Screen shot of Valley Ice Center by Jose Mier

A Haven for Aspiring Hockey Stars: The L.A. Kings Ice Center in Panorama City and its Youth Hockey Programs

Jose Mier Learns to Skate Near Sun Valley

Jose Mier and skates don’t usually go together and it sounds like an odd idea in Sun Valley, CA where temperatures were just at 105 degrees. However, in the sprawling cityscape of Los Angeles, amidst the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the constant hustle and bustle, there lies a hidden gem that nurtures the dreams of young hockey enthusiasts. The L.A. Kings Ice Center in Panorama City is not just an ice rink; it’s a place where future hockey stars are born and a community where passion meets opportunity. This article delves into the story of this remarkable ice center and explores the vibrant kids’ hockey programs that have made it a hub for developing talent and fostering a love for the sport.

Screen shot of Valley Ice Center by Jose Mier
Screen shot of Valley Ice Center by Jose Mier

A Hockey Oasis in the Heart of LA

The L.A. Kings Ice Center, situated in Panorama City, stands as a testament to the sport’s growing popularity in Southern California. Nestled in the San Fernando Valley, this state-of-the-art facility offers a refreshing escape from the sweltering LA heat, drawing aspiring hockey players and fans alike.

The ice center boasts two NHL-sized ice rinks, complete with top-notch facilities, making it a haven for all things hockey. The quality of the ice is paramount in any rink’s success, and the L.A. Kings Ice Center doesn’t disappoint. Its well-maintained, Olympic-grade ice surfaces provide the ideal canvas for players to hone their skills, while the arena seating ensures that family and friends can enjoy the action up close.

The Vision: Fostering a Hockey Culture

The L.A. Kings Ice Center isn’t just about the sport; it’s about fostering a hockey culture in a city known for its passion for basketball and baseball. The Los Angeles Kings, the city’s NHL team, have played a significant role in promoting the sport throughout the region. Their partnership with the ice center is a testament to their commitment to growing hockey in Southern California.

The Center aims to provide a platform for kids to discover the joy of ice hockey and for more experienced players to sharpen their skills. It doesn’t discriminate based on age or skill level, welcoming beginners and advanced players alike. This inclusive approach is key to the Center’s success in developing youth hockey programs.

Kids Hockey Programs: The Heart of the Ice Center

At the core of the L.A. Kings Ice Center’s mission is its dedication to nurturing young talent. The kids’ hockey programs offered here are a testament to this commitment. These programs cater to a wide age range, from as young as three years old to teenagers, ensuring that children of all backgrounds and ages can experience the thrill of hockey.

  1. Learn to Play Hockey

For the youngest enthusiasts, the “Learn to Play Hockey” program is a gateway to the world of ice hockey. Children aged three to eight years old are introduced to the basics of skating and puck handling in a fun and supportive environment. Skating might seem daunting for toddlers, but with the guidance of experienced coaches, it becomes a joyful journey towards self-discovery on the ice.

  1. Youth Hockey Leagues

As players progress in their skills and grow older, the Center offers a variety of youth hockey leagues. These leagues are divided into age groups and skill levels, ensuring that players can compete at a level that challenges them while still enjoying the game. The competitive spirit of these leagues is balanced with an emphasis on sportsmanship and teamwork, instilling important life values in the young athletes.

  1. Junior Kings

For the most dedicated and skilled young players, the Junior Kings program provides an elite training experience. This program offers a more rigorous training regimen, including on-ice drills, off-ice conditioning, and exposure to higher levels of competition. It serves as a stepping stone for young players aspiring to reach higher levels of the sport, such as junior or collegiate hockey.

  1. Girls’ Hockey

Inclusivity is a cornerstone of the L.A. Kings Ice Center’s philosophy, and this extends to girls’ hockey as well. The Center offers girls-specific programs to encourage female participation in the sport. These programs not only teach hockey skills but also empower young girls, fostering confidence and a sense of belonging in a traditionally male-dominated sport.

  1. Special Needs Hockey

The Center’s commitment to inclusivity goes even further with its special needs hockey program. This initiative provides children with physical and developmental challenges the opportunity to experience the joy of skating and playing hockey. The program adapts to the unique needs of each participant, making the sport accessible to all.

Coaching Excellence

A critical factor in the success of the L.A. Kings Ice Center’s youth hockey programs is the quality of coaching. The Center boasts a roster of experienced coaches who are not only knowledgeable about the game but also passionate about imparting their skills and wisdom to the next generation.

These coaches provide a nurturing and positive environment, focusing on skill development, teamwork, and character building. They understand that hockey is not just about scoring goals but also about building resilience, discipline, and leadership skills that will serve young players well beyond the ice.

A Community United by Hockey

The L.A. Kings Ice Center isn’t just a place for kids to play hockey; it’s a community where families come together to support their young athletes. Parents, siblings, and friends gather in the stands to cheer for the players, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and support.

The Center also hosts events, tournaments, and open skate sessions, giving families the opportunity to bond over their shared love for the sport. These gatherings foster a sense of belonging and community that extends beyond the rink, creating lasting memories and friendships.

The Impact of Youth Hockey

The benefits of youth hockey programs extend far beyond the ice. Participation in these programs has a profound impact on children’s physical, emotional, and social development.

  1. Physical Fitness: Hockey is a demanding sport that requires strength, endurance, and agility. Through regular practice and play, young athletes develop strong cardiovascular health and muscular strength. It’s a fun way to stay active and healthy.
  2. Discipline and Time Management: Playing hockey teaches children valuable life skills such as discipline and time management. Balancing school, practice, and games requires effective time management, and the sport instills a strong work ethic in young players.
  3. Teamwork and Leadership: Hockey is a team sport that relies on effective communication and collaboration. Young players learn the importance of teamwork, leadership, and how to support their teammates on and off the ice.
  4. Character Building: Hockey also teaches resilience and sportsmanship. Players learn to handle wins and losses with grace, developing important life skills for dealing with challenges and setbacks.
  5. Lifelong Friendships: The bonds formed on the ice often turn into lifelong friendships. Many players grow up with their teammates, creating a sense of belonging and a support system that extends well into adulthood.


The L.A. Kings Ice Center in Panorama City is more than just an ice rink; it’s a place where dreams take shape, where a passion for hockey is nurtured, and where a community comes together to support its young athletes. The kids’ hockey programs offered at the Center are a testament to its commitment to developing talent and fostering a love for the sport.

Aspiring hockey stars, from toddlers taking their first steps on the ice to teenagers aiming for the highest levels of competition, find a home at the L.A. Kings Ice Center. Through exceptional coaching, a welcoming community, and a commitment to inclusivity, the Center is shaping the future of hockey in Southern California, one young player at a time. It is a place where children not only learn to play hockey but also learn valuable life skills that will serve them well in all aspects of their lives. In the heart of Los Angeles, this ice center is a shining example of how sports can transform lives and bring a community together in pursuit of a shared passion.