WHY 23

The number 23 signifies new beginnings, innovation, transformation and progress.

23 Hockey promotes a fun and positive training environment to enable peak performance. Without fun and encouragement, development is impossible.

The success of the program is measured by the impact we make in the overall lives of our players.






The roadmap to succeeding as a Student-Athlete requires more than just physical training. We don't just build hockey players, we are building well rounded people.


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Individual Hockey skill Development

Instruction centered around on-ice scenarios featuring:

  • Puck handling
  • Puck protection
  • Shooting and passing mechanics
  • Body contact confidence
Hockey Silhouette

Hockey skating

This carefully designed hockey skating program focuses on proper skating technique and will include:

  • Forward and backward stride development
  • Agility and overspeed training
  • Transitional skating
  • Power-turns, crossovers, and mohawks

Hockey Silhouettes

Hockey iq

Focus on developing game sense through a series of on ice sessions centered around:

  • Situational awareness
  • Anticipation
  • Offensive and Defensive tactics
  • Vision and creativity


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MENTORING & Professional development

Mentoring and professional development includes:

  • Goal setting
  • Building self confidence
  • Daily habits
  • Elite athlete etiquette
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Maximum performance on the ice starts with healthy nutrition habits. Students will learn about :

  • Game day diet vs. daily diet
  • Hydration and recovery
  • Building lean muscle
  • Macronutrients
  • Healthy supplements


Here are the current programs open for registration.

23 Hockey is offering its players the best in development and various options to round out their game.

Players can sign up for a particular program OR pick a variety of sessions from different programs to best suit their schedule and needs. There is no other hockey program around offering this type of flexibility and well rounded development program!



This program encompasses all the essential skill development aspects of hockey. Sessions will focus on hockey skating technique, power and efficiency, puck skills, positional focused training, game situational awareness, hockey IQ and game intensity battle drills.


This program is designed to give young players a solid foundation and the fundamentals needed in order to succeed on the ice. The focus will be on Hockey Skating techniques such as forward stride, edge control, crossovers, transitions, stops and backwards skating. We will work on basic puck handling skills and teach proper shooting mechanics. In each session, players will experience a fun, but challenging small game scenario. In this program, we will make learning the basics a fun and enjoyable experience every week!


The 23 Hockey AAA Spring Program is for serious players who are at a Tier 1 (AAA) level. In this program, we will challenge players with Advanced Techniques needed to be successful at the top levels of the game. We will focus on Skating Technique as well as Overspeed and On Ice Resistance training. Players will work on Individual Skills relating to their position and there will be a tremendous focus on each player's tendencies and feedback to aid in their development. The program will also include high tempo drills and situational compete scenarios to challenge players against their peers. This program is the best option for a serious AAA player looking to stay sharp!


These girls only sessions will include 20 minutes of hockey power skating, 20 minutes of pucks skills and shooting, and 20 minutes of small area games with emphasis on high compete, hockey IQ and decision making.


23Hockey is proud to partner with the instructors from Tactical Goalie to train the goalies on basic and advanced edge work, save selection, rebound control, angles, and reading the play.


23Hockey will teach the proper fundamentals on both forward and backhand shooting technique to generate power and accuracy. Participants will also learn good habits on shooting to score, reading the goalie, high percentage scoring zones, and getting shots off with a quick release. yer looking to stay sharp!


23 Hockey will offer the DMV a unique development opportunity.

We help hockey players of all ages develop their physical and mental skill set to enhance their opportunity to achieve their personal goals. From house hockey to travel, Tier II to Tier I, prep school, juniors, college and beyond.

A lifetime of experience and education in the game of hockey, has prepared our founders to utilize 23 Hockey as a platform to influence the next generation of players in the DMV.

23 Hockey will not only teach the physical aspects of hockey, but will also focus on the mental training of the players. 23 Hockey students will develop relationships and build confidence to maximize their hockey experience. The concept was conceived by former professional hockey player and Leesburg, VA resident, Craig Desjarlais and features a professional staff with extensive backgrounds in hockey development. Desjarlais has designed a plan that provides young athletes with an all-encompassing model to improve their game. We look forward to working with you soon.


Craig has over 25 years experience coaching and working as a skill development director for some of North America’s most established hockey training programs.

Craig enjoyed a successful playing career both at the NCAA D1 Collegiate and Professional level. Since retiring as a player in 2005, he has owned and operated his own company based out of Leesburg VA. During his college playing career, Craig took an early interest in coaching and training during the off season working at some of the most prestigious hockey academies in North America and has since turned his focus to coaching. Craig took his first instructor job at the age of 18 with Huron Hockey School and today at the age of 46 hasn’t slowed down. Craig currently works as a Hockey Director, Head Coach, and within our regional USA Hockey Governing Body to continually improve the youth hockey product.

Craig and his wife Bettsy currently reside in Leesburg, VA with their kids Dylan (12) and Mia (12). Originally born and raised in Canada, Craig became a US Citizen in 2017.


