NHLCA BIPOC Coaches Spotlight

The NHLCA BIPOC Coaches Program is an initiative that aims to specifically support black, indigenous and coaches of colour in several areas including skills development, leadership strategies, communication tactics, networking, and career advancement opportunities.

Meet the coaches in the NHLCA BIPOC Coaches Program…

Duante' Abercrombie

Assistant Coach, Stevenson University | Head Coach, Washington Little Caps U18 AAA


Duante’ Abercrombie is a native of Washington, DC, and is a proud alumnus of Neal Henderson’s Fort Dupont Cannons Ice Hockey Program. Abercrombie currently coaches three teams in the Washington, DC area. He is an Assistant Coach at Stevenson University (NCAA Division 3), Head Coach at The Washington Little Caps (U18 AAA), and Assistant Coach at Georgetown Preparatory School (MAPHL).

A true student of the game of hockey, he aspires to one day coach in the National Hockey League. He is an inaugural member of the NHLCA’s BIPOC Coaches Program, and was recently honoured by The Athletic when they named him to their “Hockey’s 40 Under 40: The Important People Who Are Shaping the Game’s Future” list. He hopes to continue to use his platform as a hockey coach to increase diversity and inclusivity in the game of hockey.

Abercrombie is married to his wife, Melanie, and they have two children. A three year old son, Patrick, and a newborn baby girl, Ava.

Joey Ali

Goaltending Coach, BCHL / Canadian Blind Hockey


Joey Ali is the Founder of Proali Goalie Training and Co-owner of Pro-Formance Goalie Schools and has opened Proali Goalie Training Facility 5 years ago. His insight comes from years of playing experience; BC Winter Games (Zone team), Junior B (PJHL), Junior A (AWHL) & College (NCAA, conference MCHA). He received his scholarship after winning a national title at the Junior A level. In College he received student awards for academics while studying business and marketing and athletic awards for his play on the ice. Currently Joey is the goalie consultant to the Langley Rivermen (Eighth season in the BCHL, 2014 BCHL Champions), NCAA institutions, MML, FMML, PJHL, Team Canada (Blind Hockey). In addition to using technology as teaching/training tools; his success is a result of the approach he takes; being positive, energetic and challenging! He’s been featured on Global Sports News, City Breakfast Television & App Central on the Business News Network.

Derek Arledge

Head Coach, University of Maryland, Baltimore County


Derek began his coaching career as a junior at Penn State University. After playing for two seasons with the ACHA Div 2 team, he served as an assistant coach for three seasons, with the, then, Penn State Lady Icers, helping to lead them to a 2001-2002 3rd place finish at ACHA Nationals and three consecutive National appearances. After college Derek went on to coach for one year at his high school alma mater, Gonzaga College High School (DC) as an assistant coach with the JV team. His experience then led him to serve as an assistant coach for two seasons with the Baltimore Stars of the CBHL under one of his former coaches as a player. The Stars reached the 2006 USA Southeastern District Regionals.

After moving to Boston and Cambridge, MA in 2006, Derek served as an assistant coach within the Cambridge Youth Hockey organization, mainly working with Midget and Bantam teams, out of the GBYHL for a few seasons while juggling graduate school and work, continuing his current career in human performance (strength & conditioning/health & fitness). When it was time to move back to the DC area in 2016, Derek answered the call to become the head coach at Holton-Arms (Bethesda, MD) for two seasons. While at the helm with Holton, the Panthers finished runner-up in the Mid-Atlantic Girl’s Hockey League (MAGHL) and won the Miran Division Championship in his last season in the Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA).

His time after Holton-Arms led him to one of his current coaching roles: In 2018, Derek was named as the Varsity 2 Head Coach at Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, VA). The Knights finished the 2019-2020 season as Chiller Tournament Thanksgiving Champions (Dublin, OH) and runner-ups in the Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League in which Coach Arledge was humbly named as MAPHL-A Coach of the Year. He says, “We had a young team, but they stepped up and will continue their success on and off the ice.”

