Our professional coaching staff cares deeply about delivering our expert knowledge in a manner that is fun, competitive, inclusive and educational. Leslie Global Sports is helping put the FUN back in youth hockey in a time when it is needed the most. We are very careful to hire, mentor, and support only hockey coaches who share our coaching philosophies. We know that these coaches will proudly represent our family name, our brand, and each other.
Lead Leslie Global Sports Coaching Staff:
Director, Coaching Consultant, & Speaker
Nate is the owner and operator of Leslie Global Sports. He is responsible for choosing this small and elite coaching staff. In 2008 Nate completed his Master Degree of Education from Endicott College in Madrid, Spain. He speaks German, Swiss German, & French, and played 7 years of professional hockey in Europe. Nate is the owner of Leslie Global Sports, the creator of his new member site, How to Play Hockey, and Owner/Director of the world renowned West Coast Hockey Prep Camp. Leslie Global Sports runs hockey camps, skill development, and coaching mentorship programs in Vancouver, Victoria, The Richmond Olympic Oval, Port Alberni, and Queenstown, New Zealand. In Vancouver, Nate instructs hockey academies at Earl Marriott, Semiahmoo, and Britannia Secondary Schools. After 4 years of Junior hockey Nate played 7 professional seasons in Europe and North America including the Swiss Elite League, British Super League, and the Central Hockey League. Before moving to Vancouver in 2008 Nate spent 4 years in New York City building a hockey program in West Harlem and was the Athletic Director in the prestigious Manhattan boarding school, the Saint Thomas Choir School. Nate’s father Bob coached Team Canada to Deutschland Cup and Spengler Cup gold medals in Switzerland, and has won the Spengler Cup 3 times while coaching professionally for 20 years. Bob now runs Leslie Global Leadership training throughout Europe from his home base in Zurich, Switzerland. Nate’s passion for coaching, teaching, and leadership runs deep.
- Master Degree International Education, Endicott College in Beverly Massachusetts achieved in Madrid, Spain.
- Hockey Canada Development 1 Coaching Certification Program
- USA Hockey Level 4 Coaching Certification Program
- Curriculum designer and creator of private internationally known online hockey coaching development program: How to Play Hockey
- Head Coach, Leslie Global Sports / Hockey Development 2004 to present
- Head Coach, High Performance Hockey Program, Richmond Olympic Oval 2010 to present
- Head Coach, Britannia Secondary Hockey Canada Skills Academy 2011 to present
- Head Coach, Earl Marriott Secondary Advanced Skills Academy 2009 to 2013
- Head Coach, Earl Marriott Secondary Hockey Canada Skills Academy 2009 to present
- Head Coach, Semiahmoo Secondary Hockey Canada Skills Academy 2009 to present
- Head Coach, Sentinel Secondary Hockey Canada Skills Academy 2011-13
- Head Coach, Central Park Ice Hockey New York City 2005 to 2006
- Head Coach, Riverbank State Park Hockey Program in Harlem New York 2006 to 2008
- Head Coach, Saint David’s School for Boys in New York City 2006-2008
Leadership & Sport Development:
- Producer of Documentary Rinks of Hope: Project Mongolia 2015
- Athletic Director Saint Thomas Choir Boarding School, Manhattan New York, 2007-2008
- BC Hockey Course Conductor 2015 to present
- Director of the West Coast Hockey Prep Camp 2009 to present
- Director of Leslie Global Sports Summer Hockey Camps 2004 to present
- Coach Mentor and Skills Development Expert High Performance Hockey Program, Richmond Olympic Oval 2010 to present
- Coach Mentor and Skills Development Expert, Queenstown Ice Hockey Club New Zealand 2011 to present
- Coach Mentor and Skills Development Expert, New Zealand U16 National Program 2016
- Coach Mentor and Skills Development Expert, Vancouver Angels Female Hockey Association 2011 to present
- Coach Mentor and Skills Development Expert, Seafair Minor Hockey Association 2016 to present
- Coach Mentor and Skills Development Expert, Tri Cities Predators Female Hockey Association 2009 to 2013
- Coach Mentor and Skills Development Expert, Vancouver Minor Hockey Association 2009 to 2011
- Coach Mentor and Skills Development Expert, Riverbank State Park Hockey Program in Harlem New York 2006 to 2008
- Coach Mentor and Skills Development Expert, Saint David’s School for Boys in New York City 2006-2008
- Coach Mentor and Skills Development Expert, Baltimore Youth Hockey 2006
Neil is an elite level professional defenceman. He holds the WHL Vancouver Giants records in games played and is 4th all-time in power play points, and 4th all-time in assists. He attended both the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers NHL development camps in consecutive years and attended the Team Canada World Junior camp in 2011. After his junior career, he opted to get his education at the Sauder School of Business at UBC. He finished with an honour degree in commerce specializing in Finance. Athletically Neil was a 3-time academic all-Canadian and was an assistant captain in his sophomore and junior year, while captaining the thunderbirds in his senior year. He also represented Team Canada at the University Games held in Granada, Spain in 2014.
