Dissecting Ben Cooper’s Decorative Hockey Coaching Journey 
Dissecting Ben Cooper’s Decorative Hockey Coaching Journey 

Dissecting Ben Cooper’s Decorative Hockey Coaching Journey 

With a resume that features a World Junior and Olympic Gold Medal for Hockey Canada, Ben Cooper is one of hockey’s best when it comes to analyzing film and developing a game strategy to guide his teams to success.

Cooper’s bread and butter is his ability to break down film and develop a strategic plan before every game. His dedication and love for the game is what allows him to remain at the rink for upwards of 18 hours a day, meticulously dissecting game footage. Cooper starts by cutting a game into 80 to 110 clips and then, from those clips, he will pick anywhere between 17 and 28 film clips for his team to analyze in team meetings. His primary focus is to not feed too much information to his players, while still being able to coach and strategize the most effective way to attack an opposing team. His goal is to figure out what information he has and how that information can help his team win the next game. 

Another area that Cooper’s coaching style stresses is honesty. While coaching and guiding his players, Cooper sets an understanding that his players must be able to handle criticism along with the praise they receive for their play. This has allowed Cooper’s teams to build a great sense of accountability which leads to success. By establishing an open line of communication with his players, Cooper can pinpoint the areas of a player’s game that need strengthening to achieve greater success for the entire team. 

Ben Cooper - 20234 TCS Live - Presenter
Cooper has spent the last 5 seasons overseas, between the Herning Blue Fox & Red Bull Salzburg

Cooper first got into coaching focusing specifically on the video side. His first gig was in 2005 with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. Cooper’s ability to dissect film and craft a game plan grabbed the attention of Hockey Canada, which named Cooper the Video Coach of the 2009 Canadian World Junior Team. With the likes of John Tavares, Alex Pietrangelo, and Jamie Benn, Cooper helped construct a game plan that saw the Canadians win gold on home soil in Ottawa, Ontario. Cooper served in this role for the next two World Junior Tournaments, capturing back-to-back silver medals with Team Canada. 

In 2010 Cooper was given the distinct honor of being named to Canada’s Olympic Hockey Staff in Vancouver, British Columbia. Working alongside an elite coaching team that featured Mike Babcock, Jacques Lemaire, Lindy Ruff, and Ken Hitchcock, Cooper played a key role in Canada’s tournament strategy. With the entire hockey world watching, Sydney Crosby swept the golden goal past America’s Ryan Miller, earning Cooper and Team Canada the prestigious Olympic Gold Medal. 

Ben Cooper - 2024 TCS Live - Presenter - Team Canada 2010 - Olympic Gold Medal - Sidney Crosby
Ben Cooper and Sidney Crosby after the Golden Goal was scored during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

After spending four seasons as a dedicated video coach, Cooper made the decision to shift to an Assistant Coaching role. In 2011, Southern AB Institution of Tech hired Cooper to their coaching staff. After one season, Cooper transitioned to the Western Hockey League as an Assistant Coach of the Victoria Royles. 

Nine years after his coaching career began, Cooper got his first taste of the NHL as he was brought on to the Vancouver Canucks Coaching Staff returning as a video coach. Cooper spent three years with Vancouver before moving yet again to an Assistant Coaching position, this time with the Florida Panthers. In Florida, Cooper maintained a large responsibility in the video department working to craft strategic plans before every game.  

With a proven track record, Cooper sought another opportunity in a Head Coaching role. In 2019, Cooper headed overseas to Denmark as the Head Coach of the Herning Blue Fox. After two seasons Cooper found a new home as an Assistant Coach with Red Bull Salzburg where he has been the past three seasons. 

In his three seasons with Red Bull Salzburg, Cooper has achieved nothing short of tremendous success. With Cooper’s strategic masterminding, he recently helped Red Bull Salzburg capture their third straight ICE Championship. Cooper has helped turn Red Bull Salzburg into a dynasty displaying pure dominance in ICEHL.

Ben Cooper - 2024 TCS Live - Presenter - Red Bull Salzburg
Cooper is currently the Assistant Coach with Red Bull Salzburg of the ICEHL.

Cooper bolsters Red Bull Salzburg’s team infusing the mindset that there is no limit to winning. His focus is on knowing his group of players and establishing a strong supportive and working relationship with them. Cooper understands that different teams and different players need different types of coaching to be successful and Cooper takes ownership to provide guidance to his players.

We are grateful to welcome Ben Cooper to TCS Live in June where he will dive further into his ability to develop a game plan and use technology to optimize his team’s preparation. 

Get your TCS Live tickets to see Cooper and the rest of the TCS presenters up close and in person!

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Jack Strassner

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Jack Strassner grew up playing hockey in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Jack is a rising junior majoring in Sport Management, with a concentration in Marketing and Management, along with a minor in Coaching and Leadership, at the University of Michigan.