Program Profile: Delta Hockey Academy

Since joining the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) in 2013, Delta Hockey Academy has won eight CSSHL Western Championships while competing in all six western divisions.


The Delta Hockey Academy is built on a fundamental belief in development. Our goal is to provide our student-athletes with a world-class facility equipped with the resources and industry experts required for scholastic achievement, excellence on the ice, growth in the gym and positive contributions in the community. Our student-athletes are driven individuals – we pride ourselves as teachers and coaches in working together to guide student-athlete development while creating an environment for personal growth and self-improvement.


  • U18 Prep
  • U18 Female Prep Green
  • U18 Female Prep Black
  • U17 Prep
  • U17 AAA
  • U15 Prep
  • U15 AAA Black
  • U15 AAA White


  • Delta, British Columbia
  • 2013


  • Partner school
    • Our program works in partnership with North Delta Secondary School and the Delta School District to provide our students with a positive learning environment from which to develop their academic and athletic potential. As an accredited Hockey Canada Sports School, all our student-athletes are required to attend North Delta Secondary so that we can best support their academic development in a centralized learning environment.
    • Ian Gallagher, the president of our academy, is a retired educator who emphasizes the importance of academics to our student-athletes. In 2012, he established an integrated school model at the Delta Hockey Academy alongside educators and administrators from the Delta School District. Each year we work to improve our academic offering to best support our students’ academic development in collaboration with our partner school, North Delta Secondary. With over 10 years in partnership with the Delta School District, we are proud of the growth of our academic model which has led to our student-athletes excelling in post-secondary institutions as both students and athletes. We have multiple alumni that have moved on from our academy to excel at ivy league schools and top Canadian universities.
  • What are some of the things your program does to provide educational support?
    • Integrated School Model: Our integrated school model provides student-athletes with the tools to succeed both on the ice and in the classroom. Each grade has dedicated classroom time at the school and at the rink. For classes at the rink, we have teachers working on-site in our two classrooms: the Agnew Collaboration Room and the Focus Room. Private bus transportation is provided to shuttle students between North Delta Secondary School and Planet Ice Delta. The Student Lounge at the rink is a flexible space where students can study between practice, workout and class.
    • DHA Academic Advisor: Christine Niemar is a full-time educator from North Delta Secondary who works as our DHA Academic Advisor in a liaison role between the school and the academy. Ms. Niemar has an office and a classroom at the rink where she meets with students that may need extra support. Ms. Niemar also teaches our grade 8 cohort at the rink.
    • Learning Assistance Teachers: North Delta Secondary School provides Learning Assistance Teachers at the school and at the rink for any student-athletes that require more specialized support in their learning pathway.
    • Parent Testimonial: Living in Delta with two boys growing up playing hockey, the Delta Hockey Academy (DHA) was the absolute right choice for their high school years and the right fit for our family. We wanted them to have the opportunity to further their hockey career, but not at the expense of their academics. DHA meets that standard and much more. Playing the game they love every day combined with a top level training regime balanced with a high school curriculum was realized at DHA. The Academy kept the boys accountable on all fronts from day one as they navigated their way through this opportunity. Being surrounded by likeminded, goal orientated, and competitive peers has kept them on track with their academics and hockey. The coaching staff and their health performance support has been exceptional, and the academic advisors have provided valuable guidance. DHA has helped prepare our boys for the next level of their hockey journey. -The Kovacs Family
  • How are grades monitored and how often?
    • Grades are monitored by our full time DHA Academic Advisor on a weekly basis. If a student-athlete falls behind in a course, supervised study hall time is set up with our Academic Advisor to ensure that course work is completed.
  • How are courses and the graduation path for student athletes chosen?
    • Student-athletes choose their courses based on grade level. The following outlines standard courses and credits by grade:


  • Do you offer a billeting program or a dormitory for non-local student athletes?
    • We offer a billeting program. Billets are matched with either a local teammate and their family, or with local hockey families that have a close connection to our coaches or teachers. All billet families are vetted by our administrative team.


  • How are injuries and sick student athletes monitored?
    • We have a Sports Medicine Clinic in our facility that is available to our student-athletes. Our sports medicine clinic staff work in collaboration with our strength and conditioning staff to provide priority availability to Delta Hockey Academy student-athletes. Our clinic offers physiotherapy, massage therapy, athletic therapy and mental performance services. If a student-athlete gets injured in practice or in the gym, they can walk into the clinic and our team will help them through a rehabilitation plan. We also have Athletic Therapists at all league games to help athletes through an injury in a game situation.
    • Concussion Baseline Testing & Return To Play Services: All Delta Hockey Academy athletes complete a baseline concussion test with one of our physiotherapists or athletic therapists in September. Our medical practitioners keep baseline results on file in case they require it for reference should an athlete receive a concussion in the season. If an athlete does get a concussion in a game or practice, athletes report to the clinic for a concussion test with one of our medical practitioners. Once the practitioner determines the severity of a concussion, they provide instructions and information on next steps before an athlete will return to play. Our return-to-play guidelines include details on the extent that one can participate in class, gym and on-ice activities – all of which will be specific to one’s concussion symptoms. All concussion services in our clinic are provided at no cost to our student-athletes.


