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Testimonials

The tempo of these sessions is what sets it apart. That and the number of qualified instructors. The combination of skating and skills and game scenarios is a great mix for all levels. I wish we would have known about this earlier in the season. Highly recommended. 

- Steve Kreider

Landon loved it!!! This was his first camp experience on his own, he recognized some of the guys from his team which was great. He loved the instructors and spoke very highly of all of them.  He really enjoyed the yoga and the drills that were ran on the ice. He will definitely be back for some Monday and Friday classes and we are talking about March Break as well.  Thanks for reaching out we had an amazing experience and will definitely return!

- Chantalle Hepburn

My son was very fortunate to have Don coach him in our first year in Kitchener.  His ability to communicate with kids along with his knowledge of the game is impressive.  Focus was always on skill development while building player's self esteem in an inclusive and fun environment.  Don is very professional on and off the ice and always went the extra mile to further my son’s skill.  

- Tim Blackshaw

Don understands the game of hockey and the meaning of team work.  He knows how to motivate players in a positive and supportive manner. Don has the ability to get the maximum amount of work out of each player focusing on individual strengths and areas of improvement. He teaches the boys how to compete and also stress the importance of enjoying their hockey experience.  Don has been an amazing mentor to my son and I would highly recommend his expertise and demeanor to anyone! 

- L. Earle 

Our daughter gained great hockey sense, refined skills and confidence  thanks to this camp.  It really shows Don  enjoys what he is doing and this fosters the love of the game in the youth that he coaches.  He pushes the players to challenge themselves through fun, efficient, well planned use of the ice time and personalized assistance.  I highly recommend this dynamo! Our daughter began her season on all cylinders thanks to the jump start that the sessions provided.  

- Andrea Bell 

Don is a terrific hockey mentor that has developed players on and off the ice at a level greater than anyones expectations.  Often going above and beyond for each individual to work on achieving their best.  The players and teams he coaches always seem to achieve outstanding results and the kids love being around him as he keeps the game the way it should be fun.  

- Jason R 

My son looked forward to practices almost as much as games with Don. Drills they use focus on skills the players use every game. He gives the players options and ways to deal with situations, setting them up for as much success as possible.  High tempo ice times means little standing around and constant learning.  

- L.G 

Don raised the bar when it comes to coaches. He is calm, fair and consistent. They do what's best for the kids as they develop them into confident and skilled hockey players. As a coach for our son, we were so impressed by his knowledge of hockey, great rapport and connection with the kids and his ability to give our child a great hockey experience.  

- Jill Mathers

Don has many years experience designing and running very high energy practices that keep players engaged with both core fundamentals and systems-based drills that are fast-paced and challenging. I see Evolution Hockey Training Camps as a great opportunity for our son to put in some quality hours and get focused with excellent pre-season coaching  to prepare for a strong start in the coming season.  

- CD

My son had Don as a coach in his early years of hockey, Don's practices and drills were very well run alway keeping in mind the skill level and ability of the kids that he was coaching and challenging them to move to the next level. Don had the unique ability to run practices with all the kids feeling they got 1 on 1 attention for the hour. Don I wish you all the best in your hockey training program as every kid on the ice will develop there skills and reap the benefits of your hockey knowledge and coaching ability!  

- MH

Don knows that ice time is valuable and always utilize that time to the fullest extent. They also make sure every skater gets the feedback they need to improve in a positive and respectful manner.  I was fortunate to coach with Don and witness his positive and knowledgeable interactions with coaches and players.  The teams and players that Don coaches consistently overachieve and ultimately enjoy the highest success.

- Jeff Heibein

My son was so fortunate to have Don as his coach for three years. Not only did he develop as a hockey player, but they built up his self confidence and taught him to be a humble and respectful young man on and off the ice. They were always kind, positive and encouraging to the boys. Don understands that children all develop at their own pace and they would focus on what every individual needed. Practices were always well organized and kept the kids engaged and focused.    My son was always eager and willing to go to every practice and greatly valued what the coaches had to say to him.  His experience with Don and Jay made him love the sport even more than he already did.  

