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Article posted: 5/17/2013 7:16 AM

Plenty of suburban summer hockey camp options for young athletes

By Bob Susnjara

Young suburban athletes won't be hurting for choices if they want to keep their hockey skills honed over the summer.

Former National Hockey League players, as wells as a variety of talented local instructors, will be offering sessions that vary in length, hours and cost.

Age levels for the camps typically range from 7 to 18 years old. The youths usually are divided into categories called Mite, Squirt, PeeWee and Bantam.

Camps focus on hockey fundamentals, such as stickhandling, battling along the boards for a puck, power skating, passing and shooting. Positioning and in-game scenarios are covered for forwards, defensemen and goaltenders.

Glacier Ice Arena in Vernon Hills will have the biggest names at the NHL Camp from Aug. 5 to 9. Heading the camp will be Eddie Olczyk, who played for his hometown Blackhawks and won a Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in the 1993-94 seasons.

Olczyk, now a television analyst for Blackhawks games and for national hockey contests on NBC Sports, will be joined by Steve Konroyd, Steve Smith and Steve Dubinsky for teaching duties at the Glacier camp.

Smith won three Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers -- including the team's most previous in 1989-90 -- and also played for the Hawks. Konroyd and Dubinsky also are former Blackhawks.

Glacier staff professional skills coach Justin Nelson will be lead instructor for "overspeed" power skating from July 15 to 19. He's known for training youth, junior and professional hockey players.

Eric Schneider, director of the Glacier Ice Arena, said he's proud of the programs and instruction available at his facility.

"We've put together an exciting training program this summer with lots of skills coaches from different backgrounds to give participants from the Mite forward to the leading goaltenders the chance to learn from the best," Schneider said.

Check glacierskate.com for more information.

Other suburban hockey camp possibilities include the following:

Rolling Meadows Renegades Youth Hockey will operate clinics from July 15 to 19 at the city's West Meadows Ice Arena. Those clinics will focus on individual skills and will incorporate odd-man breaks as part of defensive situational tutoring.

In addition, B. Veller Hockey Training's shooting clinic will be at the Rolling Meadows Park District's Nelson Sports Complex. It'll run June 27, July 11, 18 and 25, Aug. 1 and 6.

B. Veller will work on proper mechanics for a wrist shot, backhand, slap shot, puck elevation and more. Participants may buy all six sessions at a slight discount or for a daily fee.

More information is at rmrenegadeshockey.com.

Center Ice of DuPage in Glen Ellyn is offering youths a chance to participate in three-day Power Edge Pro Clinics.

Power Edge Pro's skating patterns and training methods are exclusive to the company. Players have the puck on their stick for the entire Power Edge Pro training sessions in an effort to develop elite skating and superior stick and puck control.

Center Ice's Power Edge Pro sessions are set for June 10 to 12, June 24 to 26, July 8 to 10 and July 22 to 24.

For more information, visit centericeofdupage.com.

Wolfpack Summer Hockey for Beginners will be offered at the Hoffman Estates Park District's Triphahn Center ice arena from June 11 to 15.

It's billed as a challenging, progressive and fun environment for activities including floor hockey, stickhandling, video, hockey theory and on-ice lessons. After their work is finished on the ice, the players will shift over to Seascape pool to complete a day of activities and fun.

Mark Brunner and a crew of experienced coaches plan to use the ice efficiently to create a curriculum that will adjust to varying levels of experience and skill level. Brunner has more than 22 years of coaching experience at levels ranging from pre-Mite through high school.

Check heparks.org for more information.

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