Neil is a new addition to the Leslie Global Sports team in 2017 and we are excited, to say the least. Neil has helped out the Turcotte stickhandling camp for several years, who we admire, and has been a hockey camp coach for the Vancouver Giants camps and has done small group and one-on-one private sessions frequently during the past several summers. Neil brings passion to his on-ice sessions as he takes pride in seeing kids improve while enjoying themselves. There is nothing better than hearing the children after a session tell him how much fun they had. As a current professional player, Neil knows that if the game isn’t fun there is no point in playing. This love for the game is what keeps Neil going.
Lead Instructor, Coach Mentor
In our off season Ben is the Hockey Director of the Queenstown Ice Hockey Club in Queenstown New Zealand. He joined our coaching staff full time in the spring of 2016. Ben first began coaching in high school, as a lead instructor for his association’s weekly goaltender development sessions. Upon graduating Queen’s University in 2008, Ben spent 9 years as the Assistant Hockey Director of the Hollyburn Hockey Program in West Vancouver. Ben has led on-ice skills programs for players of all ages and abilities, and is responsible for implementing, developing and executing all hockey programs for Hollyburn Country Club’s membership. Ben is comfortable working with all ages, but is right in his comfort zone with novice aged players. His messaging is clear and consice. Kids, parents, and coaches are drawn to his patient and compassionate demeanor. His passion for coaching young players and mentoring volunteer coaches is admirable.
Now a lead instructor with Leslie Global Sports, Ben mentors players and coaches in the Richmond Oval High Performance Program, Vancouver Angels, Britannia Hockey Academy. Ben is involved with the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association (PCAHA) in a variety of capacities, and has spent time as league manager, coaching clinic instructor and as a volunteer for the Midget Scholarship tournament.
Hockey Canada Certifications
- SpeakOut, Respect in Sports (2008, 2014)
- Hockey Canada Safety Program (2008)
- Developmental 1 Coaching (2008)
- Developmental 2 Coaching (2010)
- Hybrid Coaching (2012)
- High Performance 1 Coaching (2016)
Lead Instructor, Coach Mentor
Mike is Assistant Coach of the University of British Columbia Women’s Varsity Team, and Lead Instructor at LGS. Mike symbolizes the passion and dedication we look for in our tight knit coaching staff. He recently held the post as video coach for Team BC U18 Female, and assists Vancouver Canucks video coach Ben Cooper. Since joining LGS in March 2013, Mike Sommer has coached over 300 LGS skills sessions and is recognized as a passionate, organized, and detail oriented leader. He has a gift leading young players and minor hockey coaches.
I observed Mike Sommer instruct my 2004 boy in spring hockey skill sessions. Mike did an excellent job with the organization and structure of the practices. I was impressed with his allocation of time on skills and small area game development. The boys were constantly moving and playing modified games to increase hockey sense. Mike had great energy with the kids and provided correction and instruction as needed. Most importantly he created a great learning environment that my boy really enjoyed. May, 2014. Glen Gulutzan, Vancouver Canucks Assistant Coach.
Mike was born and raised in White Rock, B.C.. A product of Semiahmoo Minor hockey he went on to play for the Delta Ice Hawks and the Grandview Steelers of the PIJHL. From 2011-2013 Mike lived in Queenstown, New Zealand where he played for the Southern Stampede of the NZIHL. For two seasons he was the Director of Hockey Development for the Queenstown Ice Hockey Club. Along with working with youth players, Mike was an assistant coach with the New Zealand U20 National Team. He coached at the Division III U20 World Championships in Dunedin, New Zealand in 2012 and in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2013 finishing with back to back bronze medals. Based in Vancouver as a member of the Leslie Global Sports staff, Mike works with various academies and teams within the lower mainland during the fall and winter, as well as with the West Coast Hockey Prep Camp and many LGS camps throughout the summer.