- S. Savarin

Don and I were team mates in Niagara Falls and I have a tonne of lasting memories. I remember Don getting his knee crushed by former NHL Defenceman Darian Hatcher. 3 hours after the injury Don was hired by the local radio station to be the Colur Commentor of our games while he was out of the lineup. I think our attendance dropped at games because everyone in town wanted to stay home and listen to him on the radio!! Don always knew how to get the guys fired up when we needed it or when to provide a calming presence before huge games.  He played through a lot of injuries and was a fanatastic captain and inspirational leader. To a great friend and team mate… Good Luck to you and your friend!  

- Greg Allen – former OHL Captain

Don coached my son on his Major Atom AA team.  I was also the team trainer and being a member of the coaching staff, I got to see Don interact with the kids in a way that most other parents didn't. I did not know either of them before the season started. 

My son has had lots of different coaches in his young hockey career, and I've worked on a lot of different benches.  We've had some great coaches, but the year with Don was without a doubt the most enjoyable for both my son and I.  My son learned a lot about the game, about the value of a strong work ethic and most importantly, what it means to be a good teammate.  His skills and knowledge of the game improved dramatically under their leadership, providing him an invaluable foundation upon which to build his love of the game.

- B. Mathers

Our son had an amazing introduction to rep hockey due to the coaching of Don.  He improved dramatically over the course of the season in both skill and confidence due to the expertise and encouragement of these great coaches!  Don's passion for the game and for the development of these young players is evident in his positive and supportive approach to coaching.  

- Laurie Schmidt

I loved how Don coached.  He taught me how to be a better hockey player by demanding hard work and discipline. He always took the time to tell me and show me how to improve.  

- Atom AA player

Don coached our son in his Major Atom year.  He gained a lot of confidence & development during the season through structured, skill-focused practices in a fun environment.  The variety of drills & one-on-one time was beneficial for our son.  Don Has exceptional knowledge of the game, and is truly professional, with a passion for player development.  He challenged the players to grow as athletes, and emphasize respect for the game & team.  I thank him for the impact he had on our son.  

- Jon G

Don was my coach for a few years.  They taught me a lot about hockey and always made it fun.  Practices were awesome.  Always different stations with fun drills.  Don was always positive and nice on and off the ice.  I hope I can play with them again someday.

- K.B.

During the time that I was coached by Don I improved tremendously as a hockey player.  I was taught a variety of different drills, skills and plays that I never knew before and always motivated me to do my best.  He is friendly, funny and they know A LOT about hockey!

- Quinten Earle

Don was a tremendous teammate and 200 foot player. On the ice he was a relentless competitor while off the ice he was a great team guy and teacher to the younger guys. I had the privilege of playing major junior O.H.L. with Don as well as on the Hockey Canada u17 Team Ontario under Hall of Fame coach Brian Kilrea.

- Keith Primeau, Former N.H.L. Star and captain of Philadelphia Flyers NHL and Carolina Hurricanes NHL

Hi Don.  We wanted to thank you for your commitment this past season.  The season for our son was very enjoyable and most memorable.  His on ice skills really came along away which is a result of your well organized planned practices.  He never once complained about getting rushed across the city for a practice.    Also all the team building and off ice events you did with kids really helped him develop friendships and learn how to be part of a team.  I truly hope my son and daughter get to be a part of one of your teams again.

- Chad Henry

Don coached me when I was 10 yrs old in my first year as a AA Jr. Ranger.  He is really nice and very funny. I always liked his creative plays and drills‎ and I learned a lot from him‎. If you needed to improve or if you made a mistake on the ice, he helped you fix it by talking to you and making drills to show you how to improve. ‎I had a lot of fun with him and he helped make me a more confident hockey player.

