intention with hockey school is not to teach systems play, if you will. It’s not about breakouts, and forechecks, and power plays,” Kershaw told “That’s not our job; they have coaches that teach them that. Our goal is to simply help them improve their individual skills: their skating, their shooting, their stick-handling, and their passing.”

The Blue Jackets Hockey School's foundation is to provide a learning opportunity during the summer that the kids wouldn’t normally get, while giving them a chance to make memories and play with kids in their age group that perhaps they wouldn’t have in any other circumstances.

“I can only speak from my own experience, but that was a huge part of it for me — getting to spend time with kids that I normally wouldn’t be with, and to have access to coaches that I wouldn’t normally have access to,” Kershaw said. “That really is the jist of it: providing a positive, fun environment for these kids to continue to develop their individual skills so that they can continue to develop and get better as players and have fun.

“And on top of that, we want to provide access to Blue Jackets players and coaches, have them stop by and say hello to the kids and sign some autographs -- that’s an important part of it. With those things combined, we try to provide the best camp we can so that the kids walk away having a good time, and that the parent walk away saying, 'that was money well-spent.'”

Here's a rundown of the next three weeks of Blue Jackets Hockey School:

July 21-25 at OhioHealth Chiller North
Squirt Camp

Ages: 9-10 years old
Time: 8 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Cost: $350

Squirt Camp Full - please contact Hockey Director Rob Schriner for options - or 614-791-9999 x125

Peewee Camp

Ages: 11-12 years old

Time: 8 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Cost: $350
Register online

Mite/Squirt Goalie Camp

Ages: 10 years old and under

Time: 1-2:30 p.m
Cost: $150

Register online

Peewee/Bantam/Midget Goalie Camp
Ages: 11-16 years old
Time: 3-5 p.m.
Cost: $200
Register online

July 28-August 1 at OhioHealth Chiller North
Mini-Mite Camp
Ages: 5-6 years old

Time: 8:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Cost: $300

Register online

Mite Camp
 Ages: 7-8 years old

Time: 12:30-5:15 p.m.

Cost: $350
Register online

August 4-8 at OhioHealth Chiller North
Bantam/Midget Camp
Ages: 13-16 years old
Time: 8 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Cost: $350

Register online

Girls Camp
Ages: 8 years old and over
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.
Cost: $150
Register online

Contact Hockey Director Rob Schriner for more information - or 614-791-9999 x125.

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