2021-22 Season

The Walpole Express is dedicated to developing players of all skill levels. The Express Model is based upon three integral components; access to practice ice, professional coaching, and competitive games. Each Express Youth Team receives two practices, one skills session, one off-ice session, and a weekly game(s) in order to provide the optimal balance of learning and playing opportunities. The Express Model will allow young players to acquire and assimilate the skills needed to focus on the long-term development of each athlete according to USA Hockey’s Development Model.

At the Walpole Express, every player on every team is equally important. We do not favor our “A” teams over our other teams. We do not favor full-time players over alternates or practice players.

  • One of 19 USA Hockey Model Programs in the country and the only one in New England
  • Previously Named Mass Hockey Program of the Year
  • Weekly Professional Skills Sessions by RB Hockey
  • Full Time Hockey Director, Todd Stirling
  • Professional Goalie Director, Ryan Hatch
  • Paid Experienced Coaches
  • Premier Teams (E9/BHL & PHL)
  • Elite & Select Teams (PHL)
  • 1-2 games each weekend
  • 2 practices per week
  • Consistent Schedules
  • Pre-Season Team Practices

Common Questions

Where do the Tier I and Tier II teams play?

Our Premier teams participate in the E9/BHL, one of the top leagues in New England. We also continue host Elite & Select teams within the Premier Hockey League of New England (PHL). We are allowed to place multiple teams at each level and therefore will make as many competitive teams as possible. The three levels of play provide opportunities for various skill levels to compete at the proper level of play.

Who are the Express Coaches?

Express coaches are paid experienced coaches who are trained accordingly. Each coach completes training with owner Rob Barletta and Director Todd Stirling prior to coaching with the Express. There are also guidelines that each coach must follow through out the season to fully develop each player on their team. Coaches are monitored through out the season on a weekly basis. To see coach bios, click here.

When and where are tryouts?

Tryouts take place at our home rink, Rodman Arena, in Walpole, MA in March. Specific dates will be listed below at tryout time. For directions to Rodman Arena, Click Here.

How many teams will you host?

We typically host two teams at each age level, but because our owner also owns the rink, we have flexibility with our ice schedule allowing us to add the occasional third team if we have enough players. This is a benefit many organizations do not enjoy, and so they are limited to a fixed number of teams. Depending on how many players attend tryouts, we could have as many as three teams per age level. However, we are a competitive club team so there are times that not every player will make a team.

What if my player hasn't played organized hockey before?

We offer two options that do not require tryouts, including Learn to Play and our Mite Development Program. For more information about these programs, click here.

What is offered for Mites?

We offer two levels of Mite programs: a premier travel team at the Mite Major level and our Mite Development Program. The Mite Major team will play a full season travel schedule, while the Mite Development Program will play 4v4 half-ice games on the Rodman Arena Olympic ice, allowing for players to get more touches on the puck and always be involved in the play.

What programs are available to my high school age player?

We will be offering split season travel teams at the U18, U16, & U15 levels.

What if my player's not ready to move up a division?

All players will be evaluated and placed at the proper level for their development.

What if my player is stronger than many players at their current age group?

All players must tryout at their proper age group and will be moved according to level of play during and after tryouts.

What if my player cannot make both tryout sessions?

Although we cannot change your assigned group, a player may miss one tryout and will still receive the same amount of scores and evaluation. We will never cut a player based on missing one tryout. However, it is strongly advised that players attend both sessions to help with our coaches evaluations

Are tryouts the only thing considered in team selection?

For returning players, we absolutely include the advice of your coaches in making decisions on where to place your child. Your coaches have seen your players all year long. They have a much better idea of your player’s skill level than someone who only sees them in two tryouts. For new players who have not played with us, tryouts is all we have to go on.

Some teams will bring in independent evaluators to pick teams based soley on tryout metrics. We don’t agree with this philosophy. To find the right place for each player, we need to understand that player as best we can, and consider all inputs.

Who runs the weekly skill sessions?

Rob Barletta’s hockey school will be running the skill sessions for all Express players. Each week our coaches will work to sharpen the individual’s talents and skills. All drills are done at full speed with the coaches pushing each player to their full potential. Areas to be covered are forward and backward skating, shooting, pivoting, crossovers, stops, starts and fundamentals. You can check out RB Hockey’s website at www.rbhockey.com.

Do goalies receive specialized training?

Yes. Goalies are a unique position in the game that require special training. Express goalies get a weekly skill session with our goaltending coach, Ryan Hatch. Coach Hatch with be attending a weekly practice for all teams. You can check out the website at www.ngdgoalies.com.

What is the 2021-22 tuition?

Mite Development Program: $1,495
Mite Elite: $2,295
’13 Premier, Elite: $2,995
’12 Premier, Elite: $3,295
’11 Premier, Elite: $3,295
’10 Premier, Elite, Select: $3,695
’09 Premier, Elite, Select: $3,695
’08 Premier, Elite, Select: $3,695
’07 Premier, Elite, Select: $3,695
Alternates: $1,845

What is included with tuition?

Teams play a league game schedule (1-2 games per week), receive 2 weekly practices, and 1 weekly skills session. All players will receive socks and a practice jersey as well as a series of Pre-Season team practices.

All players must purchase home/away jerseys, pant shell, team bag, team travel suit, black helmet, and black gloves if not already owned from the prior season (we will have a sizing night after the teams are picked). If there is a number conflict, the newer player to the team will be required to purchase new jerseys.

Do players need mouth guards?

Mouth guards are necessary. A player without one will be asked to leave the ice until they get one (skaters and goalies).

Can my player bring their own water bottle to the bench?

Due to recent Covid restrictions, players are now required to bring their own water bottles for all on-ice activities. Water bottles may NOT be shared between players.

Will players be receiving helmet stickers?

We recommend that players purchase black helmets and require that all players wear Walpole Express decals on their helmets to represent our team in the league.

Will team and individual pictures be taken?

Team and Individual photos will be taken around October/November. Everyone will be notified with the details as soon as it becomes available. Photos will be taken by Flash Powder Photo.

Tryouts

Tryouts for any sport can be stressful for both parents and players. After all, you child is being judged and rated, right? Wrong. That’s not the purpose of our tryouts. The purpose of our tryouts is to find the right team for your child so they can have the best possible hockey experience. We do not measure the success of our season based on wins and losses; but by how happy our players are, how much they have developed as athletes and hockey players and whether they want to come back and play for us next year.

So please relax and have fun, and encourage your child to do the same.

Format and Schedule
Each player will attend two tryouts and play a full-ice scrimmage. Following tryouts, we will contact you by email and offer you a position on one of our teams. We ask that you register your child online and pay the deposit (or let us know you will not be taking the spot) within 24 hours of being notified.

Tryouts have concluded for the 2021-22 season.

If interested, please contact us to see if we have any spots available.