"I have had the luxury of working with Mike over the past year. Personally, I had the honour of working 27+ years with elite hockey players for 17 years in professional hockey (NHL & KHL) plus an additional 10 OHL seasons. I have yet to cross paths with someone as dedicated, enthusiastic and as professional as Mike Knight and his staff. Mike is in the hockey coaching profession for all the right reasons. Guided by passion, he is extremely detail oriented and provides high-calibre development for his athletes on a daily basis. I highly recommend "The Hockey Department" and their elite skillsets for anyone looking to elevate their game."
Barry Brennan - NHL, KHL, AHL, OHL & World Championship Strength Coach
"I recruited Mike to work for me during my time with the Toronto Maple Leafs and was more than impressed with his knowledge, expertise and work ethic. Mike has the ability to communicate effectively with both youth players and pro's alike which allows him to navigate smoothly from minor hockey sessions to higher tempo professional sessions which is critical in order to be an effective Skills and Skating Coach."
Graeme Townshend - Former NHL player and former NHL Skating and Skills Coach (Toronto Maple Leafs/San Jose Sharks)
"The Hockey Department was and still is a big factor in my hockey career. The hockey sessions run by Mike have really been something that helped my skills and overall game. From skating to working on certain skills, The Hockey Department was really good at teaching and helping me improve areas in my game. I have taken a lot of training sessions during the off-season but with Mike I found a difference with the 1 on 1 interactions and just how committed he was to improving my game. At the start of last season I could really tell a difference in my game all thanks to Mike. I will continue working with The Hockey Department and appreciate all the work they have done for me."
Medric Mercier - OHL, CIS
"The Hockey Department has helped me develop many different skills that prepare me for my up comings seasons. The skating and puck skills help me gain confidence in my game. They have great coaches and are willing to work with you in order to better yourself. Can’t wait to get back at it this summer!"
Ryan Cranford - OHL
"I had the opportunity of working with Mike this past summer to prepare me for my OHL debut. Mike's on-ice drills are diverse and result oriented, he knows the importance of having drills that are demanding with a good rest ratio, so that you are trained to execute at a high and fast tempo. He played at the professional level thus he knows which skills are needed to excel. I really enjoyed his edge work, having attended multiple other hockey camps, I can say that his unique edge work drills is totally innovative and pushed me to my limits and out of my comfort zone. Looking forward in working with him again this off-season."
Alex Robert - OHL, CCHL
"Mike Knight helped me prepare for the 2017/2018 season by putting together ice times that focused on skills that translate directly into games. His attention to detail and his work ethic in helping you get better is what sets him apart. I highly recommend Mike Knight if you want to be the best hockey player you can be."
Keenan Reynolds - OHL, CCHL
"The Hockey Department enhanced my skating, skills and overall ability after just one summer of work. Each session is very balanced with edge work, stick handling and battle drills to help players become game ready for the upcoming season. Mike is very interactive with each player every session. His work ethic and dedication to improve his clients is pretty special. He helped me push myself and improve the areas of my game to help reach my fullest potential. I will definitely continue to skate with Mike and The Hockey Department to help strengthen my game!"
Zach Shankar - OHL
"I participated in hockey development sessions with Mike Knight and his team at The Hockey Department thru the spring and summer of 2017. His sessions consist of drills aimed at developing skills that are directly related to performing in game situations. Mike takes a very positive approach while demanding that players participating in his program do drills at a high tempo using the proper technique. His positive coaching style motivated me to always give my best during the sessions. My sessions this past off-season with Mike and The Hockey Department helped me develop as a player and contributed to my success in U18 AAA tryouts. Thanks Mike. I look forward to continuing the development sessions with you in the coming off-season."
