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Hockey Clinics and Development

Please welcome coach Sergei Nikolaev!

We are excited to add Sergei Nikolaev to the MedStar Capitals Iceplex coaching staff. Read Sergei’s coaching bio below.

You may see Sergei during Youth Learn to Play, Adult Learn to Play, or during the upcoming Spring clinics. Feel free to say hi and introduce yourself.

Sergei will also be available for our 6:00am, 6:45am, and 7:30am small group lessons starting this Tuesday (1/23). You can register for those lessons HERE.

Sergei Nikolaev

Sergei is a graduate of the Diesel Hockey School (formerly Dieselist) in the city of Penza, which has great hockey traditions in Russia. He started working as a coach in 2008 in his hometown. In 2013, he received the 1st level of coaching certification. His Diesel 12U AAA team won the silver medal at the Volga region championship in 2013-2014. Sergei also contributed to the development of non-professional adult hockey leagues in the region.

In 2015, Sergei was invited to be the head coach of the famous tryout junior tournament “Your Chance”, held by the Kontinental hockey league (KHL).

From 2016 to 2022, Sergei worked with the Russian Ice Hockey Federation as the Head of National Development Program for hockey players. At the same time, in 2017 he graduated from the Russian State University of Physical Culture, Sports, Youth and Tourism, diploma with honors.

In 2018, he became the author of the first edition of the National Players’ Development Program “Red Machine”, which is now being used in most ice hockey sports schools in Russia. During that period Sergei conducted workshops and training for young hockey players and goalies. He organized and was a speaker at international hockey conferences and forums. Participated as a scout at the Russian Junior 16U Championship.

During the 2022-2023 season Sergei worked as the Head of Hockey Development for the Bosnia & Herzegovina Ice Hockey Federation, coaching juniors of various age groups from 6U to the National Team, with which he won a silver medal at the World Championship Div. III as an assistant coach. Also in 2023, he participated in the IIHF Member National Association Developer Program.

In September 2023, at the invitation of the Royal Belgium Ice Hockey Federation, Sergei led Coach Certification courses for Goalie Coaches from all of their local youth associations.

Sergei moved to this area in December 2023 and is very excited to join the Medstar Capitals Iceplex coaching staff to share his extensive knowledge & experience of international hockey player development with the local players.

Sergei is married and has two daughters, 12 and 7 years old.

If your class/age division is filled, please JOIN THE WAITLIST. 

Registration opens January 1 @ 10am.

Full gear is required.

These activities require House League (RHL/Adult League), Travel/Tier 2, or Tier 1 hockey experience. These activities are not appropriate for players with only LTP experience.

  • Spaces are limited for all activities. If the program you are interested in is filled, please join the waitlist and we will follow up if spaces become available. Joining the waitlist does not guarantee a spot.
  • For the safety and enjoyment of all participants, please adhere to the age and skill level requirements for these programs.
  • Not all programs are appropriate for goalies. See specific program descriptions.
  • There are no refunds for the activities listed here.

All dates and times subject to change based on enrollment and Capitals schedule.



The Total Athlete Development (T.A.D.) Spring program will develop and sharpen your player’s skills through these types of drills:

  • Power Skating
  • Puck Control/Stickhandling
  • Passing & Shooting
  • Team Play and Competition

MedStar Capitals Iceplex coaches will provide proper instruction, technique, and feedback to players. Participants will be placed with skaters of similar skill levels to ensure competitive play and player skill progression.

T.A.D. is open to House League – Travel A players with birth years 2010-2017.

This class meets twice each week. There are two age division registrations for this program.

All meet on Tuesday/Thursday evenings.
April 2 - April 25

2010-2013 birthyears:

2014-2017 birthyears:

All dates and times subject to change.

Cost: $344 for 8 sessions

Goalie specific training is not provided in T.A.D. classes. There is a separate goalie registration for this program at no cost.

Refunds are not offered for any clinic.



MedStar Capitals Iceplex coaches will put players through various power skating drills that teach the proper techniques of skating and edge control.
Skaters will receive a total of one hour of on-ice instruction that develops speed, quickness, and agility to stay a step ahead of the competition.
This clinic is for Tier 1, Tier 2, House League (RHL), and Adult League players. 2015 birthyear players and older. (Adult players are welcome!)

Hour of Power is for players only and not appropriate for goalies.

Wednesdays evenings
April 3 - May 29
No class 5/1.

All dates/times subject to change.

Cost: $344 for 8 sessions

Refunds are not offered for any clinic.

