Penticton hockey players invited to NHLPA mentorship camp

Penticton's Davis Koch selected among 42 bantam-aged players to participate in All-Canadians Mentorship Camp.

Davis Koch

Davis Koch

Last year Davis Koch watched the second annual Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Camp game on TV.

This year he gets to be a part of it.

Koch was hoping to get an invite and his wish was granted when he was told in early May but wasn’t able to talk about it until the National Hockey League Players Association made an announcement.

“It was just an honor to be invited,” said Koch, who  scored 40 goals and added 75 assists for the Okanagan Hockey Academy bantam red team in 60 games. “A few guys from the OHA last year went to the mentorship camp and I knew a few players who went so I knew about it before.”

Koch, who moved to Penticton from White Rock with his family two years ago, is among 42 bantam-aged players to participate in the camp. He will be joined by teammate Beck Malenstyn.

“I’m just really excited. It’s going to be lots of fun,” said Koch, a second round selection, 42nd overall of the Edmonton Oil Kings. “I have heard it’s a great thing. I’m just hoping I’m going to have a lot of fun there.”

The camp is being held Aug. 6 to 10 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, ON and is hosted by NHL players under the leadership of retired 21-year NHL veteran Gary Roberts. The intensive five-day camp will conclude with the Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Cup – an inter-squad exhibition game – Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. PST, broadcast on TSN.  Players attending will learn the necessary steps to support their skills through fundamental factors including proper nutrition, fitness, on-ice training and mental skills – the four pillars of hockey development identified by the NHLPA’s Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Program. Throughout the camp, the participants and their families have the opportunity to learn from some of the NHL’s brightest stars, as well as camp ambassadors such as Dr. Paul Dennis (sport psychologist), Dave Lewis (NHL assistant coach), and Roberts.

“Each year I look forward to sharing my story and experiences throughout my 21-year NHL career and the role that fitness and nutrition played in my success,” said Roberts in a press release. “I feel strongly about the importance of educating young players and their families about developing skill sets that will improve performance both on and off the ice and advance them to the next level in their careers.”

Last year’s camp featured 22 first-round draft picks from the OHL and WHL, including first overall pick Connor McDavid.