Evan Were - U18
"Mike Knight and The Hockey Department really fill a big void in player development in the Ottawa region. Where group sessions are the norm, Mike’s focus is on individual skills development in small groups or private sessions. His strengths lie in being able to identify the area or areas that need to be worked on first, to deliver the greatest impact and improvement. His unique on-ice approach has players working hardest where they are weakest, which can be humbling for some, but it delivers tangible results by developing the complete player. Mike worked with my son, once a week for six months, provided him with written feedback of his games and worked with him to improve his skills, hockey IQ and confidence. He says he has learned more in this short time than he has playing three years of AAA hockey."
Mike Fabbro - Father of Curtis Fabbro, Jr.A/CCHL
"Mike and the Hockey department came to my attention last year through the parent of a team mate of my son. My son is a Major Bantam defenceman at the AAA level. Since our first session with Mike, his attention to detail was very apparent. Mike takes the time to fully explain the skill and technique he is teaching and quickly corrects the player as needed. His knowledge, expertise and work ethic is readily apparent. Mike is himself a highly skilled player which allows him to also demonstrate the techniques. This visual demonstration combined with his detailed explanations facilitates the players learning process. The impact on my son's play was almost immediate and quite obvious, particularly on his defensive zone coverage, his one on one and 2 on 1 coverage and on his escapes from fore checkers. Mike has a pleasant demeanour which allows him to develop an excellent rapport with the players as well as with the parents, making us all feel like we are part of the team working towards the same goal."
Rob Cassolato - Father of Josh Cassolato, 2003 AAA Eastern Ontario Wild
"As both a father and a coach of a player currently making his way up the minor hockey ladder I am very thankful for the opportunity for both my son and his teammates getting to work with Mike. Mike has been working with the kids for 14 months now and every single player has improved immensely. While some have improved mainly on skill, my biggest appreciation is how some of the players have been able to take these game situation nuances and implement them in game action. That's the whole point isn't it? To play the game better. As an instructor Mike is firm in his approach and makes sure that each player gets it right no matter how many reps it takes. He doesn't just stand there and blow the whistle. Mike wants the kids to see it, understand it, try it, perfect it, use it. It's the best program I've seen to date and look forward to having my son and his teammates continue to work with him in the present and into the future."
Mason Shepherdson - RSL Kings
"Our team has worked with Mike Knight & The Hockey Department for the past 2 seasons in both full team sessions and small group skills sessions! The drill selection and implementation is far above any we have used in the past. The attention to detail and specifics has helped all our players improve at a accelerated rate. The small group sessions of defence & forward specific drills has given our players a huge edge over the competition. My own son has seen steady improvement in his overall development and confidence while on the ice, to watch the games and see the skills taught in the training sessions used in a game situation to help create success solidifies my confidence in The Hockey Department and its staff!"
Bill Dixie - Head Coach, RSL Kings
"From the start Mike was very professional, helpful, and knowledgeable. His teaching style was one that demanded the the kids be at their best on the ice, give 100% effort, and listen. Mike's methods led to improvement overall in my son in many aspects of his skill set. It was a noticeable difference from the start of the sessions to the end. There was constant feedback, suggestions, and Mike went over and above to ensure my son understood and followed the drills well in order to capture the most of out of them. My son looked forward to each week!"
"Mike is an excellent coach. He works the kids hard! He is demanding and uncompromising. He has a vision and pushes the kids beyond their comfort zone to get the best out of them. My son loved his style. Highly recommended."
"My 12 year old has attended several sessions with Mike, he has enjoyed every time and his game has improved dramatically. Mike's drills are designed to get the most out of the player by pushing them to their limits. Mike's knowledge of not only the game itself but the fundamentals makes him an excellent teacher. We have another camp coming up and my son can't wait to go. You won't be disappointed!"
Brent Wallace - TSN
"Mike at The Hockey Department has been a game changer for my Son, who is playing in Top Tier events throughout North America. I have 3 boys who have been playing competitive hockey for almost a decade, and I can honestly say that the skill development training provided through The Hockey Department is second to none in the Ottawa Region.
