Photo courtesy of Olympia Entertainment

Kris Draper talks about the Red Wings’ new practice facility and youth hockey rink

Photo courtesy of Olympia Entertainment
A mock-up of the Red Wings’ new practice facility, which will be part of the new ‘District Detroit’ currently under construction. (Photo courtesy of Olympia Entertainment)


By @MichaelCaples –

Kris Draper says that the Red Wings’ new training facility will be something unmatched across the country.

The Wings’ special assistant to the general manager and Little Caesars AAA hockey coach spoke to MiHockey about the second sheet of ice to be built in Detroit and said it’s exciting not only on the professional level but the youth hockey level as well.

“Unbelievable,” Draper said. “I’ve been fortunate to be involved in some of the plans for it, and it’s just going to be state-of-the-art, first class from top to the bottom. It’s exciting. You start listening about the Detroit Events Center and talking about the new rink for the Red Wings and everything that’s going to bring and the concerts and everything like that, but that practice facility, there’s probably going to be nothing like it in the country. It’s exciting for minor hockey and it’s certainly exciting for Little Caesars with what we’re going to be able to offer the Little Caesars family and the game of hockey. It’s going to be state-of-the-art.”

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Draper raved about the amenities that will be incorporated into the facility.

“We’re going to have a full video room, theater seating, there’s going to be, I think we’re putting in six auxiliary locker rooms, Little Caesars is going to have their own weight room, we just did some designs last week on that,” Draper said. “There’s opportunity [to use] a coach’s office. Basically what you’re going to be able to do is you’re going to be able to come down to the rink after school…you’re going to be able to do your homework, you’re going to be able to practice and you’re going to be able to eat. It’s almost going to be a one-stop shop.”

The former Red Wings assistant captain said he is excited for what opportunities the new building will bring to Detroit. With a brand-new NHL arena and a second sheet of ice attached, Hockeytown can host a variety of tournaments and events, from youth hockey on up.

“[Little Caesars’ director of minor hockey operations] Darren Eliot is working hard to get a lot of youth tournaments in there. The opportunity, obviously having the practice facility and hopefully we can lure some big events there where you get the opportunity to use both facilities. The opportunities are just tremendous for Little Caesars and obviously the State of Michigan.”

The new Red Wings’ arena is slated for completion for the start of the 2017-18 season.