Contact Confidence Clinic

Contact Confidence clinic is designed to ease the transition from 12U to 14U hockey, in which players will now be able to body check.  We will help train your game so that you have the skills and confidence to play to the best of your abilities in tight, physical situations while also reducing the likelihood of injury.  

Participants will receive:

  • 3+ hours of on-ice professional instruction.
  • 2.5+ hours of off-ice instruction.
  • Instruction from coaches that focuses on developing proper body checking skills.
  • A low player to coach ratio that facilitates one-on-one interaction.
  • Clinics are primarily designed for players entering their first season of body checking.
  • Players will be assigned to small groups based on age and skill level.
  • A maximum of 26 participants will be allowed and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Please note: this clinic is not appropriate for goalies.

Ages: 2006-2012 birthyears
Players must have House Level, Travel Level, or Tier 1 experience for this program.

NOTE: This clinic is not appropriate for goalies.

Two separate sessions of Contact Confidence Clinic will be offered:
Sunday, April 7 – Monday, April 8
Sunday, April 21 – Monday, April 22

Dates and times (all players should attend both days):

April 7-8 Clinic

Sunday, April 7

Off-ice 3:20-4:40pm
On-ice 5:00-6:30pm

Monday, April 8

On-ice 7:50-9:20pm

April 21-22 Clinic

Sunday, April 21

Off-ice 3:20-4:40pm
On-ice 5:00-6:30pm

Monday, April 22

On-ice 7:50-9:20pm

Cost: $320 for each 2-day session. This class sells out early, so register early.

This clinic is not appropriate for goalies.

Full gear is required

No refunds are given for any Hockey programs.

Dates and times subject to change due to Capitals’ schedule.

Tryout Prep

MedStar Capitals Iceplex’s Tryout Preparation program is designed to sharpen your player's skills (skating, puck control, passing, shooting, and team play) before their upcoming tryouts.

The Tryout Preparation program is to prepare your player for tryouts by having them participate in drills that focus on:

  • Power Skating
  • Puck Control/Stickhandling
  • Passing & Shooting
  • Competitive drills

MedStar Capitals Iceplex coaches will provide proper instruction, technique, and feedback to players. Participants will be placed with skaters of similar skill levels to ensure competitive play and player skill progression. This player development program is for players with Tier-2 Travel, House Select, and House League experience birthyears 2009-2017.

This program meets multiple times over the course of two weeks. There are three age division registrations for this program:

March 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14,

2015-2017 birthyears:

2012-2014 birthyears

2009-2011 birthyears


All dates/times subject to change.

Registration opens: 1/1 at 10am

Cost: $301 for 7 sessions

Goalie specific training is not provided in Tryout Prep classes. There is a separate goalie registration for this program at no cost.

Refunds are not offered for any clinic.



Elite Defensive Skills

Defensive skills are essential for any aspiring hockey player that wants to excel in hockey.

This defensive clinic is designed to specifically focus on a variety of defensive techniques that will improve a players mental and on-ice skills. Players will develop their skills through creative and demanding drills so they may use them during their game.

Our on-ice training will focus on:

  • Shooting, Skating, and Breakout plays required for defensemen
  • Proper Gap Control from the offensive zone to defensive zone
  • Neutral Zone angling
  • Offensive and Defensive Zone tactics and positioning
  • Reading and reacting to 1-on-1, 2-on-1, 2-on-2’s, 3-on-2 situations
  • Relieving pressure by skating or passing
  • Taking the body properly and effectively
  • How to use your stick effectively

These sessions are for 2013 birthyear players or older with youth Elite/AAA/AA or Adult experience.

Contact if you would like to attend but don’t have the above experience. This is a fast-paced class and participants without the requisite experience will not get the most out of this program.

Elite Defensive skills is for players only and not appropriate for goalies.

Wednesday evenings
April 3 - May 29. (No class 5/1)
Time: 7:20pm-8:30pm

Cost: $448 for 8 sessions

Maximum of 26 players.

Refunds are not offered for any clinic.


Deke, Score, and Defensive Skills Spring Break Camp is a 5-day, all-day camp that will focus on teaching offensive techniques and defensive skills to be a complete hockey player.

Players will:

  • Develop their goal scoring skills by working on stick handling, puck control, and shooting techniques.
  • Learn the dekes and moves they need so they can be deceptive on the ice.
  • Develop the shots needed to increase their success in putting the puck in the net.
  • Work on the fundamentals of defense – the why, the when, and the how of making the correct defensive play.
  • Participate in 2.5+ hours on-ice sessions, an off-ice workout, and a stickhandling workout each day.

Prerequisite: Ages 6-14

Players must have House Level, Travel Level, or Tier 1 experience for this camp.

