U11 (Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario)





U11 Player Pathway

The U11 Player Pathway is supported by the Hockey Canada Long-Term Player Development Model. This framework provides the guiding principles for age appropriate and skill specific programming for all players in Hockey Canada’s youth hockey system. By utilizing LTPD principles, Hockey Canada membership offers systems and structures that are more consistent and ensure continuity as players move through the system from one age level to the next.

Player development is at the core of the U11 (Atom) Player Pathway, with a focus on skill development so that each player will experience success in both practice and game settings. When viewing from the perspective of how kids learn the number of repetitions of specific skills and situations that occur in practice versus a game we quickly learned where players have a chance to develop the most: practice.


The U11 Player Pathway is a progressive learn-to-play teaching curriculum. This pathway is an important component in the transition from U9 and serves as preparation into U11. The U11 Player Pathway consists of four phases of instruction, designed for players graduating from U9 hockey and for entry-level hockey players who may start playing hockey at this age level. The curriculum introduces, develops, and refines the skills of skating, passing, puck control, and shooting in a progressive, step-by-step manner.

This is to be viewed as an opportunity for young players to develop and refine fundamental movement skills (skating, turning, acceleration), manipulation skills (shooting, puck control, passing) and overall motor skills (balance, coordination, agility) in a fun and safe environment, promoting skill development through self-confidence. The main goal of the U11 Player Pathway is to continue to have fun while developing skills. When players continue on a positive note, they enjoy the game and will go on to have fun playing hockey for many years.

The U11 Player Pathway provides an environment that helps all players at the U11 age level (9 and 10 years old) to realize their full potential. Hockey Canada strongly believes that in order for players to truly fulfill their potential and be the best they can be, the needs of the player should be at the forefront of the programming.

The primary focus of the youth hockey system is to develop a lifelong passion for sport, develop important life skills through hockey and provide young players exposure to a development system that is progressive in nature and meets their needs based on age-specific and skill-appropriate programming.