While continuing to serve as a high school head coach, in 2019 Derek was named as the head coach for the University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC). “The Retrievers did not field a team for two seasons, so we are re-tooling as a program.”

As a fun cool down to coaching duties, Derek serves as a volunteer hockey coach with the Kids On Ice program at Fort Dupont Ice Arena (DC). “I enjoy it because I get to skate with my son and coach with two of my former teammates and classmates One of them, Billy Bryant, heads up the KOI hockey program, and we have known each other for almost 40 years. My goodness! Did I just write that?…well, 38!”

Emanuel Beckford

Head Coach, Aachener EC 2013 Die Grizzlies, Germany


Emanuel is the son of a Jamaican father and a German mother. He started playing hockey at the age of 13. His passion for the game led him to coaching. In 2013 Beckford started his first coaching position with an U14 team. From 2014 up until now he is serving as Head Coach of a minor league team in Germany. Besides coaching Beckford works as a firefighter.

Chris Beckford - Tseu

Goaltending Coach, Mississauga Steelheads


A graduate of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Chris was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 2003, spending time in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), the American Hockey League (AHL) and the National Hockey League (NHL). Chris is currently in his fourth season as the goalie coach of the Mississauga Steelheads (OHL).

Craig Berube

Head Coach, St. Louis Blues


Craig Berube is a native of Calahoo, Alberta. He went un-drafted into the NHL and signed as a free agent in 1986, playing in 1054 career games for the Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals, and New York Islanders. He retired from professional hockey in 2003 and quickly found himself behind the bench with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL for four seasons before joining the NHL. He was an assistant coach for Philadelphia for six seasons, being promoted to head coach mid-season in 2013/14. In 2017, he joined the Blues organization as an associate coach and was named interim head coach during the 2018/19 season where he led the team to capture the Stanley Cup.

Maxime Boisclair

Head Coach, Cegep Abitibi-Temiscamingue


Having worked in professional sports for over a decade, this allowed me to become bilingual (French and English). I have spent the last few years traveling the globe and nurturing relationships with a variety of people from different cultures. I have developed an ability to work in a team and a confidence in making good decisions under pressure. I am recognized as being hardworking and showing leadership.

Cyril Bollers

Hockey Canada High Performance 2 Coach


Cyril Bollers enters his tenth season with the Jamaican Men’s Ice Hockey Program, his fourth as the Head Coach and General Manager.

The native of Toronto, ON originally joined the Men’s Program during the 2010-11 season as the team’s first associate coach and was promoted to head coach prior to the 2017-18 campaign.

Bollers recently completed his third season as head coach as the team were crowned the undisputed champions at the 2019 Amerigol Latam Cup defeating Columbia. The team went undefeated winning 5 games while scoring 30 goals and giving up 6. This was the second consecutive year that Men’s program won a prestigious tournament, and in 2018 the team captured the TEP tournament with a 3-2 victory over the North American Screaming Eagles. As a stickler for defensive play the teams record was 8 wins, 0 loses while scoring 26 goals and surrendering 6 goals against.

Prior to his time with the National Program, Bollers spent twelve seasons with the Toronto Red Wings and the Toronto Marlboros of the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) as Head Coach and Associate Coach. In 2014-2015 Bollers joined the Pickering Panthers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) as and assistant coach alongside of National Hockey League’s four-time Stanley Cup champion Paul Coffey. 2010-2011 Bollers served as the Head Coach of the Brampton Capitals of the Ontario Junior Hockey League taking over the team mid-season.

Bollers, has worked with the Ontario Hockey Federation 2013-2018, as coach representing team GTHL at the OHL Gold Cup Program of Excellence tournament. 2011-213 Bollers served as an associate coach for the U16 Program of Excellence.

2017-2019 Bollers was a mentor coach for the Coaches Association of Ontario helping develop female coaches (Changing the Game – Changing the Conversation Initiative).
2013 Bollers served as a technical coach and evaluator for Hockey Canada U17 Team Ontario. As an assistant coach for Team Ontario at the 2014-2015 Canada Winter Games in Price George, BC, Bollers helped the team earn a gold medal.

