Welcome to The Hockey Department, Ottawa's Elite Hockey School. The program and system of teaching was developed by Mike Knight, Owner/Lead Instructor of The Hockey Department and former NHL Skills Development Coach. With five years of Professional playing experience (AHL, ECHL, Europe), four years playing in the OHL, over 15 years of teaching hockey professionally, working with and being mentored by former NHL Skating & Skills Coach Graeme Townshend, Mike developed a program that only gets results!

   The Hockey Department's development programs are designed for motivated players who want to receive elite level training from professional instructors to reach their highest potential. 


   Our teaching philosophy evolves from the deeper understanding that every player learns differently and has different strengths and weaknesses. Mike takes more of a teacher role vs. coach role with the players as he understands the relationship with his players is 50/50 as they both learn from each other to maximize the player learning experience. This evolved teaching style has a goal of providing the player a more personalized development experience which yields lasting results. We challenge players to be comfortable being uncomfortable by consistently getting players to perform out of their comfort zone when learning new skills. All players that work with us never plateau as we are continuously monitoring the players progression and understand when to scale a skill up or down. The secret recipe for success that we relay to all the players is hard work, consistency and do more when no one is looking.


   Some main areas we focus our development on are skating and dynamic edge control, stride development, puck handling skills, shooting techniques, puck protection skills/techniques, high patterned game situation development, position specific development and hockey IQ. Most of our drills you will not see anywhere else and we are continuously explaining why and when we are using these skills in a game situation.


   Game performance development is our ultimate goal for all players, so getting the players thinking and performing skills they will repetitively face in a game, we find is the best proven way. Players will be taught up to date as well as forward thinking game concepts that are proven at the highest level by the best teachers and coaches in the game. Mike is a student of the game himself and is continuously researching the game and isn't afraid to challenge a concept or skill to try and find a better way of executing.  


   We're focused on providing continuous correction, perfecting the fundamentals and mechanics of each skill being taught whether it be a new or familiar skill. The Hockey Department team is passionate about providing the best development, instruction and service to each player. Mike Knight is present at every on ice session and leads or oversees all instruction that is being provided. 


   We believe all players should be well informed about their ongoing progress and are happy to provide feedback anytime. We appreciate the opportunity to train and mentor all players along their hockey journey.