Hockey instructor Tim Preston puts his players through some drills on Friday afternoon at the Langley Twin Rinks. Preston runs Impact Hockey Development and also did some work with the Vancouver Canucks prospects this past summer.

Still doing what he loves

Instructing others a way to stay in the game

Like most kids growing up, Tim Preston dreamed of playing in the NHL.

Preston went through the ranks of the Langley Minor Hockey Association and at age 16, he left home to join the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds and finished his junior career with the Saskatoon Blades.

The left-winger showed enough that the Buffalo Sabres chose him in the third round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

Preston attended a couple of training camps with the Sabres, but never stuck.

But when the time came to make a decision to pursue that goal further, Preston chose family.

After just a few professional games with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers in 2002, at the age of 21, he hung up his skates.

“For me, it was easy (to walk away),” he said.

“The reason I left was I wanted to create more of a family environment for (my son), more of a home structure.

“Playing (in the minors) is not always ideal for trying to raise a family.

“I kind of felt I wanted to put some roots down and start a business and the next chapter in my life.”

With a young son, Carson, Preston knew he needed to take care of his family.

Wanting to stay involved in the sport he loves, Preston began by coaching his son’s teams with Langley Minor Hockey and then started working with the association on its player development.

Enjoying that, he formed Impact Hockey Development, which focuses on player development on and off the ice. He runs the business with another local former junior hockey player, Tyler Chambers.

Preston does the on-ice training, while Chambers focuses on the off-ice development portion of the program.

They have a training facility at Newlands for dryland training, both during the season, and off-season.

And while Preston may miss playing at a high level, he fills that competitive void through helping others.

“I get fulfillment through working with the young players now,” he explained.

“My focus is on trying to help a young player achieve his goals.”

Working with players ranging in age from youth to pro, Preston’s work apparently caught the eye of the Vancouver Canucks.

They contacted him in the spring and he spent the summer working with the NHL team’s prospects.

He also did some informal workouts with the Canuck veterans, who were skating earlier this month at UBC in preparation for their upcoming training camp.

“It was a great experience and I loved it,” Preston said.

“I am totally happy to have had that opportunity.”

Preston, now 30, is also still in the coaching ranks, both as an assistant with the junior B Aldergrove Kodiaks, as well as with 10-year-old Carson’s atom team in the Langley Minor Hockey Association.

Most of his free time is spent at the hockey rink, which can be tough with young kids. He also has a daughter, Peyton, who is almost one.

“I feel fortunate that my work life is still my passion and I am able to stay really involved with hockey,” he said.

Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

Tim Preston instructs his son Carson at the Langley Twin Rinks on Friday afternoon. Preston runs Impact Hockey Development and also did some work with the Vancouver Canucks prospects this past summer.

Just Posted

Cupcakes against cancer: Langley parents rally to help family

Christine Tulloch, a crusader against cancer, has suffered a third relapse

Aldergrove chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Anti-gang forum aimed at helping Langley parents keep teens safe

Preventing gang recruitment is the focus of a forum to be held next week

Langley Blaze display depth despite temporary loss of pitchers

Injury and invitation to play for Team Canada leave team down three

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Man pleads guilty in Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

Most Read