Cyril and his wife Michelle reside in Scarborough with their 3 children and a granddaughter.

Rod Braceful

Amateur Scout, Chicago Blackhawks


Rod Braceful is back for his third season as the assistant director of player personnel for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. Braceful is responsible for recruiting and evaluating efforts for potential NTDP players.

Prior to working for the NTDP, Braceful served as the director of scouting for the Muskegon Lumberjacks USHL during the 2017-18 season. He also served as a head and regional scout for the Sioux Falls Stampede from 2014-2017.

The Detroit native also worked at Selects Hockey as the midwest hockey director for Legacy Global Sports. Additionally, Braceful has served as a youth hockey coach in the metro-Detroit area for six years with the Little Caesars and Compuware Youth Hockey programs.

Braceful graduated from New England College in 2012 with a dual-degree in sports and recreation management and business administration. He also served as an assistant coach at NEC while enrolled.

Fred Brathwaite

Goaltending Coach, Henderson Silver Knights


Fred Brathwaite was announced as the first Goaltending Coach in Henderson Silver Knights history on January 3, 2021. He most recently served as a goalie coach for the New York Islanders during the 2017-18 season. Brathwaite also worked as the goaltending coach for Hockey Canada with their Under-18 team for three seasons and held the same role with Canada’s Under-20 team. He was a goalie coach for his former club, Adler Mannheim of the German Professional League (DEL) during the 2013-14 season.

The Ottawa, Ontario, native spent nine seasons playing in the NHL, where he appeared in 254 games and posted an 81-99-37 record with a 2.73 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage. Brathwaite came into the league with the Edmonton Oilers and went on to play with the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets. He also spent time with the Syracuse Crunch, the Chicago Wolves, Ak Bars Kazan and Avangard Omsk of the Russian Superleague (now the Kontinential Hockey League) and Adler Mannheim of the DEL. Brathwaite won Goaltender of the Year honors in the RSL in 2005-06 and won Player of the Year in 2008-09 in the DEL with Adler. Before embarking on his pro career, Brathwaite won a Memorial Cup in 1990 with the Oshawa Generals.

Nathaniel Brooks

Head Coach, Don Mills Flyers 2008 AAA | Development Coach, Ryerson University


– Development Coach – Ryerson Rams (2019-present)
– 2019 Herb Ebisuzaki Coaching Award (GTHL)
– Assistant Coach – Ryerson Rams (2014-2019)
– Former Head Of Coaching and Development, Forest Hill Hockey Association
– Presented at the 2019 Coaches Site Conference with Johnny Duco (Head Coach, Men’s Hockey Ryerson Rams)

Kyle Callaghan

Owner, Wild Wolf Hockey | Head Coach, Brampton 45's 2008 AAA


Through his years of playing and teaching hockey, Kyle has developed a very thorough understanding and deep passion for the game of hockey. This same passion has driven him to not only help his students become better hockey players; but to become exceptional and contributing members of society. 

Throughout Kyle’s playing career, he was fortunate to gain experience across several levels of play, including playing junior hockey in Thunder Bay. After junior hockey, the sport led Kyle to university where he suited up for his respective school teams in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA). While playing hockey, Kyle also worked towards his degree in Kinesiology, which he found to be very insightful in terms of hockey development.

With his extensive playing experience of the sport, Kyle took his degree and started to apply his knowledge to learn to skate programs throughout several municipalities. From instructing lessons, to coordinating power skating, to supervising the entire program, his understanding and application for progressive teaching almost became something unheard of. Kyle’s knowledge had reached beyond what he could imagine, so far that it ultimately led to an assistant coaching offer in minor hockey. Kyle took it as a challenge and a way to be able to give back to the game that gave him so much. He instantly fell in love with coaching and the bond that he was able to create with younger athletes. Kyle grew into his coaching role very quickly and now coaches at the AAA level.

With this knowledge of the game, application of progressional teaching methods, and his hockey skills; Kyle created Wild Wolf Hockey, an elite training company located in the Greater Toronto Area. Kyle’s comprehensive training model coupled with an unwavering ability to relate and teach athletes of all ages has allowed Wild Wolf Hockey to quickly become one of the elite schools in the Greater Toronto Area. 

