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Development :: High Performance Program

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The High Performance Program (HPP) was created by Hockey Canada (then CAHA) in 1981 to identify and prepare players to compete in international hockey. Prior to that, Canada was represented on the international level by club teams that were bolstered with players added from Club teams. 

Hockey Canada’s High Performance Program is administered by Hockey Canada and includes the Canada’s Olympic teams, the National teams, the Men’s Under 20 (Junior) program, the Women’s Under 22, the Men’s Under 18, the Men’s Under 17 and the Women’s Under 18 programs.

The national High Performance Program also includes divisions that are administered by the provincial hockey Branches, namely Hockey Nova Scotia. Hockey Nova Scotia is responsible to administer the Male Under 17, Under 16, Under 15 and Under 14 programs as well as the Female Under 18 and Under 15 programs. Hockey Nova Scotia also administers the Canada Winter Games program (Under 17 male & Under 18 Female), which compete every four years.

The High Performance Program is about:

Teamwork and the pursuit of common goals, which means that individual egos and agendas are left at the door, that no one players or no one staff member is bigger than the team and that NO ONE is more important than the program.

Roles and responsibilities and the ability to adapt, which means appreciating the need for every single role on the team, no matter how large or how small it may seem to be.

Continuous improvement and the need to achieve goals, which means pushing the limits, stretching beyond you comfort zone, working harder, becoming better...ultimately striving for excellence.

Facing the challenge and doing it with integrity, which means being pushed by competition beyond what you have ever experienced and accepting that order to give it your very best effort.

Being your best and taking everything you can from the experience, which means TOTAL commitment and order to be part of a team - that is the very best it can be.

Respecting the past, the tradition and all that has been built before you, which means cherishing the efforts and determination of the players and staff members that have come before, appreciating the abilities of former participants and about how they have made the most of their opportunities.

Pride in representing our province, which means displaying a positive image, fostering a role model for younger hopefuls, becoming ambassadors of our province, and showing your passion for wearing our provinces identity.

Building the future for other to strive for. which means that each participant works together in writing the next chapter of the program's success as well as your own...together. 

The Program is not about:

Individualism and the inability to be part of the team, which means that undisciplined or selfish behaviour is not tolerated...members are responsible for their actions and are expected to foster positive energy.

Winning at all costs and sacrificing the goals of the program, which means that a combination of absolute best efforts is expected from each of its members to ensure that the team is the best it can be...and that each member is afforded the chance to demonstrate that they can meet this goal.

Giving up when things don't go your way, which means that once a commitment is made to the program, the promise is fulfilled.


The High Performance Program is not one of the many programs available that are operated by private entrepreneurs. The High Performance Program is a Branch operated program that seeks to enable our very best participants to excel in an intense yet developmental environment that is very similar to that of the National Programs and higher level hockey programs. The Hockey Nova Scotia High Performance Program is the first step in the ladder to the National Program.


The High Performance Program in Nova Scotia targets the best players, coaches, trainers and officials throughout the province. Each season, Hockey Nova Scotia invites players and officials to participate in our Program beginning with the Spring Evaluation Camps. In addition, Hockey Nova Scotia attempts to identify the up and coming coaches and trainers who are quickly becoming leaders in our sport.

A player must be invited to participate in the High Performance Program. Our officials are selected by the Hockey Nova Scotia Officiating Program while our coaches and trainers must apply to be chosen through a Branch selection process.

The High Performance Program process is one that offers any participant an excellent development opportunity while competing against the very best in Nova Scotia. Once in the process, players begin to be tracked by the Hockey Canada High Performance Scouting program for potential opportunities with future National High Performance Programs.


Hockey Nova Scotia uses Hockey Canada’s National Team Evaluation process during all camps. Players are given equal opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities and are evaluated by the coaching staff on their performance at the specific camp they are attending. The players are not evaluated during their club team programs, other tournaments or events. Only what the player does while in the Program will be evaluated.

During camps, players compete in games where they are evaluated individually. Based on their play, players are assigned a score ranging from 1 - 5 with 5 being the highest. This scoring process is facilitated by the Program Director of Operations who ensures that the integrity of the process is maintained at all times. The players who end up with the highest scores at the end of the specific camp move to the next stage.

It is important to realize that all players are evaluated both on and off ice. One of the reasons that Canada and Hockey Nova Scotia has enjoyed a high level of success during competitions is because we strive to pick good kids not just good hockey players. How the player conducts themselves during all aspects of the camp is very important!


Each stage of the Program offers each participant the opportunity to practice new concepts, attend off-ice information and hockey education sessions, participate in conditioning and physical testing sessions, as well as to compete in games and be evaluated using Hockey Canada’s Player Evaluation Process. 

The High Performance Program has an established curriculum that prepares our participants for competition at each stage leading to the opportunity to compete in an international event. Some key curriculum topics are:

- Skill development 

- Individual and team offensive and defensive tactics     
- Team systems   
- International concepts   
- Mental training and nutrition
- Physical training and conditioning 
- Expectations of the ‘elite’ player
- Hockey options for players

Each camp offers players a rigorous schedule that challenges them both physically and mentally. Each camp also provides each participant the chance to grow as a player, meet new friends and coaches, and gain valuable insight into what it takes to make it to the next level.

The High Performance Program is about being successful, being accountable to your teammates and coaches, and being your best!

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