Entering it’s third season, SSHD AAA Hockey Club has established itself as the finest spring hockey development program in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The club hosts Elite and AAA teams for male and female athletes from U7 to U15, along with NEW Invitation Only Elite Female teams at U13, U15, and U18 which will include some of the very best players from across Eastern Ontario. The program features exclusively professional non-parent coaches and fully integrated development which includes league play, tournament play, advanced individual skill sessions run by professional instructors, and off-ice training from the regions leaders in each domain.

The Ottawa Senators Hockey Programs are proud to announce the return and expansion of the Senators Spring AAA Hockey Development Program for the 2021 season; featuring weekly skill development, team practices, free flowing league games, and the very best run spring tournaments available in our region. Elite teams may participate in additional tournaments at the discretion of the club; please consult schedule below.

If you’re serious about using the spring to give your player the best possible development boost, and they are considered to be one of the most focused, coachable, and hard-working players on their team, then we have a great opportunity for them and your family.

The Senators Spring Hockey Development Program is the perfect answer to provide players with additional skill development, fun, and the competitive-minded push they need before they head into an off-season of other activities. The SSHD AAA program focuses first and foremost on advanced skill development, lead by our professional full-time coaches from the Ottawa Senators Hockey Programs, along with exciting non-traditional league games through the Ottawa Senators Spring Youth Leagues (4 on 4 & 3 on 3), and the best possible tournament experiences operated by Sensplex Tournaments; all without the added expense and commitment of travelling to out of town events for most teams ( Elite teams may also participate in out of town competition at some levels). This is a development program for serious athletes only, and while a key part of our club philosophy is to push players to their limits during development, it is also to focus on each athlete loving their experience. Our coaches strive to ensure a fun but challenging environment.

Coaching staff will be led by professional full-time coaches and skill instructors, including Sens Hockey Programs Head of Hockey Development Hanna Turpeinen, Head Hockey Instructor and Sr Player Development Specialist Julie Knerr, Head Hockey Instructor Michael Xhignesse, Lead Goaltending Consultant, Dave Stathos, Director of Hockey programs Andy Bryan, and more. Click here to see bios of key club staff and the list of Team Head Coaches by level.

2021 NEWS – The SSHD AAA Hockey Club has applied and is on the waiting list to become a Brick Tournament organization. If admitted, our 2011 Elite Team players would be expected to participate this July as an add-on to our regular program features. Separate tryouts would be held to qualify for this team. The expectation is that we would host a brick team perenially after that. This represents another step to provide our players with the most incredible development experience possible.

2021 SSHD AAA Roster Announcements

Team rosters will be announced via private postings to TeamSnap, the official program management and communication tool of the SSHD AAA Hockey Club.

Team Head Coach Applications
Applications are being accepted for the 2021 season for those looking to join our team. Similarly, we welcome expressions of interest from those looking to gain experience working with a professional development organization by contributing in an assistant’s role. Email Club Director, Andy Bryan and Club Head Coach, Hanna Turpeinen to express interest.

The Ottawa Senators Spring Hockey Development Program is only accepting applications from competitive players capable of playing at a Spring AAA level.

Program Features

(U7-2014 will feature a modified version of the U8-U9 program indicated)

