The Initiation Program (6 and under) and modified ice hockey (7 & 8 yrs) was developed by Hockey Canada to make a child’s experience with hockey a fun, safe, and positive. The modified ice environment allows beginners to learn the fundamentals and age-appropriate skills. By progressively learning the fundamentals of hockey, players can develop confidence, experience personal achievement, and become contributing members of a team.
The benefits of modified ice and small area games, however, go well beyond this age group. Elite pro players such as Connor McDavid regularly practice in tight areas in order to improve their skill set. Minor hockey players, retired NHL players, and current NHL players speak to the benefits of how small area play improves their game.