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First Shift



The NHL/NHLPA FIRST SHIFT program is designed to ensure a positive experience for new-to-hockey families. We want families to experience the game at its best – to understand why so many Canadians feel an inherent love for the sport, and to stimulate a desire for continued participation. We want to take away any intimidation as it relates to equipment requirements and/or rules of the game, remove potential safety concerns, and most importantly, provide an experience that is memorable and fun.

Our Goal

We believe in all hockey has to offer kids, their families and our communities. We designed the NHL/NHLPA FIRST SHIFT to facilitate entry into hockey by offering a program that is accessible, affordable, safe and most importantly, FUN! We cannot wait to help your kids fall in love with hockey.


  • Affordable
  • Manageable (time commitment)
  • Safe
  • Fun!

Participant Registration Fee of $299 Includes:

  • BAUER Equipment (Head-to-Toe)
  • Welcome Event
  • Equipment fitting demonstration
  • Expert fit session and equipment distribution
  • Six 1-hour sessions (1 session / week) with consistent days and times
  • Focus on Fun and Learn to Play
  • Insurance for participants

Hockey Canada On-Ice Curriculum

Hockey Canada has created a fun curriculum that focuses on:

  • Small area games and active skill stations
  • A wide variety of skating skills, puck handling, passing and shooting exercises
  • Discovering the sport through a variety of basic motor movement patterns
  • Fun games to ensure participants enjoy a full range of hockey experiences

Praise and encouragement will serve as the foundation of the instructor’s approach to working with all participants.

Program Capacity

  • Program A maximum capacity: 45 participants, 10 on ice instructors
  • Program B maximum capacity: 30 participants, 7 on ice instructors

What’s Next?

The Transition Program

The Transition Program is intended to provide families a path forward to ensure continued participation in hockey. Following the initial six-week on-ice trial, families will have the opportunity to participate in a program hosted by the Minor Hockey Association. Details will vary slightly from location to location and program to program, but the parameters of every offering will fall in line with the key principles of the NHL/NHLPA First Shift. The Hockey Canada on-ice curriculum is progressive; moving from a Learn to Play, through the fundamentals of skating and hockey skills, on to a 3-on-3 play environment.

Current First Shift Programs

For up-to-date information in regard to current First Shift programs and registration, please visit: Single Location – First Shift

Read the Game On Magazine Article

Game On Magazine – Grow the Game