The Coquitlam Express, founded in 2001, is a member of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and competes in the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL). The team is known for its success on the ice, having won the BCHL championship in 2013 and producing numerous NHL draft picks, including current star Sam Steel of the Anaheim Ducks. However, the team’s success goes beyond just on-ice performance; it has also become renowned for its ability to attract top high school talent.
One of the key elements to the Express’ success in recruiting top talent is its state-of-the-art facilities. The team plays their home games at the Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex, a modern arena with all the amenities necessary for players to excel. The facility includes a high-performance gym, spacious dressing rooms, and a dedicated video room for players to study game footage. The team also puts an emphasis on proper nutrition, providing players with healthy meals and snacks to fuel their bodies for optimal performance.
In addition to the top-notch facilities, the Coquitlam Express also has a strong coaching staff, headed by head coach and general manager Jason Fortier. Fortier, who has been with the Express since 2014, has a track record of developing players and helping them reach their full potential. He focuses not only on the physical aspect of the game but also on the mental side, helping players build confidence and develop a winning mindset.
Aside from the physical and mental aspects, the Coquitlam Express also puts a strong emphasis on education. The team has partnered with local schools to ensure that players are able to balance their hockey commitments with their academic responsibilities. This creates a supportive and nurturing environment for players, allowing them to excel both on the ice and in the classroom.
Furthermore, the Coquitlam Express has a well-established network of contacts and relationships with high school coaches and programs. Through these connections, the team is able to identify top talent and build relationships with players at a young age. This gives the Express a competitive advantage in recruiting, as they are able to start cultivating relationships with players and their families early on.
But beyond facilities, coaching, and networking, the Coquitlam Express also prioritizes creating a positive team culture and environment. The team focuses on creating a close-knit group of players who support and push each other to be their best. This positive team dynamic not only leads to on-ice success but also helps players develop important life skills such as teamwork, communication, and leadership.
Not only does the Coquitlam Express attract top talent, but they also play a crucial role in developing players for the next level. The team has a proven track record of preparing players for the higher levels of hockey, such as the NCAA and professional leagues. This is evident in the numerous alumni who have gone on to play at top universities and in the NHL.
The Coquitlam Express has established itself as a recruiting powerhouse by focusing on top-notch facilities, strong coaching, a supportive academic environment, networking, and team culture. These strategies have not only helped the team achieve on-ice success but also attract and develop top high school talent. As the team continues to prioritize these elements, it is sure to continue its legacy of producing successful players and attracting the top talent in the country.