David is first and foremost a “hockey dad”. With three sons who’ve played hockey, he recognized a dangerous gap in common-sense advice to help young players and their parents make good decisions. About fourteen years ago, he set out to figure out the hockey world by visiting countless prep schools, junior, and college hockey programs in person. He talked with players, coaches, and parents about their hopes and dreams for young hockey players and their families. In 2004, he officially launched the Hockey Family Advisor program.
With a university degree in sports administration (H., B.Comm. in Sports Administration), a second career in hockey advising was a natural choice. Not only does David get to talk hockey all day long, he gets to give back to the game that has given his family so much.
Today, David runs HFA with his two oldest sons, John and Brad, both of whom have attended university on full athletic scholarships while playing hockey. Both John and Brad bring their own unique hockey experiences to the table. HFA’s personal touch is important to its clients, who often become part of the larger family and stay in touch long-term from Europe, Russia, Asia, Australia, and North America.
“It’s a good feeling to be creative and help solve problems for each individual player. The best part is seeing a player reach their goals and knowing you were part of that process.”
The hockey road was not easy for John. A talented player, he was a small kid with a December birthday, and faced plenty of adversity. Today, he uses his experiences to help guide players and their families.
John grew up playing Dartmouth minor hockey. In grade 12, he attended Gilmour Academy prep school in Cleveland, Ohio, a life-changing decision that led to intense personal, academic, and athletic growth. After two years of junior A and a stint playing major junior hockey while studying at Saint Mary’s University, John transferred to Saint Thomas University to play (in the AUS league) CIS hockey. He graduated in 2016 with a double major in economics and environmental studies. An avid hockey volunteer, he now coaches a local U-16 elite hockey team.
John has a unique grasp of how to evaluate a player and tailor a plan for their individual needs.
“It’s not all about getting kids to the NHL. It’s about development and making the most of the hockey experience. We understand everything from both a player’s and a manager’s perspective. Once you understand the process, the stress goes away.”
In the hockey world, kids are under a lot of pressure to make adult decisions. Brad helps young players and their families make choices that will stand the test of time. Players only get one chance to make good choices, and it goes by quickly.
Brad played minor hockey as a kid in Dartmouth, was drafted by the QMJHL in 2008, and played international hockey at the World Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. The path was challenging, and he lost his eligibility to play NCAA hockey. After working hard to round out his hockey skills, Brad landed “the best experience of my life” at Laurentian University, where he was team captain and won the Ma Culley Hockey Leadership Award. Newly graduated with a degree in sports administration, this multiple Academic All-Canadian athlete has joined the family business.
Brad believes in honest feedback.