Competitive ‘AAA’ Program (Bell Sensplex headquarters with some Cavanagh & Richcraft Sensplex ice)
Over 50 development activities for less than $29/each including apparel, uniform use, and much more (including games, advanced skills, practices, Fitquest athletic development, etc). Conveniently scheduled to allow for other activities to take place.
15 to 16 hours of practice minimum – feat. combination of skill development & team tactical practices (additional practices may be added for some teams) . Note: there will be an additional 5 or more practices for U18 Women’s Elite who will play fewer games.
10-11 hours of youth 4-on-4 (U8-U15) or 3-on-3 (U7) league play (20-22 games of Ottawa Senators Competitive Spring Youth League or Development Program, excluding Women’s Elite U18)
10 off-ice team training sessions led by Senators NHL Strength & Conditioning Coach Chris Schwarz’s Fitquest Strength & Conditioning Professionals (U10 to U15), minimum six Fitquest Hockey ABC team training sessions (U7 to U9). OR, 20 sessions at Women’s U18.
Pre-tournament exhibition games (exact number TBD at coaches discretion)
15 games minimum of team play through a combination of either three (3) Local Spring AAA Tournaments hosted at the Sensplex Facilities, the Sensplex AAA Spring/Summer League (depending on COVID-restrictions in place during spring season), and/or one or two out of town tournaments for our elite-level teams (Girls U13/U15, Boys U11 (2010) & U13 (2008) Elite, and more TBA. Women’s U18 will participate in only one or two total events – approx. 5-10 games with additional ). Decisions on which teams will participate in which game play options will depend on team calibre along with COVID-19 restrictions on travel and more. Should an unavoidable maximum cohort size be in place for leagues or tournaments, not all players will play in all games though time will be distributed fairly.
2 online or on-site player classroom sessions (focusing on SSHD AAA expectations, high-performance habits, club style of play, and more)
Ottawa Senators Youth Leagues Jersey, Senators Spring Hockey team gear, including use of INCREDIBLE home & away jerseys and pant shells, and performance work out gear to keep.
(Custom jerseys will be made available for purchase for those who wish to select number and size in advance of season start-date, however this is not required)
1 club season kick-off social event
1 club season wrap-up awards banquet
(where SSHD AAA Athletes of the Year will be named)
*dependent upon COVID-19 restrictions in place
Applications are encouraged from hard-working, focused, quality athletes who play competitive hockey only (and U8-U9 Tier II)

ATTENTION GOALIES! Senators Spring AAA Hockey Development goaltenders will be coached by former professional goaltender Dave Stathos, and other elite coaches from the Dave Stathos Goalie Performance Center team, delivering unmatched value with the best possible development opportunity for those goalies who select and then qualify for our program!

Eligibility – Is this program right for your athlete?:

The Senators Spring AAA Hockey Development Club is exclusively for those players and parents who are serious about their development. Our players are expected to be some of the most hard-working, focused, disciplined, and coachable in youth hockey. Players must be capable of playing at a competitive spring hockey level and of being pushed to perform to the best of their abilities in all games and practices. All players must also have a proven track record of being good teammates, and being respectful to coaches, officials, and the opposition. Our goal is to have highly competitive teams at each level with all club members being good players and good people. Players who have had discipline or behavioural issues with their minor hockey coaches are asked to refrain from applying to the SSHD program. Parents are expected to be positive influences who fully support all players and coaches in their development-first, team-first approach.

At all times, players, coaches, and parents must represent the Senators organization with class and pride.

Please note that due to immense interest in the SSHD AAA program and the high number of players being evaluated, only players who are currently playing competitive hockey should apply for our 2006 to 2011 teams (U10 and above). Top Tier House (Tier I Competitive + Tier II House A) players may apply to our 2012 through 2014 teams (Pre-Novice & Novice U7-U9).

2021 Evaluation Process:

Based on the success of the 2019 and 2020 seasons and increasing demand from players who wish to become part of the SSHD AAA club, evaluations are taking place early once again through a combination of methods which are designed to NOT take away from existing minor hockey commitments which should remain your top priority. This is to allow for an extended recruitment period and for players to be informed of their status as soon as possible for planning purposes. Players will be confirmed or released from teams as soon as an adequate evaluation has taken place. As a result, players should register immediately to begin the evaluation process. Only those players deemed to be capable of playing at a competitive Spring AAA level and are a good fit to represent our brand, will be selected. This means that spots will remain available until a full roster has been set. There is no expected timeline for this process to be complete and it will vary by age level (i.e. teams rosters could be announced as “complete” at any time).

Evaluations will continue until all teams are formed. Players are NOT expected or encouraged to miss their regular sanctioned team activities. We believe your Hockey Canada team comes first. Conflicts should be communicated to club staff (e-mail: [email protected]) who will work to find alternative evaluation times as they deem necessary. In some cases, player evaluations will be arranged with SSHD club staff where conflicts exist. ALL Players must submit their registration (application) now in order to be considered and evaluated. Once a player is registered, club staff will work with parents to ensure each player is adequately evaluated for a decision to be made.

Evaluations – Women’s Elite U13/U15/U18 Teams – Invitation Only
Note that for the inaugural season of our women’s elite program (Girls U13 / U15 / U18), applications will be accepted from invited players only.
For U13, unless specifically invited, 2009 players should apply to the co-ed SSHD AAA 2009 team.
For the U18 team, players will receive twice as many Fitquest off-ice training sessions (20).