His unparalleled dedication allows him to provide athletes with the best elite training all while ensuring his students become exceptional people and contributing members of society along the way. 

Rane Carnegie

Head Coach, 2008 Toronto Young Nationals


Rane Carnegie is a first year Head Coach of the 2008 Toronto Young Nationals and proud grandson of the late Dr. Herb Carnegie.

In January of 2020 he founded: O.W.N (Our Way Now) Aces Sports Group; a big brother and skill development company based in Toronto. Recently, Rane has been giving virtual presentations on anti racism, addiction and mental health through his unique life experiences to junior hockey teams across Canada.

Robert Cathcart III

Assistant Coach, Canisius College Club Hockey CHF Team | Volunteer Assistant Video Coach, Buffalo State College Women's Hockey | Video Analyst, Prospect Exchange


Robert Cathcart III was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He currently serves as an Assistant Coach for the College Hockey Federation team of the Canisius College Club Hockey program, a Volunteer Assistant Video Coach for the Buffalo State College Women’s Hockey Team, and as a Video Analyst for Prospect Exchange.

Prior to his current positions, Robert was a Beginner Skills Development Coach for ABC Hockey Adult Skills Clinic in Schenectady, NY from 2017-2019. Served as a Volunteer Assistant Coach with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Women’s Hockey Team from 2014-2017. Worked for USA Hockey as a Video Coordinator for the 2014 U18 Girl’s and 2015 U15 Girl’s Summer Development Camps. Served as a Hockey Coach for the Schenectady Youth Hockey Program from 2012-2017 from Mites through Bantam age groups.

Robert earned his bachelor’s in accounting from Boston College in 2008, and his Master’s in Sports Administration from Canisius College in 2015.

Marquise Cotten

Assistant Coach, Washington Little Caps U18 AAA


Marquise Cotten started playing in Washington, DC for coach Neal Henderson, then went on to play at Gonzaga and Bridgton Academy. He then played his college hockey at Lebanon Valley College and Rowan University.

He now coaches for Gonzaga College High School and the Washington Little Capitals U18AAA. The game of hockey has given him so much and now he is coaching to give back and learn as much as he can to become the best coach he can be and grow the game while also growing himself in the game.

Emerson Etem

Owner & Head Coach, Long Beach Shredders


Emerson Etem is a native of Long Beach, California and grew up in in a very active family. At the age of 14, he moved to Minnesota to play at Shattuck-Saint Mary’s and led his team to a third place finish in the Tier 1 U14 2007 National Championships and the following year, helped the Tier 1 U17 team win their second consecutive National Title. Following his time in Minnesota, Etem moved to Ann Arbor to play for the USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. He was later drafted into the NHL in the 1st round, 29th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2010 and went on to play in 173 games for Anaheim, New York Rangers, and Vancouver. Etem also played in 145 AHL games for Norfolk (San Diego Gulls), Tucson and Ontario. In 2011, he won a bronze medal at the U20 World Junior Championships. In 2020, Etem joined the Missoula Junior Bruins of the NA3HL as the team’s General Manager and Head Coach.

Léo Girod

Assistant and Video Coach, National League A, SC Bern, Switzerland


After ending his playing career in 2017 in Sweden, Girod started his coaching career as assistant coach at the U18 level. He joined the National League A Lausanne HC in Switzerland soon thereafter as the Video Coach. He is currently serving as Assistant and Video Coach of the Swiss National League A team SC Bern.

Eddy Guay

Video & Goaltending Coach


Eddy Guay was raised and is currently residing in Surrey, British Columbia. He graduated with a Sports Management Bachelors Degree (with a minor in Hockey coaching) from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Vierumäki, Finland and interned with Royal Belgian Ice Hockey Federation (Antwerp) in the hockey development department. Eddy was the Assistant Coach for the Belgian Women’s National Team at the 2013 IIHF Division 2B Women’s World Championships in Puigcerda, Spain and was the administrator for the various IIHF Development and Women’s High Performance Camps (2011-2014).