- Will Mathers

My son was fortunate enough to play for Don.  He is highly skilled and dedicated in all capacities, whether it's off-ice activity or on-ice instruction. The high intensity training and diversity of their programs make all the difference.

- MT

Don coached my son for a few years and it was an excellent experience for him. He is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about hockey and developing young players. My son was always happy and confident with him and he was eager to please his coaches and apply what he learned to his games. I would confidently recommend Don  to any child looking to develop his hockey skills in a positive, organized learning environment.

- D. Cerovac

I played OHL hockey with Donny when I was a rookie. He was an awesome team mate. Everyone wanted to be around him for his sense of humour and knowledge of the game. As players, we and the coaches voted Don to be a captain and also our Most Inspirational Player. He would stay on the ice after practice and work on faceoffs with the other centres and teach his tricks for winning them. He was an amazing 2 way player and one of my favourite team mates of all time. I don’t think I ever played with anyone that won more faceoffs and blocked more shots than Donny. As a true 2 way player I cant imagine anyone better suited to coach and teach offensive and defensive skills and strategies to young players. 

- Todd Simon, former NHL Player and 16 year Pro, OHL and CHL Scoring Champion

Coach Don is an awesome hockey coach.  He is always really nice to me and I learned a lot from him.  His practices were a lot of fun and made me want to try really hard. He made me laugh a lot and made me a better hockey player.

- Christian Cerovac

Don McConnell is the type of coach every parent wants for their child.  Don taught my son that to be a great hockey play you have to work hard on and off the ice.   That what you do in practice is just as important as during a game. One of Don’s greatest strengths is his ability to share his hockey knowledge. He balances this with letting the players go out on the ice and make their own decisions, and then learn from those experiences.  He encourages them to put an effort in, be creative and never be afraid to make mistakes.

- Steph B.

We were so impressed with Don. The hockey knowledge and his coaching style really resonated with our son. We saw him grow as a hockey player and his love of the game intensified.  From a parent's  perspective, Don was professional and from the player's perspective they were fun and approachable.

-  Atom AA Parents

My old linemate Donny McConnell was an unbelievable teammate and one of my favourite guys to be around. He could play in all situations. He was best known for being a two way player, and could shut down the best players on the other team and often provide timely offense. Other teams would have to change their game plans around his incredible faceoff and checking abilities. Overshadowed by his defensive presence was his creative and clutch offensive skills. I am so pleased to learn that Donny has continued to stay in the game helping, teaching, and inspiring the next generations of hockey players. He is a student of the game and one of the best guys that I have had the pleasure to play with.  Without a doubt, you and or your child will have a great experience being taught offensive and defensive skills  by this great guy.

- Brad May, 18 year NHL Player, Stanley Cup Champion, Team Canada World Junior Champion, owner of one of the most famous  goals in NHL history – the “Mayday Goal”.

I loved going to practices because I knew I was going to have fun, and learn a lot!  Don taught me a lot about plays during game situations” I enjoyed all the stations at practices, where we got to work on our skills.  Don spent the time with me to work on my skating & speed.

- Daniel G

Coach Don makes it a fun and very educational learning environment. All of my teammates that have had Don as a coach, say he's their favourite. 

- Tarin Pennington

Don coached my son to back to back Provincial Championships as underdogs. The team simply overachieved as a result of Dons motivational and positive style. Quite simply he outcoached all others and the kids knew they were a part of something special. My son has had 16 coaches in his sports and to this day says that Don was the best coach he has had and the most fun to play for. That’s amazing to combine superior motivation and knowledge while getting teams to compete with resilience. And…the most important thing is the kids loved every minute of it. HATS OFF!  

- D.

Don is able to connect with kids and they instantly respond to him. 

He is able to teach the skills of the game in a fun atmosphere.  

- PP

Happy 1st year in business Evolution!

I see such a difference in my sons hockey skills and Don McConnell has played a huge part in that.                                                                                                            

- Jason Scott