Doug Shepherd is a professional hockey skating and development coach. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and former Assistant Captain of the RPI Men’s Hockey Team, Doug enjoyed a productive career at both the NCAA Div. I and Professional levels.

Doug worked in player development roles for the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose (AHL), and the University of Prince Edward Island and is currently an NHLPA Certified Player Agent with Achieve Sports Management.

Doug has worked as a skating and development coach for some of the NHL's biggest stars. He has advised and helped several players from the DMV reach the junior and college hockey ranks.

Joakim Karlsson

Joakim Karlsson grew up in Koping Sweden and played his youth hockey there before leaving for Junior Hockey at the age of 15. After a successful junior career and brief stint in professional hockey, Joakim transitioned his hockey passion into coaching.

Early success as a coach landed him in a Swedish Professional Club called Leksands IF where he coached both the U16 Team and was hired as their youth hockey director. Karlsson coached the Leksands IF team to a bronze medal at the Sweden National Championships, and many of his players were drafted into the NHL, were recruited to play D1 in the United States, and Major Junior Hockey in Canada.

Sweden has always been the benchmark for developing hockey players, and adding a hockey mind like Joakim to 23Hockey will offer our players a unique perspective in hockey training. Both of Joakim's sons are currently enjoying successful hockey careers. Jack (20) is a freshman at Stevenson University and Lucas (17) will be playing for the New Jersey Titans (NAHL) next season.

Jack Brackett

Jack Brackett is a Northern Virginia success story, born and raised in Manassas VA, and played his youth hockey locally before leaving home at the age of 16 to enjoy a successful junior career. During his 4 seasons of junior hockey, Jack played in the NCDC, NAHL, BCHL and USHL while earning a scholarship to play at RPI, a very historic and successful D1 school in the ECAC. Jack is currently a Junior at RPI.

Jack has found success in hockey through hard work and determination. His best asset is his skating and tenacious work ethic. Jack will be a tremendous addition to the 23Hockey staff helping to develop and mentor our regional players. Jack is living proof that players from the DMV have every opportunity to accomplish their hockey goals with passion and commitment to excellence!

Jack Karlsson

Jack Karlsson was born and raised in Koping, Sweden and played his youth hockey locally. When Jack turned 15, the Karlsson family moved Leksand, Sweden which is one of the country's hockey hotbeds.

Soon thereafter, Jack started his junior hockey career for Almtuna in the Swedish Top Division.

Jack really developed as a player in a very tough competitive league, and during his 3rd season of Junior hockey Jack was called up to skate with the professional team, and was fortunate to play in a pro game at the age of 18.

When Jack entered his 4th season of Junior Hockey, he signed with Swedish powerhouse Farjestad BK J20, in the Swedish J20 Superlit League. Unfortunately, that season was cut short due to Covid-19, and Jack made the difficult decision to move to the United States with his family to continue his hockey and scholastic career.

Upon arrival into the US, Jack was a very sought after player and had numerous offers to play in the NAHL and the USHL. Ultimately, he signed with the New Jersey Titans in the NAHL and was one of their top D en route to a Robertson Cup Championship. Jack's strong play on a Championship Team earned him many opportunities to continue his career as a collegiate player.

Instead of opting to go back to Sweden to pursue a professional hockey career, Jack is staying in the US with his family and accepted an offer to play college hockey at Stevenson University in Maryland. Jack just completed a very successful freshman season and will be looked upon as a leader throughout his collegiate career.

Jack's best assets are his skating ability and hockey IQ. A product of the Swedish development system, Jack is excited to pass along his wisdom to the younger generation of players as a coach. Jack will join 23Hockey full time when his school year finishes in May.


Latest insights from our coaches.


IJack Brackett’s hockey story is one of dedication and perseverance. Against all odds Jack is thriving as a Division 1 College hockey player for RPI in the ECAC and has his sights set on professional hockey in the not so distant future. Read more here.


make decisions now so that your child will still love the game in a year, two years, or even 20 years down the road. Read more here.


If hockey players have a destiny or a goal, focusing on mastering the controllables will only enhance opportunities of achieving success. Read more here.


Represent 23 Hockey on and off the ice.

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23 Hockey training is offered at the Ion International Training Center in Leesburg, VA.

Ion International Training Center is a year-round, twin sheet indoor ice rink and Arena, serving recreational and professional figure skaters, ice dancers, pair skaters, synchronized skaters, and hockey players of Loudoun County, VA and around the world. One rink is encircled by Grandstand stadium seating, with a maximum 5,500 seats providing fans and Loudoun County residents a venue to enjoy a wide variety of activities and events.


19201 Compass Creek Pkwy SE

Leesburg, VA 20175

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“From my first game of youth hockey till my last professional game, I had so many people positively impact my experiences in the game of hockey and now it’s my turn to pay it back as a coach and mentor." - Craig Desjarlais

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