HockeyShot's Center of Excellence, a state-of-the-art facility located in the heart of the greater Toronto area just south of Erin Mills Road and Highway 401, will be opening its doors to the public April 27th 2018. It is the first HockeyShot training Center of its kind and showcases the company’s famous synthetic ice revolution tiles.
Founded in New Brunswick 22 years ago, HockeyShot is a company that is truly beginning to widen its operations and the Center of Excellence is just the latest example of its tremendous, continuous growth.
Inside the Center of Excellence
Featuring a miniature synthetic ice rink that is enclosed by glass and boards similar to that which can be found in an NHL arena, the state-of-the-art facility boasts an incredible suite of amenities for visitors to use. These impressive features include a high-tech production studio when necessary for recording demos and tutorial videos — a gym that is not too space-consuming, various lounging spots where a massive television is never too far away serve as a reminder of what HockeyShot offers, a kitchen area that contains a quartz island capable of wirelessly charging cell phones and, for good measure, a table tennis set-up for when things really get heated, the HockeyShot Center of Excellence will inevitably provide an eye-opening experience.
Exactly how did this luxurious, attention-grabbing showroom come about?
Best Trainers in The Business
Steven J. Wong, a renowned high-performance trainer, filmmaker and entrepreneur, was flirting with the idea of installing synthetic ice within his home in Brampton, Ontario.
Elvis Stojko, the iconic Canadian figure skater and one of the many notable athletes that Wong has worked with, suggested that his training partner look to HockeyShot for supplying his specific demand.
“He didn’t know anybody in the company, he just knew they had the best stuff,” Wong said.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Wong, greatly intrigued with the product, invested in the company, eventually becoming their senior vice president of global business development, operations and brand excellence.
Every detail involved in the creation of the HockeyShot’s training center, from the location of the building to the glowing sign that first greets incoming visitors, which Wong admits that he did not select until consulting with three major sign companies, has been meticulously thought-out and chosen to ensure everyone has an enjoyable, memorable time.
“Everything about this place is all about excellence – in our products, in our brand essence, in the people we want,” Wong said. “We want people in here striving for excellence – our customers, our staff, our team. Everyone is on a trajectory to become better and better and never settle for just good enough.”
Recommended by NHL All-Stars
Elite NHL players such as John Tavares of the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov, Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers and San Jose's Brent Burns, all of whom participated in the 2018 All-Star Game, are just a few of the big names that have trained with HockeyShot and endorsed their products.
Then there is Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens, who took it a step further one summer by skating on 200 feet of the synthetic ice in an Alberta-based McDonald's commercial that saw the defensemen race a horse.
That he emerged victorious was simply a bonus for himself and the company; a win-win situation that sees Weber get bragging rights over his teammates and HockeyShot receive plaudits aplenty.
Enhanced Strength & Conditioning
Although the tiles are tougher to skate on than real ice, Wong believes that this will ultimately be a benefit for training purposes and long-term player development.
“If you skate around for five minutes, your legs will be burning," he said.
"It’s like resistance training. You reinforce fundamentals. You have to bend your knees more, you can’t just glide, you must stroke.”
In an effort to allow the public to sample the HockeyShot tiles before purchasing them, Wong has consulted with Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey, hoping to design synthetic ice surfaces within the city eventually.
The synthetic ice will give people a chance to skate on it, try it and understand it before they spend money on it,” he said. “Our intention here is to give someone the experience.”
Analyzing Financial Hockey Costs
As a father of two sons who play hockey, Wong is all too familiar with the fees that can accumulate over the course of a season and he is seeking to alleviate some of the financial burden for parents and players.
At an average of $10 per square foot, the synthetic ice may seem pricey when one calculates the overall cost of filling a designated area.
However, Wong predicts that covering 800 square feet, in addition to a net or the many other training supplements that HockeyShot has available, can result in a grand total of $10,000; but that pales in comparison to the yearly expenditures that arise within organized hockey.
“For parents who have kids playing rep hockey, the AAA fees, registration, travel and all that stuff, you’re looking at $30,000 a year,” Wong said.
“So, $10,000 is really not that bad if it’s going to extend a player’s ability to train from five hours a week on ice to five hours a day. Being on the ice five hours a week is just not enough.”
“For AAA players, you need to be skating 25-30 hours a week, but that’s impossible. No one can afford that much ice time. Now you can put this in your basement. My sons are on it three to five hours a day. It was like that well before I became a part of the HockeyShot team.”
For anyone who is still unconvinced, HockeyShot’s brand new training center welcomes the challenge of turning skeptics into believers.
Get a 360 degree tour of the Center of Excellence or book an appointment here >> HockeyShot’s Center of Excellence