Dates: March 25-29

This is a five-day camp, Monday - Friday.

This full-day camp is tentatively scheduled for 8:00am-4:00pm. Specific arrival and departure times will be communicated closer to camp as the Capitals' schedule is finalized.

Price: $575 for all players and goalies for each camp. Please use designated Player or Goalie registration.

Full gear is required


No refunds are given for any Hockey programs.

Dates and times subject to change due to Capitals’ schedule.

Hockey Clinics and Development at MedStar Capitals Iceplex

MedStar Capitals Iceplex offers hockey programs for all ages and abilities. Our mission is to provide an atmosphere of learning and fun that results in a lifelong enjoyment of the game of hockey.

Hockey Lessons

Please observe all resctrictions for the safety of all participants. No refunds are offered.Caps Academy staff are available for small group hockey skills lessons.

Small group training lessons are geared toward players seeking to train at an affordable rate with great personal instruction. Each group consists of 4 to 8 players. Although each group does not have to be on the same team, Caps Academy staff groups players at a similar skill or age level, allowing each player to work toward becoming a better hockey player at his or her development level.

Caps Academy small group lessons are for players who would like to get some extra work on specific hockey skills in an intimate setting. These sessions allow our coaches to work 1-on-1 with the players in a small group setting, and really focus on the needs of each player.

Small group lessons are held with Caps Academy coaches on select weekdays.
Advanced registration is strongly encouraged as spaces are limited.

To ensure the safety and productivity of all players and coaches, please register for the appropriate age and/or ability level grouping if noted.
Caps Academy reserves the right to move players to a more appropriate group if necessary.

Register for SGL in Daysmart. Please note - all sessions subject to change based on the Capitals schedule.

Choose your coach, your dates, and times. You can register for one or more sessions at a time. Session registrations are posted approximately three weeks ahead.

There are NO REFUNDS for these classes. If you wish to switch dates or times, please EMAIL 48 hours before your session.


If you have questions about registration, please email, being sure to include the player's name and class you are interested in.

Lessons are 45 minutes:

  • 6:00am-6:45am
  • 6:45am-7:30am
  • 7:30am-8:15am

Fees for Coach Ben Kwon and Coach Sergei Nikolaev will be $55 per session.
Ice fee paid through DaySmart for Coach Brent is $18. Goalies will pay Coach Brent their own lesson fee separately to Coach Brent directly.


Hockey Director Brad Surdam

Brad is a long time native of Northern Virginia and has played for numerous organizations in the area, including the Washington Little Capitals, Junior Capitals, Junior Nationals, Reston Raiders, and Northern Virginia Ice Dogs.

After playing with the Washington Junior Nationals for the 2006-2007 season, Brad continued playing at Lebanon Valley College (NCAA D-III) and also played professional hockey with the Cape Cod Bluefins (FHL).

Brad spent the previous four seasons coaching teams with the Little Capitals at the U14 and U16 age groups. He has enjoyed successful seasons with those teams and produced a NJPHL championship, been in the AYHL championship game, and been a PVAHA regional champion. He attributes his coaching success to the American Development Model (ADM).

Ben Kwon

A Washington native, Ben began his hockey career locally playing for both the Montgomery Blue Devils and The Washington Little Capitals. He played Junior Hockey for the  Shelburne Wolves franchise Ontario Provincial Junior “A” All-Star, and team captain.  Ben went on to play for Lebanon Valley College (NCAA D3).  All-Star rookie his first year, all-star his second and third years, and all-conference his senior year were awarded him as he became the first defenseman in LVC’s history to score over 100 points. After  graduation he  played for the  SEHL(South East Hockey LEAGUE)  Cape Fear Fire Antz. Ben is an experienced hockey skills coach, with a talent for infecting youth hockey players with a passion for the game, and the knowledge to help them turn their passion into results.  Ben  is a USA hockey level 4 coach.

Brent Johnson

Former NHL Goalie Brent Johnson played for the Washington Capitals before finishing his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Johnson played 12 seasons in the NHL.  Originally from Farmington, MI, Johnson played junior hockey for Owen Sound in the OHL before being drafted by St. Louis in 1995.  Johnson began his NHL career in St. Louis before moving to Phoenix and then the Washington Capitals.  Johnson finished his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012.   Johnson hails from a hockey-rich family, his father Bob Johnson also played goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and his grandfather Sid Abel is in the NHL Hall of Fame.  In addition to coaching, Johnson covers the Washington Capitals providing analysis for Comcast Sports Network.  Brent is excited to develop goalies in the DC AREA.