5 Questions with the Director of Operations for Team Ontario Men's Hockey

5 Questions with the Director of Operations for Team Ontario Men's Hockey

Date: Dec, 19, 2018 01:00 AM EDT

ONTARIO – Earlier this year, Darrell Woodley, Director of Central Scouting with the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), was named Director of Operations for Team Ontario Men’s Hockey for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.

A native of Kitchener, Ont., Woodley is well recognized for a playing career that brought him through the OHL, then in a player development role with the Barrie Colts, and for his esteemed eye for talent in his most recent position of nearly a decade with OHL Central Scouting.

We caught up with Woodley to hear all about how he is preparing to deliver a team that will keep the Canada Winter Games Men’s Hockey gold medal in Ontario.

For those who don’t know, tell us who is eligible to participate for Team Ontario?

“Players that are born in 2003 or later, and are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada are eligible to play for Team Ontario.”

Where have you been looking for players to be on this team?

“Since taking this position I have been traveling all over Ontario evaluating players for this team. I have scouted all the major tournaments including the Toronto Titans Early Bird, Battle of the Border, International Silver Stick, and so on, along with numerous league games from all the minor hockey leagues in Ontario. My travels have taken me to Ottawa, Sudbury, Windsor, St. Catherines and everywhere in between.”

Has anything surprised you while evaluating these players?

“There haven’t really been many surprises through this whole process so far as evaluating players because this is something I have been doing for almost twenty years now. The depth of skill and talent level in Ontario has made the process quite tricky though. There will be some good players that won’t make this team because of the depth and that is probably my biggest challenge to date.”

What is the type of structure you are trying to build for this team?

“Team Ontario will be a highly skilled team that will have very good depth throughout the whole lineup. We will push the pace of play each and every game, utilizing our speed and skill. We will be well structured and through the coaching staff and their pre-tournament planning we will be ready to go from the drop of the puck in game one of the Canada Winter Games.”

What are your goals for the team at this CWGs?

“Our goals as Team Ontario will be to bring the Gold medal back to Ontario as they did four years ago. This tournament is always very competitive and there are numerous other Provinces like Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta just to name a few that will also contend for Gold in this event. I expect that we will play hard each and every game and represent Ontario well both on and off the ice at the Canada Winter Games.

About Team Ontario - Team Ontario consists of the top U-16 hockey players from across the province. In the last 13 Canadian Winter Games, Team Ontario has earned five gold medals, one silver medals and two bronze medals, including the defending champion from the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, BC, having defeated Team Alberta in the Gold Medal Game. This team included current OHL standouts Nick Suzuki, Owen Tippett and Michael DiPietro.

About the 2019 Canada Winter Games – From February 15 until March 3, 2019, the eyes of the nation will be on Red Deer, Alberta as they host the 2019 Canada Winter Games - the largest multi-sport and cultural event for youth in Canada and the largest event to be hosted in Red Deer’s history. Featuring over 150 events in 19 sports and a major arts and cultural festival, the 2019 Canada Winter Games will welcome up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and more than 100,000 spectators, with a forecasted economic impact of over $132 million. The 27th edition of the Canada Games, the 2019 Games is set to provide a stage for Canada’s next generation of national, international and Olympic champions to compete and will leave a legacy for athletic and leadership greatness in Red Deer. For more information on the 2019 Games, please visit: canadagames.ca/2019.