He joined the UBC Hockey Programmes in 2015 as a video coach and in 2016 was a Gold Medalist in the Canada West Conference with the UBC Women’s varsity hockey team. UBC was also runner-up for (then) CIS Women’s Hockey National Championships (2016) in Calgary, AB. In 2016, he worked as a 2nd video coach for Finnish Women’s National Team at the IIHF Women’s World Championships in Kamloops, BC. He was also the video Coach for Team British Columbia (U18 Female) at three-U18 Female National Championships in Regina, SK (2016), Quebec City, QC (2017), and Morden/Winkler, MB (2019) where they won a bronze medal in Regina, SK (2016) and Quebec City, QC (2017). He also joined the Surrey Eagles (BCHL) as a video coach for both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Eddy has worked as a video coach for the IIHF Referee Supervisors at 2018 Men’s World Championships (Herning, Denmark), the 2017 and 2019 Men’s World Junior Championships (Buffalo, NY and Vancouver/Victoria, BC). He was selected by Hockey Canada (National Women’s Programme) as a video coach for the 2020 U18/Development Team Summer Camp in Calgary, AB which unfortunately was cancelled. He currently is working with Pasco Valana and the Elite Goalie (Canada) goalie instructor crew in the Vancouver area.

Others: Graduated with a Sports Business Management Diploma and holds a Culinary Arts certification. 

Leon Hayward

Assistant Coach, University of St. Thomas


Leon Hayward joined St. Thomas University in June 2021 and hit the ground running as the Tommies prepare for their first season in Division I hockey. He was most recently the Assistant Coach for Colorado College where he spent four seasons helping guide the team from 39th to 4th in the country. Hayward was an assistant coach with the Bloomington Thunder of the United States Hockey League prior to joining the Tiger staff. Before joining the Thunder, Hayward spent three years as an assistant hockey coach at Avon Old Farms School, a prep school located in Avon, Connecticut. He also served as the Dean of Enrolment at Avon Old Farms during that time.

During his tenure at Avon, he recruited and coached two NHL draft picks and five players that represented Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka and 5 Nations tournaments. He also recruited three players that participated in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program last season.The Seattle, Wash., native brought both Division I and professional playing experience to his role with the Tigers. Hayward played four seasons as a forward at Northeastern University from 1998-2002, scoring 30 points (15g,15a) in 132 career games. He then spent six years playing professionally, including four in the American Hockey League, collecting 85 goals and 88 assists for 173 points.

One of the crowning achievements of his professional career came in 2004-05 when he led the Trenton Titans, coached by CC head coach Mike Haviland, to the East Coast Hockey League’s Kelly Cup Championship. Hayward was named the Finals MVP and had 11 points in 20 playoff games that season. From 2011-14, Hayward served as head hockey coach at The Governor’s Academy, a prep school in Newbury, Mass. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at the Taft School for three seasons before taking the top job at The Governor’s Academy and also has coaching experience outside of hockey in both lacrosse and football.

Neal Henderson

Founder, Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club


Neal Henderson co-founded the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club in 1978 in his hometown of Washington D.C. Fort Dupont is a developmental program that provides local and inner-city youth with the opportunity to participate in an organized ice hockey program. Henderson’s program is the oldest minority hockey league in North America and offers youth 8 to 18 a chance to practice their skills as hockey players while utilizing the sport as a way to establish a sense of community, self-esteem and purpose.

In 2019, Henderson became the first black person elected into the U.S Hockey Hall of Fame for his work influencing the lives of more than 1,500 kids over the years. He has also been awarded the NHL/Bridgestone Mark Messier Youth Leadership Award, the USA Hockey William Thayer Tutt Award and countless other honors.

Henderson was also an integral part in creating the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone program that seeks to drive positive social change and inclusivity throughout the hockey community.