Payment plans:
Typical spring hockey teams focus on playing games in many tournaments versus maintaining a focus on skill development and using the relatively short spring season to give players the skill boost that can TRULY help them for the next season before they take a break for other sports, activities, off-season workouts, or simply downtime. As a result, their costs are anywhere from $500 to $700 in team fees, plus add-on amounts for each additional event they attend. When comparing costs, please note that the full cost of this program goes into the professional skill and off-ice development, local tournament and league fees, 4-on-4 league entry, uniforms, and other superior value-added features that each player receives. This program not only costs less than most spring hockey, but offers a flexible payment plan to ease the burden on family budgets. At over 50 development activities for under $29 each, we are proud of the high value our club offers it’s members; all while being professionally run. Additional flexibility is available for families who may require it. We believe that no qualifying player should miss out due to their individual financial situation and the club will assist however possible.

  • U7-U9 (Pre-Novice & Novice) – $380 (Deposit upon registration), $370 (Mar. 1), $370 (Apr. 1), $370 (May 1)
  • U10-U18 – $380 (Deposit upon registration), $420 (Mar. 1), $420 (Apr. 1), $420 (May 1)
  • The $80 evaluation/application fee is included in deposit amounts above. The full amount is non-refundable should your player be selected for the SSHD AAA program. If they are not selected, the FULL amount (less the evaluation fee) is refundable or may be placed as a credit on file towards another Ottawa Senators Hockey Program (PEP, Weekly Skills, Camps, Youth Leagues, and more). Evaluation fees cover costs of evalutors, ice time, jerseys, travel and more and are not tied to a minimum number of evaluation sessions.

Full-Season Cost:

  • More affordable than most spring hockey programs due to the $800-900 savings per out of town tournament weekend, along with a convenient payment plan. The cost is invested into the program features and professional development instead.
  • Highest value spring hockey program with over 50 team activities included over an incredibly convenient schedule which allows for other sports or activities. An average of less than $29 per development activity.
  • U7 to U9 (Pre-Novice & Novice) – $1,490 ($1,410 team fee + $80 evaluation fee) – Only $380 due with application
  • U10 to U18 – $1,640 ($1,560 team fee + $80 evaluation fee) – Only $380 due with application

*U13 (2008), U14 (2007), and U15 (2006) teams will feature body-checking instruction and will be competing in body-checking tournaments subject to COVID restrictions.
**Age levels with more than one team will see players separated by evaluated ability at the sole discretion by club staff to ensure the best possible development experience for all involved.

Youth League Games Included

Why does the program include competitive or elite 4-on-4 league games as well as 5-on-5 tournaments, as opposed to playing ALL traditional hockey?
By removing one or more players from the ice, the game becomes much quicker and free-flowing which allows players to play a more creative game and heighten their spatial awareness and decision making skills. Our 4-on-4 league games opens up a new style of play and encourages players to skate outside their comfort zone. The Ottawa Senators Youth Leagues provide a fun, unique, and highly valuable development environment for skaters and goalies.  We believe this league is the perfect compliment to our weekly individual and team development practices by giving them a weekly gameday (even on non-tournament weeks) adding to our already impressive program content.
Note for 2014 SSHD AAA Players: 2014 Players will be enrolled in the half-ice IP Advanced 3-on-3 League at their choice of the Bell Sensplex or Richcraft Sensplex.

SSHD AAA Jerseys & Shells

All teams will wear the Red (away) and White (home), other than the our Black teams who will wear Black as their away uniform.

Pro Quality Jerseys & Shells

SSHD AAA Team Gear

Each and every aspect of the SSHD AAA program is professional quality, and the apparel and other team gear that each player, parent, or fan has access to is no exception. Full details and convenient ordering are available now through our partners at Gadar Promotions by visiting the online store here.

SSHD AAA Skill Developments Dates:

Official team practices will begin as early as April 5. All teams will practice April 5-8, along with a doubled up weekend of practicing two of the three days April 9-11 to kick their season into high gear. They will then enter a regular schedule of one midweek and one Sunday (or holiday Monday) practice per week (weekend practices will not be every weekend and will usually be scheduled to avoid playing and practicing on the same weekends). Team development activities may begin as early as 4:15 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and 10 a.m. Sundays.

