Hockey Instructors at Defence First

Mike Weaver - Owner

     Recently retired where he accumulated 633 NHL games and over 1000 games Pro. During his career he played with the Montreal Canadiens, Florida Panthers, St.Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings and Atlanta Thrashers.

     In his first professional season, he helped lead Orlando to the IHL’s  2001 Turner Cup. A year later, the diminutive defenceman again helped his team win it’s league title, this time helping drive the Chicago Wolves to the 2002 Calder Cup. By the time the 2002-03 season rolled around, Mike was seeing time at the NHL level, splitting time between the Atlanta Thrashers and Chicago. The 2003-04 and 2004-05 campaigns just added to Mike’s reputation as a team-player, with the 5-foot-9, 185-pound defenceman registering +21 and +35 seasons, respectively. Since 2005 Mike has lived out his dream of being a regular in the NHL. In the 2008-09 season led Blues Penalty Kill to a top 3 finish in the league. In a 2009 article Mike was rated 10th in the NHL amongst defensive defencemen                   .

     Had enjoyed 4 successful years as a defenceman for the Michigan State University Varsity hockey team where he received a full scholarship.

  • Two-time Second-Team NCAA West All-American in 1999 and 2000.
  • Two-time First-Team CCHA All-Star in 1999 and 2000.
  • Two-time CCHA Best Defensive Defenceman Award winner in 1999 and 2000.

Jay Sprague - DIRECTOR OF SKILLS Development Hockey Instructor

As a player, Sprague was a member of the Dudley Hewitt Cup Championship Georgetown Raiders Jr. A hockey team in 2005. His junior career saw stints in Chicago (USHL) and Indiana (USHL). Prior to juniors, Jay attended and played prep hockey for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. 

Sprague is a four-year letter winner at Michigan State University and member of the 2007 NCAA National Championship winning team.

After a professional career in the ECHL and CHL, Sprague moved behind the bench. His extensive coaching background includes stops with Ryerson University (USPORT) and SUNY-Cortland (NCAA), as well as most recently running the girls prep hockey program at The Nichols School in Buffalo, NY. 

Jay currently serves as Head Coach for the Hockey Think Tank U16 Program in Syracuse, NY. 

Since joining Defence First, Jay has played an integral role in developing our youth athletes both on and off the ice. 


ROBBY SIMPSON - HEAD HOCKEY INSTRUCTOR

Robby is the Assistant Men's Hockey Coach at SUNY-Potsdam in the NCAA, where he runs the defense and recruits college hockey players. Originally from Etobicoke, Robby played four years at Elmira College (NCAA) and one year of professional hockey with the Huntsville Havoc in the SPHL. Robby is in his third year with Defense First and takes great pride in teaching the techniques and concepts of efficient skating and playing defense.


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