Bradley Howington

Assistant Coach, Maryland Junior Black Bears


Brad Howington discovered ice hockey as a 12 year old and immediately fell in love with the sport. He played travel hockey with Nelson Hockey’s Metro Maple Leafs then Junior Hockey with the Washington Junior Nationals and the Frederick Freeze. Finally, he played club hockey at Salisbury University. After graduation, he returned to the area and started coaching youth teams with Metro/Maryland Jr. Black Bears. Four years ago he became a certified official and currently works as an official locally for SHOA. Now in his fourth year as an official he is officiating D1 Women’s Hockey games, NAHL and other junior levels.

Frantz Jean

Goaltending Coach, Tampa Bay Lightning


Frantz Jean was born in Montreal and played his junior hockey with St-Hyacinthe and Victoriaville of the QMJHL. He received a scholarship to the Université de Moncton, winning the National Championship in 1995. Frantz began coaching at the young age of 14, having worked under the supervision of notable coaches like Francois Allaire and Phil Myre.

He was a goaltending consultant for Hockey Canada in the summers of 2009 and 2010 winning a Gold Medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and is also a member of Hockey Canada’s National Goaltending Consultants Team. His big break came with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL where he coached for 12 years before joining Tampa Bay in 2010. With Moncton, Jean’s goaltenders allowed the least number of goals in four different seasons, been named defensive player of the year or goaltender of the year three times, named first or second all-star teams on five occasions, and had six goalies drafted or signed as a free agent in the NHL.

In 2010,Jean joined the Tampa Bay Lightning as the team’s goaltending coach where he works with all goalies throughout the organization winning the Stanley Cup in 2020. To date some of his most notable accomplishments with the Tampa organization include, Jean has coached their goaltenders to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, 2019 Presidents Trophy, 2015 Stanley Cup Final, 2013 Calder Cup Final, 2012 Calder, and Kelly Cup Championships. Additionally, Jean coached Andrei Vasilevskiy to the franchise’s first Vezina Trophy in franchise history in 2019 having produced four Vezina finalists in Ben Bishop (2014 & 2016) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (2018 & 2019).

Paul Jerrard

Assistant Coach, University of Nebraska - Omaha


Paul Jerrard is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was drafted by the New York Rangers in 1983 in the 9th round, 173rd overall, and went on to attended Lake Superior State University, playing on the men’s varsity hockey team for four seasons. After attending University, Paul went on to play in the IHL, suiting up for Colorado, Denver, Kalamazoo, Albany, Milwaukee, and Fort Wayne totalling 503 career games and played in the AHL for the Hershey Bears. He won the Calder Cup in 1997 with Hershey before retiring from professional hockey.

He began his coaching career by joining his alma matter Lake Superior in 1997 before making the jump to the AHL with Hershey, Iowa, Texas, and Utica and the NHL with Colorado, Dallas, and Calgary. Paul has over 20 years of experience being behind the bench and has spent the last 3 seasons with the University of Nebraska – Omaha as the team’s assistant coach.

Suneil Karod

Associate Coach, Swan Valley Stampeders


Suneil was born in Nanaimo, BC and currently lives in Victoria, BC. He started his career at a young age coaching minor hockey in Nanaimo. He quickly moved to junior hockey where he coached with the Victoria Cougars and found a talent for developing players for Junior A. Suneil won many championships at the Jr B level and made his way to the BCHL as an assistant coach with the Powell River Kings finding success along the way, culminating in a National Championship, winning the Royal Bank Cup with the Chilliwack Cheifs, as an assistant coach.
He most recently spent time as an Associate Coach with the Swan Valley Stampeders of the MJHL.

Suneil is also a skills coach working with many players based on Vancouver Island and runs his own company out of Victoria. Suneil is passionate about coaching dreams of coaching professionally.

John Kennedy Jr

Director & Skills Coach, NSA Hockey (Australia)


Born and raised in Michigan, John Kennedy Jr’s career started at his local rink in Saginaw when after his first public session he saw a high school hockey game that ignited him love for the sport. From there he climbed the ranks playing AAA hockey for Flint, Compuware, Little Caesars, and Honey Baked. After a few years in the NAHL and winning a national championship with the St. Louis Bandits (under head coach Jon Cooper), he was recruited to play for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Engineers. John was fortunate enough to be Captain of the team in his junior and senior years, making it to the national tournament in his last year.