Tatiana Rafter is a Canadian women’s ice hockey player with the New York Riveters of the NWHL. With the UBC Thunderbirds, she became the first player in program history to be named Canada West Player of the Year.Obtaining the honor in 2014, Rafter was not only the leading scorer for the Thunderbirds, she outpaced all players in the Canada West conference in goals (20), assists (18), points (38), power play goals (9), shorthanded goals (2), and game winning goals (6). Rafter was also the Thunderbirds leading scorer in 2013 and 2015. During the 2012–13 campaign she was selected to play for the Canadian women’s ice hockey team that participated at the 2013 Winter Universiade. Along with Thunderbirds teammate and part time LGS coach Christi Capozzi, the two contributed towards Canada winning the gold medal.
Tatiana in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL):
During the NWHL’s inaugural season, she was a member of the Buffalo Beauts. Tatiana played the 2016-17 NWHL season with the New York Riveters as a free agent.
Awards and honors
- 2013 Second Team Canada West All-Star
- 2014 Canada West Player of the Year
- 2014 First Team Canada West All-Star
- 2014 First Team CIS All-Canadian
- Finalist, 2014 Brodrick Trophy
- 2015 Second Team Canada West All-Star
Mikaela is originally from Charlottetown, PEI. She attended the University of Prince Edward Island as a dual sport athlete with the Women’s Hockey and Field Hockey Panthers. She was a 3-time CIS First Team All-Canadian (years 3-5), 1-time Second Team All-Canadian (year 2) for Field Hockey, and 2-time UPEI Female Athlete of the year. Mikaela was the captain of both the Field Hockey and Hockey teams for her Junior and Senior years. Mikaela has her Degree in Business Administration specializing in Marketing and currently works in the service marketing industry in Vancouver and coaches with LGS part-time.
- Graduated UPEI 2010
- Field Hockey CIS 1st team All-Canadian/ AUS League MVP: 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10
- Field Hockey CIS 2nd Team: 2006/07
- UPEI Female Athlete of the Year: 2007/08, 2008/09
Lead Skills Coach, UBC Thunderbirds Men’s Hockey Assistant Coach
Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Kelvin has been working in skill development and coaching professionally since 2001 where he worked with the Donnan, Vimy Ridge, and STM Hockey Academies while playing collegiate hockey with the Concordia Thunder of the ACAC. Kelvin moved to Vancouver in 2012 to coach with the North Shore Winter Club and the North West Giants of the BC Major Midget Hockey League. The 2016/17 season was Kelvin’s first as an Assistant Coach with the UBC Thunderbirds Men’s Varsity Hockey Team.
Swedish Skills Coach, Guest Summer Coach
Jan is currently working under long time Leslie Global Sports mentor Glen Williamson with National Team development in Hungary, as well as MAC club in Budapest. Our connection to Hungarian hockey development continues with Glen Williamson, Bob Leslie on the ground in Hungary pushing their development forward. Coach Jan brings an educational approach to development, having worked outside of hockey as a special aid teacher for kids with special needs and PE and science teacher in Sweden.
Ever since that coaching start I’ve been focusing on skill development with youth players in Stockholm. I’ve been fortunate to work for some great organizations and people. During this time I also had the chance to work with Glen Williamson in the National Team development program for Hungarian hockey.