The drills are unique and challenging. Players are taught how to really use inside/outside edges, puck skills, puck protection, shooting in stride, and much more, including amazing battle drills, where players get to apply what they've learned throughout the training.
Mike shows great leadership and mentoring skills on the ice with his players. He takes the time to explain, demonstrate drills, and most importantly correct during the ice time. If your Son/Daughter is serious about developing hockey skills and taking their game to the next level, I would highly recommend The Hockey Department!"
"Both of my boys have attended sessions with Mike and their skating and hockey performance have improved as a result. Mike's approach is innovative, non-conventional, and challenging and the kids have fun in the process. We look forward to future sessions with the Hockey Department."
"Last Spring, my son took part in two full programs with The Hockey Department: Elite Skating & Edges and Elite Skills Development. Both programs were well planned out, the instructors provided constant correction and constructive feedback to the players. Mike also had the ability to demonstrate all the drills perfectly and explained how these skills could be applied in a game. In addition, the trainer to player ratio is fairly low. During the initial sessions, most players were struggling with the difficulty level of the various drills, however, by the end of each program, the players made it seem a lot easier. These players were all AAA caliber and their edges, skating, balance and puck handling skills all improved. We will definitely go back to The Hockey Department during next off season!"
Our son played AAA hockey in Toronto and we wanted that same intensity and skills, We finally found that with Mike.
Our son has shown great improvements in the last 3 months with high tempo and challenging practices.
We would highly recommend The Hockey Department!
Extremely beneficial! I have two sons, aged 14 and 8, who both love Mike for his on ice coaching personality and creativity. He models exactly what he is looking for with a high level of skill so the players can see exactly what to do. The 8 year old has gained both confidence and development in agility training and balance, puck handling, and edge work all of which have complemented his league practices. The 14 year old improved the above mentioned as well as notably his acceleration (quick starts), game play simulated experiences, and conditioning. From a parent perspective, Mike builds up the boys with his individualized attention and instruction as well as plans progressive drills so improvements in the boys’ ability is evident every time they hit the ice with him. These sessions are worth the investment!
Mike Knight has been an excellent skating coach for my son. He will challenge his athletes outside of their comfort level performing creative edge work drills enhancing their overall on-ice mobility and stability. I also like how his sessions are composed of athletes with similar skill set which keeps my son motivated to train at a higher intensity.
I cannot say enough good things about Mike and The Hockey Department. We have used The Hockey Department to elevate our U15 AAA son's game for the last 6 years. Not only does Mike provide a unique skills set for the players (one that is often times overlooked) but he also takes a personal interest in the development of his athletes. Our son developed an injury this summer and Mike took it very seriously, was instrumental in identifying the cause and used his contacts within the hockey community to help us get Rory healed and back in game shape. We have worked with Mike in both team and private sessions and he is demanding of the players attention, focus and effort, but at the same time the boys know that he is hard because he wants what is best for them. Rory loves his time on the ice with Mike and never turns down an opportunity to skate with him.
It is with absolute pleasure to write a review for Mike Knight and The Hockey Department. Being relatively new to the Ottawa area, we were in search of a high performance hockey skills session. We were not disappointed when Mike Knight was referred to us. His sessions, both skating and skills, are high end development which allow the player to push their comfort zone. The improvement and feedback from the sessions make the player only want to return for more instruction. It is the first time we, both player and parent, received personal feedback and it was greatly appreciated. Thank you Mike Knight and your team who work tirelessly on the ice demonstrating excellent skill and instruction. Highly recommend this elite training if you are looking to improve!!!
The Hockey Department offers some of the very best skill development in the region. My son enjoys every session and is excited every time we manage to find time to attend. Practices are well run and follow development plan established for an entire season. High quality on ice programming is supported by top tier kids who push themselves and their peers. Sessions are low player-to-coach ratio and instructors on the ice frequently give good feedback to the kids. I highly recommend Hockey Department for any player looking to advance their skills and to improve their skating.