After college, he played semi-pro in the CHL for the Dayton Gems for a season, then travelled to Australia to play in the AIHL (Australian Ice Hockey League). He has played in Australia since 2012, winning two national championships with the Newcastle Northstars, coaching the team in 2019, and co-founding National Sport Academy (NSA) Hockey. With NSA he works with the local hockey community to introduce people to the game, develop players’ abilities, and help provide resources for coaches. NSA is the countries leading hockey development academy helping and advising the top players to getting recruited overseas and advancing their hockey journey.

Sam Kim

Video Coach, Toronto Maple Leafs


Sam Kim had a different path to joining the coaching fraternity than most in the NHL. He began his career in hockey as Sparky the Dragon, the New York Islanders mascot. A graduate of Boston College with a degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Kim has held many roles throughout his journey to joining the Toronto Maple Leafs as the team’s video coach in 2020. Kim was the first coach to lead Columbia to the MCHC Championships in 2010 as the team’s head coach before he joined the American International College as the video coordinator and later the Director of Hockey Operations. He went on to spend three seasons in the AHL, one season with Springfield as the team’s video and statistical coordinator (2015-16) and two seasons with Bakersfield as the Video Coordinator (2018-20). Additionally, Kim was the video coach with the Korea Ice Hockey Association, where he won a silver medal at the D1A World Championships and a gold medal at the D2A World Championships both in 2017. Kim also holds his Coaching Education Program Level IV Certification from USA Hockey.

Bryan King

Head / Co-Head Coach, Gonzaga College High School


Bryan King was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Bryan started playing hockey at age six at Fort Dupont Ice Arena with the Fort Dupont Cannons Ice Hockey Program. From an early age, he knew that playing or coaching the game of hockey was a passion of his.

From there he went to play four years with Nelson Burton’s Metro Maple Leaf Ice Hockey U16A/AA – U 18A/AA program and to La Salle University where he played in the American Collegiate Hockey Associate (ACHA) DII Hockey. After graduation, Bryan returned back home where he had been volunteering as an assistant coach with the Fort Dupont Cannons program and shortly thereafter with Gonzaga College High School. Bryan is committed to continuing to building the game of hockey in the DC, Metropolitan area and has, since then, continued his passion working to build great athletes.

Nigel Kirwan

Head Video Coach, Tampa Bay Lightning


Video coach Nigel Kirwan is an original member of the Lightning organization. He is responsible for breakdown of pre-scout and game film, formulation of scouting reports on opposing clubs and the creation of highlight and specialty film for use by the Lightning coaches and players. Additionally, Kirwan previously coached Lightning prospects during team rookie and development camps.

Kirwan coached amateur hockey at various levels in both Canada and the United States for 17 years. He is very active in youth hockey camps and clinics, including Tampa Bay’s “Lightning Made” youth camps. He also served as the video coach for Team USA at the 2009 and 2008 World Championships in Switzerland and Canada, respectively. Kirwan also joined Team USA for the 2016 World Cup. Kirwan was also part of the Lightning Stanley Cup Champion teams in both 2004 and 2020.

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Kirwan attended the University of Western Ontario and the University of Tampa. He started with the Lightning as a member of the front office staff for four years before then-coach Terry Crisp hired him prior the start of the 1996-97 season.

Samson Lee

Video Coordinator, LA Kings


Samson Lee was born and raised in British Columbia and graduated from Boston College with a degree in accounting in 2012. While studying at Boston College, he worked as the video coordinator for the varsity men’s hockey team for four seasons working under Hockey Hall of Fame member Jerry York. After graduation, he joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL as the Video Coach for three seasons. Lee made the jump to the NHL with the LA Kings in 2015, where he serves as the Kings Video Coordinator for Todd McLellan’s staff.