- 2012-2017 MAC Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
- 2011-2012 Drago Scorpions, Budapest Hungary
- 2010-2011 Sollentuna Hockey Club, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2009-2010 AIK Hockey, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2005-2009 SDE Hockey, Stockholm, Sweden
Private lesson coach
- Assistant Coach E15: Burnaby Winter Club. (April 2017- Present)
- On Ice Coach: JMB Hockey Development (April 2016 – Present)
- Coach: 08′ BBS Maroons Spring Hockey (Vancouver Thunderbirds Minor) (April 2017 – Present)
- Off Ice & On Ice Coach: West Coast Prep Camp ( July 2015-Present)
- Coach: Victoria Hockey School (LGS Sports) (2015)
- 2016/2017 – Nynäshamn IF. (D) – Sweden Div. 2
- 2015/2016 – Fagersta AIK. (FWD/D) – Sweden Div. 2
- NCAA Div. III – Morrisville State (FWD) SUNYAC
- Jr.B/Jr.A -Canada & USA (FWD/D)
Director Northern Roots Hockey, Coaching Consultant, Author of “The Complete Season”
Boe lives in Washington DC where he runs Northern Roots Hockey. He joins our coaching staff at the Victoria Hockey School on Vancouver Island, and spends the rest of the year developing players under his Northern Roots Brand. He is a former Division 1 College and professional hockey player, who now works full time in youth hockey development world wide. He played NCAA Division 1 hockey for the Union College Skating Dutchmen of the ECAC, while earning an interdepartmental major in German and Economics. During his freshman year, Boe was rewarded for his scholastic achievement as having the highest GPA of all players on the Division 1 College team.
After his time at Union, Boe then advanced to play 8 years of professional hockey in Europe. The majority of his professional career was spent in Switzerland for clubs such as Lausanne Hockey Club and Hockey Club Chur. He also spent part of his career in England where he played for the Sheffield Steelers of the British Super League.
During both the winter months and the off season of his professional years, Boe began to work in youth hockey development. He spent many summers as part of a coaching staff running hockey schools in the northeastern United States. It was during these years working with both college and prep school coaches that Boe began to develop his passion and philosophy on skill development, competition and creative practice and season planning.
When his playing career ended, Boe planned to spend what he thought would be one year away from the game teaching English in both South America and Peru. As fate would have it though, he quickly found a rink in Seoul, Korea and became involved with a youth hockey organization. Since returning from Asia, Boe has been working full time in youth development in North America (United States and Canada), and more recently in New Zealand. More specifically, he runs camps in Baltimore, MD, Brantford, ON, New York, NY, Queens, NY, Queenstown, New Zealand, Victoria, BC, and Washington, DC. In addition to being the Owner and CEO of Leslie Global Sports America, Boe works full time with a youth organization in Baltimore, Maryland. As the Hockey Director of Baltimore Youth Hockey, Boe is in charge of all on ice activities which including player and team development, coach mentorship, practice and season planning.
Alternate Coaching Staff:
Independent Sub Contractors:
Lead Instructor, Head Coach University of British Columbia
In describing Sven Butenschon‘s value to the LGS family, it’s a challenge to know where to begin. A few of Sven’s highlights include: Averaging 15 mins/game in the 2010 Winter Olympics with Team Germany in his home city of Vancouver, and 140 NHL games played (Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, & Vancouver Canucks). Sven played 20 seasons of professional hockey in the NHL, AHL, IHL, DEL, & WHL. He has played in front of 55’000 and 82’000 fans in German outdoor winter classics, was a 3rd round pick by the Penguins in 94, and won the Western Hockey League Championship in 1996 and made to the Memorial Cup in 2 straights seasons. In 2006 Sven was selected to the starting lineup in the AHL All Star game in front of his friends and family in his home province as a member of the Manitoba Moose in Winnipeg. He has been coached by Marc Crawford, Alain Vigneault, Dave King, Peter Laviolette, Dave Tippet, Uwe Krupp, & Craig McTavish to name a few. He played in Wayne Gretzky’s final game in Madison Square Garden in 1999. Sven is a leader on and off the ice. He is a family man, father,and community advocate. At the 2010 Winter Olympics he invited the entire German team to his house in Vancouver so his family, neighbours, and friends could feel a little closer to the Games. He is an ambassador of the game around the world, and we welcome him with open arms to the Leslie Global Sports family. Since taking over as the Head Coach of the University of British Columbia, Sven doesn’t get the chance to support our coaching staff very often, but when he does, he simply delivers a world class experience for every player. Sven & his wife Allison live in North Vancouver with their 2 children.
