The New Jersey Devils are launching three clinics in the opening months of 2016, partnering with USA Hockey to bring the national governing body’s American Development Model (ADM) to New Jersey’s youth skaters. On January 22 and February 12, the Devils will host skaters competing at Tier 2 and Tier 1 levels of competition, respectively, before hosting an exclusive, girl’s-only clinic on March 18 covering both tiers.
Registration for the first clinic filled the 60 available spots in one hour, and AmeriHealth Pavilion Hockey Director Andy Gojdycz said he expects the other clinics to fill just as fast when registration opens four weeks ahead of the events. Links to register will be distributed via USA Hockey and the participating leagues to interested skaters, said Gojdycz, who is also the Associate Coach in Chief for the Atlantic District of USA Hockey.
“It’s two big names in the sport of Ice Hockey coming together to put on a great clinic,” Gojdycz said. Together, the Devils and USA Hockey will keep advancing the ADM to youth hockey players beyond the under-8 level. “ADM is built and meant for all levels of play,” Gojdycz said. At last May’s clinic, the focus was primarily on the mite (8-and-under) level and now, through these clinics, the Devils and USA Hockey are expanding ADM focused drills to squirt (10-and-under) and peewee (12-and-under).
USA Hockey ADM Coordinator Maureen Thompson-Siegel characterized the ADM as an example of hockey as a way of life. “Starting with training at the youngest levels, and then building blocks as [skaters] age,” she said, characterizing how at each level a skater might add to his or her skill set.
Following up on World Girls Ice Hockey Weekend, when the Devils hosted an all-girls program in October, the March 18 clinic will be the first ADM-focused girl’s clinic run by the New Jersey Devils. Where October’s worldwide event was led by USA Hockey with assistance from the team, the Devils will take the lead for the March clinic with support from the national program.
“Girl’s hockey is the largest growing sector of youth hockey right now,” Thompson-Siegel said. “We want to break down the barriers that argue hockey is just for boys.”
In addition to on-ice drills and activities, the clinics will feature opportunities to meet Devils alumni, team mascot N.J. Devil, and potentially members of the Devils team. At the girls’ clinic in March, Gojdycz said he is looking to bring in locally-based professional players from the new National Women’s Hockey League, as well Olympians. Past guest participants at clinics include Josephine Pucci, who won a silver medal with the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
“It’s definitely going to be a carnival-like atmosphere and the kids are going to have a great time on and off the ice….it’s going to be a special time,” Gojdycz said, adding that there may be some surprises in store for participants at each of the clinics.
Registration for the February 12 clinic opened on January 15, and the March 18 girl’s clinic opens registration on or around February 1. For more information, please contact Andy Gojdycz, Hockey Director at AmeriHealth Pavilion and Associate Coach in Chief for the Atlantic District of USA Hockey, at 973-757-6223 or at AGojdycz@NewJerseyDevils.com.