Local families needed to host junior hockey players visiting Hampton Roads

Host families receive monthly stipend and other perks
Hockey practice at Chilled Ponds in Chesapeake, VA
Posted at 8:29 AM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 17:46:20-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Think of it as hosting a foreign exchange student. Only, one day, your student could grow up to be a star in the National Hockey League.

The Hampton Roads Whalers, a junior ice hockey team based in Chesapeake, is looking for families to host visiting young men playing for the team. There is an urgent need this year for host families, known as "Billet Families" in the hockey community. The team trains and plays home games at the Chilled Ponds complex in the Greenbrier section of the city.

"Essentially, these guys are young players coming from all over North America and even into Europe," says Colten Teubert, head coach of the Hampton Roads Whalers Premier team.

Teubert, a veteran of the NHL as a defenseman for the Edmonton Oilers, has experience as both a junior hockey player living with a host family and now hosting visiting players himself.

"We're just looking for families that are interested in that athletic background, healthy meals, (providing a) safe place for the players to stay and lay their head, but then also join our family and become hockey fans," Teubert adds.

There are perks for being a host family. In addition to a monthly cash stipend to help with expenses, families will receive tickets to Whalers games, enjoy an experience at a Norfolk Admirals game and more. Teubert stresses there is also a lifelong connection made between the player and his Billet family, which may be the ultimate reward.

If you're interested in learning about becoming a host family, call Hampton Roads Whalers Assistant Coach Jack Stefaney at 757-777-1241. Stefaney can also be reached by email at

Junior hockey players with the Hampton Roads Whalers get advanced training and typically go on to play in the college ranks. Some even go pro.

"There was a Hampton Roads Whaler a few years ago who was a fifth round draft pick in the NHL," says Ryan Bradley, an assistant with the team.

Bradley tells News 3 anchor Blaine Stewart the training these young men get in Hampton Roads may not be available where they live, which is why having enough host families is crucial.

"For the Hampton Roads Whalers, these gentlemen are going to get educational opportunities and athletic opportunities at next levels," Bradley adds.