Senators Spring AAA Hockey Development Teams will practice weekday evenings and on every non-tournament or AAA league weekend or holiday. Most weekday development sessions, off-ice training and activities, and classroom sessions will take place at the Bell Sensplex (West Ottawa) or online for maximum convenience, with sessions at some levels taking place at the Cavanagh Sensplex or Richcraft Sensplex (East Ottawa). Full team schedules, including specific practice times, will be released no later than March 15, 2021.

Weekly team development sessions will run for ten consecutive weeks from early April through Mid-June, subject to COVID-19 restrictions and the completion of the 2021 minor hockey season. Should the minor hockey season end be delayed, our program start dates would be pushed to avoid conflicts for most athletes. Should minor hockey end prematurely, all players will be invited to an optional early start to the skill development portion of our program.
A minimum of five additional weekend ice-times will be released with the team schedule and can take place at any of our three state-of-the-art facilities; the Bell Sensplex (West Ottawa), Richcraft Sensplex (East Ottawa) or Cavanagh Sensplex (Kinburn).

SSHD AAA Midweek Development Practice Dates:

U7 (2014): Tuesdays
U8 (2013): Mondays (May 31, June 7 switched to Fridays May 28 & June 4)
U9 (2012): Mondays
U10 (2011) Black & Red: Thursdays
U11 (2010) Black: Tuesdays
U11 (2010) Red & White: Wednesdays
U12 (2009) Black/White & Red: Tuesdays
U13 Elite (2008) Gold & Black: Wednesdays
U13 Girls Elite: Thursdays
U14 (2007): Mondays
U15 (2006): Mondays
U15 Girls Elite: Thursdays
U18 Womens Elite: Thursdays

SSHD AAA Additional Practice Dates:

Coming soon.

SSHD AAA Spring Competitive / Advanced Youth League Dates:

All dates will be added to the youth leagues pages found here (both Bell Sensplex & Richcraft Sensplex options exist) once available:
Ottawa Senators Spring 4-on-4 League
Ottawa Senators Spring 3-on-3 League

SSHD AAA Tentative Tournament / Full Team AAA League Dates
(subject to change):

Local Game Play:
April 16 to May 9:
Sensplex Spring AAA Hockey League 1 (1 bye weekend per team) – U9 Black & Red, U10 Black & Red, U11 Black, Red & White, U12 Black & Red, U13 Elite (both), U13 Girls Elite, U14, U15, & U15 Girls Elite
May 14 to June 6: Sensplex Spring AAA Hockey League 2 (1 bye weekend per team) – U7, U8, and other teams TBA should tournament play not be permitted to resume (currently forbidden under Ontario law)
May 22-24: Capital Victoria Day Classic (save the date – possible full club or elite participation TBD based on COVID-19 restrictions)*
June 11 – 13: The SSHD Senators AAA Spring Cup – U7, U8, U9 both, U10 both, U11 Red & White, U12 both, U13 Black, U14, U15
June 18 – 20: SSHD AAA Elite Invitational Tournament & Showcase – U11 Black, U13 Gold Elite, U13 Girls Elite, U15 Girls Elite, U18 Womens Elite
July 2-4: Canada Day Cup Tournament (save the date optional only – Black, Gold, Elite Teams Only – additional participation)*

Out of Town Tournament Lineup for Black & Gold (Elite) Teams as Indicated
(subject to approval based on COVID-19 restrictions):
May 28-30 or June 4-6: Coupe Challenge AAA Tournament, Quebec City – U10 Black*, U11 Black*, U12 Black*, U13 Black (Div II), U13 Girls Elite, U15 Girls Elite
June 11-13: Couple Challenge AAA Tournament, Quebec City – U13 Gold (Div I)
June 11-13: Top Tier Girls – U13 Girls Elite*, U15 Girls Elite*

*Tentative & additional tournament surcharge option may apply


All of our hockey programs require full equipment to be provided by the parent/guardian. No child shall participate without: Hockey skates, CSA-approved helmet (with cage), neck guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, jock or jill, shin pads, hockey gloves and a hockey stick. Mouth guards are optional.


Please call 613 599 0222 or email [email protected] for additional information.

Refund Policy: Read our Refund & Cancellation Policy.