Bryce Cockburn started playing hockey in Campbell River before moving on to play junior A hockey, in the NCAA and professionally.
Now back home, he is giving back to local minor hockey players and coaches through Next Level Training, started almost a decade ago as a way to share his love of hockey.
“This is our ninth year,” he says.
He ran hockey camps through Next Level part-time for several years while continuing to work a regular job, but for the last two years he’s been doing this work full-time. At present, he is the only Hockey Canada-certified skills coach on Vancouver Island. A couple of years ago, he was chosen for one of 24 spots to go to Calgary to be Hockey Canada certified level three skills coach. His next step is training as an advanced skills coach.
“I just got accepted to do that this year,” he says.
In March he was among a select group of dozen or so coaches chosen for the Hockey Canada Advanced Coaching Program — a group that included NHL skills coaches from the Vegas Golden Knights and Toronto Maple Leafs. “I was very happy and honoured to get selected,” he says.