Vancouver Hockey School’s outstanding reputation stems from its quality of instruction. Our team of professional coaches teach and coach players of all levels up to and including the NHL. It is Vancouver Hockey School’s mandate to provide the highest quality of instruction to all participants.
|Derek Popke (derekpopke.com) is the founder and president of Vancouver Hockey School ltd. As a skating consultant, Popke has worked on-ice with the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs (2009, 2010, 2011), ECHL Victoria Salmon Kings, BCHL Surrey Eagles and Penticton Vees, and numerous minor hockey associations. In 2009, a record 19 players who skate with Popke were drafted in the WHL Bantam Draft. As one of the lower mainland's most respected skating coaches, over 50 of Popke's skating clients have been selected in the NHL draft in the past 7 years. In 2012, Derek was named co-host of Minor Hockey Talk on CNKW SportsTalk, Canada's longest running sports radio talk show. Minor Hockey Talk can now be heard weekly around the province of British Columbia. Most recently, he was a key note speaker on hockey skating at The Coaches Site Coaching Conference featuring top coaches from around the world.|
|Yogi Svejkovsky is currently the Skills Coach of the WHL Vancouver Giants (2006-12). He has been a key contributor in enhancing the skills of many NHL'ers including Milan Lucic, Evander Kane, Cody Franson, Andrew Cogliano, and Lance Bouma. As a member of the Giants coaching staff, Yogi captured a Memorial Cup in 2007. As a player, Yogi is a 1st Rd draft pick (17th overall) of the Washington Capitals. He spent 4 years playing in the NHL (Capitals, Lightning) and holds the Capitals record for most goals scored by a rookie (4) in a single game. A former WHL and AHL All-star, Yogi is regarded as one of the most detailed and highly respected skills coaches in North America. Yogi is also the founder and director of the prestigious BC Bears Spring Program.|
|Aaron Wilbur is Head Coach of the PIJHL 2012-2013 League Champions Richmond Sockeyes. In addition, he is president of The Coaches Site, a leading edge company that provides coaching conferences to minor hockey associations across Western Canada. As a professional coach, Aaron spent 2 seasons as Asst. Coach with the UBC Men's Varsity Hockey team (2009, 2010). He joined UBC after 2 seasons as Asst. Coach and Recruitment Coordinator for the BCHL Junior "A" Penticton Vees. In 2008 the Vees captured their 3rd straight Interior Conference pennant and led the country in NCAA scholarships. Aaron's main focus was working with the team defence. 2012 will mark Aaron's 6th year as head instructor of Vancouver Hockey School defenseman camps.|
|Ajay Bains joins Vancouver Hockey School after retiring from professional hockey in 2009. A former captain of the WHL Kamloops Blazers, he spent 9 seasons playing in the American Hockey League (AHL) for the Norfolk Admirals (Chicago Blackhawks), Iowa Chops (Anaheim Ducks), and Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadians). A true leader, Ajay was named captain for all AHL teams he suited up for. A former student of VHS, Coach Baines scored the game winning overtime goal in 2009 clinching the Calder Cup for the AHL Bulldogs. He was also named the recipient of the Fred T. Hunt Award rewarded to the AHL player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, dedication, and determination in hockey.|
|Ryan Gibbons joins Vancouver Hockey School after retiring from professional hockey in 2011. A draft pick of the NHL Phoenix Coyotes, he spent 5 years playing for the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds. Gibbons was named Asst. Captain in his final 2 season with the Thunderbirds. A former student of VHS, Gibbons was Asst Coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds in 2009-2010. He is currently an active linesman in both the AHL and WHL. This will mark Coach Gibbons 5th year instructing at VHS.|
|Mark Morrison enters his first season (2011/12) as Asst. Coach of the AHL's St. Johns Ice Caps, proud affiliate of the NHL Winnipeg Jets. He joins the Jets organization after 4 years as Head Coach / GM of the ECHL Victoria Salmon Kings. Mark's hockey career includes winning a silver medal while captaining the Canadian World Junior team in 1984. A 2nd Rd draft pick of the New York Rangers, Mark tallied his first NHL goal as a 19yr old against the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Gardens. He went on the play 8 years of professional hockey in Europe. Mark has been part of Vancouver Hockey School for the past 10 years.|
|Jay Aikenhead is entering his 4th season as Head Instructor at Britannia Secondary School Hockey Skills Academy. He spent 8 years (2003-2012) as Head Coach of Vancouver Minor Hockey Association. Aikenhead's duties included overseeing the associations development model. A 4th year Kinesiology student at UBC, he currently holds a diploma in Sports Science from Capilano College. He is responsible for the development of VHS' H1-4 program and leading a variety of instructional classes. This will mark Coach Aikenhead's 3rd year with Vancouver Hockey School.|