  • What days the daily schedule look like for a student athlete in your program?
  • How many games can your teams expect to play?
    • 30-36 league games
    • 10-15 tournament and exhibition games
  • What does the on and off ice training look like?
    • Elite Coaches
      • Delta Hockey Academy has an impressive roster of paid professional coaches from a variety of backgrounds. Our coaches’ experiences include playing professional hockey, playing collegiate hockey, and/or playing for the Delta Hockey Academy themselves – and all have a multitude of experiences coaching everything from introductory minor hockey to elite levels. Our coaches are certified by Hockey Canada as High Performance and/or Development Coaches which are the two highest levels of certification issued by Hockey Canada. Check out our full lineup of coaches here.
    • Skill Development
      • Our teams have weekly skill development sessions with our lead skills instructor, Tim Preston, and weekly goalie sessions with our lead goalie coach, Lynden Sammartino. In addition, players have access to skating experts, shooting experts, skills experts, and position-specific experts. Student-athletes will have the option to sign up for additional on-ice skills training in each of those areas. We also have access to the Shooting Centre in our facility during academy hours so that players can opt-in to practice shooting during open blocks in their schedule. There is no shortage of knowledge and mentorship for our student-athletes to access and learn from.
    • Team Development
      • Our coaches guide student-athletes through team concepts on the ice to support the growth of their Hockey IQ and their understanding of the game. These concepts are discussed in practice, in team meetings and in video sessions at the rink. We want our student-athletes to complete each season with a stronger understanding of the game in order to build their overall package as a player.
    • Mental Performance Coaching
      • Our student-athletes focus on mental performance in bi-weekly “Block D” sessions with Ian Gallagher which focus on leadership and mindfulness with practices that encourage self-aware athletes. Mental performance training supports and solidifies a resilient mindset, which is crucial to uncovering an athlete’s consistent potential, well-being, and sport-life satisfaction. The benefits: build confidence by learning to focus on what’s in your control & overcome fear of failing by ruthlessly staying focused in the present moment.
    • Developing High Performance Athletes
      • Strength and conditioning is a crucial aspect to success in hockey. It helps players increase their speed, power, and endurance, which are essential for peak performance on the ice. At the Delta Hockey Academy, we understand this importance and have implemented a comprehensive off-ice training program to give our players an edge over their competition. Our athletes are in the gym 5 days per week and learning what it takes to prepare their bodies for performance and growth long term.
    • Personalized Programs
      • We recognize that each player has unique strengths and weaknesses and requires a personalized approach to training. Our strength and conditioning coaches build programs specific to each team, and then work with each player to develop a customized program within that team plan so that it fits their individual needs and goals. In addition, we have a physiotherapist who works in the gym with our injured student-athletes to tailor any exercises to their rehabilitation needs. Our strength and conditioning programs are designed to help players reach their full potential and achieve success at the post-secondary, junior or pro levels. With a focus on building a strong foundation of fitness, our players are able to perform at their best and reach their highest level of play.
    • Ahead of the Curve: Our comprehensive off-ice training program is led by elite strength coaches who work with NHL, pro, junior and collegiate athletes. They have the expertise to guide young athletes to first build a strong foundation and then continue building to reach their peak fitness levels. We use the latest testing and fitness protocols to design personalized programs and track performance. This level of customization allows players to work on their specific areas of weakness, while also improving their overall fitness.
    • Preparing Athletes for the Next Level
      • We aim to best prepare athletes for the demands of pro, junior and collegiate hockey. Programs at the next level have high expectations for player fitness and performance, and our off-ice program is designed to ensure that our players are ready for those demands. By building a strong foundation of strength, speed, and endurance, our players are better equipped to handle the physical demands of post-secondary hockey and reach their full potential as athletes.
  • How long does your program run?
    • Our program runs from the beginning of September to the end of June in alignment with the school year.


  • Alumni Wall of Excellence:
  • Alumni Stats:
    • 16 – National Rosters (U18 to Olympic)
    • 7 – NHL (Played)
    • 28 – NHL (Drafted/Signed)
    • 54 – Pro
    • 39 – University (Male)
    • 36 – University (Female)