Derrell Levy

Founder, In-Tech High Performance


Derrell Levy’s extensive experience and knowledge stems from a lifetime of athletics, including winning a National Hockey Championship in 2007 with Oswego State University, and playing several years of Minor Pro Hockey. As a teenager, CBC took note of Levy’s impressive work ethic and mindset, as he was featured in the CBC documentary “Making the Cut.” Following the series, Levy was granted with the Reader’s Digest Award.

Since this time Derrell has mentored a team that has trained youth athletes all the way to the professional level on and off the ice .
Derrell and his team have supported NHL central scouting combines for the past 6 years. Derrell and his team are highly recognized for there off- season program and there HP Academy in Toronto.

Sudarshan Maharaj

Goaltending Coach, Anaheim Ducks


Sudarshan Maharaj is a native of Trinidad and grew up in Toronto. He attended York University where he played on the 1984-85 Championship team before spending six seasons playing professionally in Sweden. He joined the New York Islanders organization from 2003 to 2006 as the team’s goalie coach before returning to the team as the goaltending consultant from 2009 to 2012. During this time away from the Islanders, he helped develop the National Goaltending Training Program for Hockey Canada. Since 2013, Maharaj has been with the Anaheim Ducks organization, spending three seasons as a goaltending consultant for the team’s American League affiliate San Diego (formerly Norfolk) and in 2016, took over as the goaltending coach for the Ducks.

Harry Mahesh

Head Coach & General Manager, Winnipeg Freeze (MJHL)


Harry Mahesh was born in Vanderhoof BC, and played minor hockey in his hometown until the age of 14. Mahesh left home at 15 and spent 6 seasons playing junior hockey between British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba. He captained 3 different teams during that time. After junior, he played 1 season of pro hockey overseas in Sweden. When he was done playing in Europe, he came back to play 6 more seasons of minor pro in the US.

Currently Mahesh is in my 6th season coaching. This season he is the head coach of the Winnipeg Freeze of the Manitoba Junior A Hockey League. He has previously been the head coach at U16-U18 AAA levels in both male and female programs.

Manny Malhotra

Assistant Coach, Toronto Maple Leafs


Manny Malhotra is a native of Mississauga, ON, and is the current assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Manny began his coaching journey in Vancouver, starting out as the team’s development coach in 2016 before spending three seasons as the team’s assistant coach under head coach Travis Green.

He grew up playing hockey for the Guelph Storm of the OHL before being drafted in the first round, 7th overall in 1998 by the New York Rangers. Manny went on to play in 991 career NHL games amassing 295 points. He played for the New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes, and Montreal Canadiens. He won the AHL Calder Cup in 2000, a U20 World Junior Championship Bronze Medal in 2000, and capped off his career by winning the Spengler Cup Championship in 2016.

Joel Martin

Assistant Coach & Goaltending Coach, Kalamazoo Wings


Martin is his third season behind the bench with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL serving as the assistant and goaltending coach after concluding a 15-year playing career. Martin spent nine seasons with Kalamazoo before retiring after the 2017-18 season. The all-time winningest goaltender in K-Wings history, Martin finished his career ranked fourth in ECHL history in wins, tied for sixth in regular season shutouts, and had the fifth best season by a goaltender in ECHL history, posting 36 victories in 2015-16. When he retired Martin ranked first in Kalamazoo Wings history in wins (229), shutouts (21), games played (422), minutes played (24,755), saves (12,310). Martin was also a member of the 2005-06 Colonial Cup Championship team along with head coach Nick Bootland. Prior to making his professional debut in 2003 with the Bakersfield Condors, Martin spent three seasons in the Western Hockey League with Lethbridge, Tri-City, Vancouver, and Calgary, where he appeared in 123 games, posting a 46-50-9 record, with a 3.24 GAA and a .893% save percentage.

He resides in Kalamazoo with his wife Caroline and sons Louis and Thomas.

Jason McCrimmon

President, Detroit Ice Dreams


Jason McCrimmon has trained several elite hockey athletes including ( current NHL/AHL players Jalen Smereck and Dakota Joshua) with his comprehensive program designed to prepare players to compete and perform at their best possible ability. As a retired player himself, