Teemu Selänne’s vision came true on August 8, 2016 when the first players – forwards in Finland’s U16 team – enrolled in the Selänne goal scoring academy in Espoo, Finland.
“Teaching scoring and putting scoring under the spotlight is the best way for me to give something back to the game. I’ve had the idea for an academy like this for a long time,” Teemu says.
Goal scoring is never easy, but it’s traditionally been a source of concern in Finland.
“There have been hundreds of goalie camps in Finland over the years but I’ve never heard of a goal scoring camp. Anywhere. I think scoring goals is something you can work on, both mentally and physically. It’s been underrated.”
“Even in the NHL, there was an award for best defensive forward already in the 1970s. The Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy that’s awarded annually to the leading goal scorer was awarded for the first time in 1999,” he says.
The Selänne Academy’s focus is solely on scoring goals. The Finnish Ice Hockey Association picked the players to attend the first camp. Teemu’s youngest son, the Anaheim Jr Ducks forward Leevi Selänne, is also at the camp.
“It’s a great group of kids, and they all really want to score goals. I think they have liked being able to focus only on putting the puck into the net,” Teemu says.
In the future, the Selänne Academy may arrange camps outside of Finland.
“This is a pilot project in a way. This way we see how our ideas work. We can tailor the program to any team, from an NHL team to a bantam team anywhere,” says Teemu.
The camp ends on Aug 11.