WBIA Youth Hockey

Willowbrook Ice Arena has a stepped approach to Youth Hockey. First, we instill proper skating techniques in our Learn to Skate program where novice skaters learn the foundational footwork critical to the success in hockey. Once skaters pass Learn to Skate Basic 3, they may enter Intro to Hockey where players learn to move with a stick and puck. After becoming proficient moving with a stick and puck players may join the In-House Development 3v3 Team. Participants will learn concepts behind playing the game of hockey as they increase their skills as a skater and stick handler. Hockey Director approval is required. If your child is aged 11-14 and knows how to skate forward, stop and is beginning to skate backward they are welcome to join our Never Too Late hockey program! You may have heard it's too late to play hockey if you are older than 10 years old, but not at Willowbrook. We believe all kids should be introduced to the game at any age. 

Evaluations: If your child has not attended our Learn to Skate program, please call 630-581-5044 to determine which class is best for your child.


Learn to Skate

Players with no or limited skating experience will be placed in the Learn to Skate program. The focus of this program is to build a confident skater with proper foundational techniques necessary to be a talented hockey player. Learn to Skate participants will not use hockey sticks on the ice. The focus is 100% on learning to skate and proper use of edges. Hockey equipment is optional, but a helmet is recommended

Intro to Hockey

Players must be able to competently perform Basic 3 level skills. This class will instill mechanics for the proper handling of a hockey stick and puck, and the building of skating skills that aid the player in changing direction on the ice. To graduate into the In-House Development program, the player will need to have sound foundational skating skills, proper stick mechanics and puck control.

Required Equipment - Hockey Skates, Helmet, Shin Guards, Shoulder Pads, Elbow Pads and a Hockey Stick

In House Development Team 3v3

This program meets twice a week and will accept players aged 5-12 that have mastered skills consistent with those taught in our Intro to Hockey program. On Wednesdays players will receive twenty minutes of skating instruction needed to increase their speed and agility on the ice followed by fifty minutes of advanced stick/puck/skating drills. On Sundays players will use a 3v3 format to learn the rules and strategies of the game of hockey. The objective of this program is to graduate the players to club hockey and a lifetime of love for the game. Approval from the Hockey Director is required to register.

Required Equipment – Hockey Skates, Helmet, Shoulder Pads, Shin Guards, Elbow Pads, Hockey Pants, Hockey Stick 

NTL - Never Too Late Hockey Program

At Willowbrook Ice Arena we think it is Never Too Late to learn to play the game of hockey! Despite what you've heard, 10 is not too late to learn the love of hockey. This program is geared toward children aged 11-14 looking to learn to play hockey for the first time and gain the skills needed to play the game for a lifetime. Participants must know how to skate forward, snowplow stop and be beginning to skate backward to join. Full gear is required. Players will receive 60 minutes of on-ice instruction and be given at-home practice techniques to help close the skills gap. Whether you haven't found the sport for you or you are inspired to try hockey by the latest player to join the Blackhawks, Willowbrook is the place for you! 

Required Equipment – Hockey Skates, Helmet, Shoulder Pads, Shin Guards, Elbow Pads, Hockey Pants, Hockey Stick 

Refund Policy: Should a client decide after completion of ONE class they would like to drop from the session, a  pro-rated refund will be granted. A $20 processing fee will be charged. After two classes have been attended, NO refunds will be given. After the third class of the session is offered, NO refunds will be given for any reason. 

Hockey Director: Tommy Carideo joined our staff the Fall of 2024. He brings a passion for teaching hockey and an extensive playing and coaching background. Tommy grew up in the Boston area and In1991competed in the International PeeWee Tournament in Quebec City. He played 4 years of HS hockey at Malden Catholic and 4 years of college hockey at Amherst College, winning the ECAC East Championship in 1996. Tommy is a Level 4 certified USA Hockey coach and attended the National USA Hockey Directors Conference in Columbus, Ohio in 2015. His coaching experience includes directing the LTS and ADM programs at the Jets, Head Coaching six NIHL Chicago Jets teams, assistant coaching four Jets teams and assistant coaching for a NWHL Chicago Stallions team. His teams have competed at the bronze, silver, and gold level in the NIHL. Tommy specializes in teaching the fundamentals that lead to a more competitive experience and a life long passion for the sport.  Most of his players still play hockey today. Tommy lives in Clarendon Hills with his wife Jenna and their five children.