Ed Burkholder’s passion for hockey was ignited at an early age. Whether on the street with his brothers, or on the pond with his friends or at the rink with his teammates, his life has always involved hockey Ed rose through the ranks of minor hockey and went on to play with the Thorold Jr. B. Blackhawks from 1986-1989 before shifting his focus to behind the bench as a coach.
Ed has invested time and energy into the Welland community. With more than 20 years of coaching experience including Welland Midget AAA Ed also runs Burkholder Hockey and annually runs successful clinics for players of all ages. Many an athlete and their families can be found sporting Burkholder Hockey merchandise. Those wearing hoodies, hats and tshirts wear a little piece of history with the inclusion of his late father Murray Burkholder’s initials on the glove as well as the year that Burkholder hockey began.
Recently celebrating 15 years in the community, Ed has owned and operated Burkholder Auto Net Work since 1999. His honest, customer first approach has led to his success and many happy clients.
Ed’s knowledge and passion for hockey further developed into a scouting career at all levels of professional hockey. He started with the WPHL San Angelo Outlaws in 2000. In 2001 he joined the ECHL’s Greenville Grrrowl and worked with them for two seasons including the ECHL Kelly Cup Championship in 2002.
Since 2003, Ed’s involvement with hockey has continued as the Head Scout and Director of Player Personnel for the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. During Toledo’s 2 two year hiatus from the ECHL, Ed scouted for the Detroit Red Wings.
In 2005, Ed began his media career in print writing a column for the Welland Tribune about those who have had success in hockey from the Welland area. From Roger Belanger to Dan Girardi, Ed highlighted the journeys of 20 athletes and coaches. The Welland Arena, home to many of these athletes growing up showcases these articles as well as other Burkholder memorabilia.
Ed Burkholder’s broadcasting career started in December of 2005 with his first appearance on TSN’s hit show Off The Record with Michael Landsberg. Burkholder has become a fan favourite among viewers across Canada. Ed is a regular guest on the show with more than 65 appearances. In a team effort, Ed produced and hosted a candid one hour interview with Michael Landsberg called #Sicknotweak focussing on Michael’s life and experience with depression. This honest open dialogue created an overwhelming response. Since then, several school boards have included this interview in their health curriculum.
In 2007 Burkholder was hired to provide the colour commentary for The Niagara IceDogs on TVCogeco’s The OHL Tonight. Fans have come to appreciate his high energy, entertaining and informative style.
As a motivational speaker, Ed tailors each talk to the needs of the group. He focuses on promoting respect and hard work, the importance of being honest and giving your best effort in whatever you are trying to do. His “if you believe you can achieve” approach has inspired athletes and audiences alike.
In the community Ed speaks to students in entrepreunership, and creating the job of your dreams. He also shares the importance of giving back to your community.
Ed has faced his own battle with testicular cancer. He went public with his battle in an effort to raise awareness to others who may be fighting the same fight. As a cancer survivor he candidly speaks about and promotes men’s health and the importance of self examinations and regular check ups.