Josh built his coaching foundation as part of the Leslie Global Sports coaching staff and now runs JMB Hockey Development. As Zig Ziglar pontificates, “the only thing worse than training someone and have them leave, is not training them, and have them stay!” We wish Josh all the best with his hockey development company and try to partner with him whenever possible. Josh played professional hockey in Europe and the United States for the seven years and ended his career as player assistant coach for the Brasov Corona Wolves in the Romania/Hungary/Slovakia (Mol Liga) as well as the head off-ice coach for the summer practices and throughout the season. He was named assistant coach for the Romanian National Hockey Team during the International Challenge Cup Tournament in Budapest, Hungary. Before this he also coached Spring and Summer hockey teams for Pro 4 Sports in Delta, BC and has directed the dryland program for the West Coast Hockey Prep Camp since 2009 years.
In Josh’s Words: “I love playing the game of hockey. It has been my life for the past 15 years. I have learned so much as a player and person from it. Going forward, it will be very tough to say goodbye to the game I love so much, but in the past couple of years I have come to realize that I enjoy the teaching and coaching aspect of the game more! So it is time to hang up the skates and pursue my next dream to become a hockey coach.”
Josh has two years of university education at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, towards a Physical Education degree, attending university on scholarship money from time spent in the Western Hockey League. He is the Assistant Coach for the Burnaby Winter Club Academy U18 Prep team, and works as a Truperformance analyst for Detroit Red Wings Assistant Coach Jim Hiller. He has passed the Truperformance certification course that gives him the ability to accurately measure a player’s individual contribution to a hockey game.
“My passion, plain and simple, is hockey. I am looking to continue my career as a hockey coach to satisfy this passion. As a coach I will bring the many skills I have obtained through my hockey career. I love to teach the game and develop players to become the best they can be as a player and a person.
Lead On-Ice Instructor: Victoria Hockey School / Vancouver Island
Residing in Victoria and joining our coaching staff at the West Coast Hockey Prep Camp and Victoria Hockey School, it’s tough to get Rob out with us as much as we’d like. He is a huge asset to our group whenever we can get him. We admire Rob’s passion for skill development and his rapport with the kids and coaches. Rob owns Hockey Evolution and operates out of Victoria, BC.
Rob Armstrong has been involved and had a love for the game of hockey for his entire life. Rob was born in Ontario where he began playing minor hockey, eventually moving to British Columbia where he played Junior hockey in the WCJHL, BCJHL and eventually CIS hockey at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. His true passion for the game is in coaching and player development. After much success as a professional skills instructor and coach in Los Angeles for seven seasons, as well as the California scout for the Memorial Cup Champion Spokane Chiefs, Rob and his family moved back to Canada to raise their two sons in Victoria, BC.
Since returning home to B.C. in 2010, Rob has coached the Peninsula Panthers (VIJHL) to a Cyclone Taylor Cup Championship, as well as worked at BC Hockey as the Program Coordinator for Male High Performance Hockey. Rob also attends the annual CAA Sports Prospect Camp in California as an instructor where he works with NHL draft eligible prospects; over the past six years, some of the players included Curtis Lazar, Seth Jones, Nathan McKinnon. Rob is very excited to be working in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL) as the U18 Prep Head Coach with the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy. His passion for teaching motivated elite hockey players is ideally suited for this environment.
With Rob’s patience and knowledge to break down the game skills required to play at the next level, a personalized player development plan will be created to learn and execute the important skills necessary for successful game performance. Rob has been fortunate to work with and learn from some of the best in the hockey business including Ray Bennett (St.Louis Blues Asst Coach), Newell Brown (Phoenix Coyotes Asst Coach) and Darryl Belfry (Pro Playmakers). Rob’s primary goal is to help young hockey players achieve success on the ice as well as develop their character off the ice as respectable young men.
Private Hockey Lesson Coaches & Casual Coaches: (Richmond Oval)
- Tatiana Rafter – Current professional female player, played Team Canada U22
- Ivana Bilic – Graduating NCAA Div I College player, played Team Canada U22
- Mikaela Ellis – Former UPEI CIS player, National Field Hockey Development Program
- Christie Capozzi – Former UBC Varsity player and Swedish Women’s Elite league player
- Mike Sommer – UBC Women’s Varsity Assistant Coach
- Josh Bonar – Former professional player, Burnaby Winter Club U18 Prep Coach
- Leo Fitzgerald – Current NCAA Div I player, Bemidji State (Potential future in NHL / Professional hockey)
- Troy Paterson – Former NCAA Division III Player
- Ksena Tatomir – Teacher in charge of Britannia Hockey Academy, Former UBC Varsity Player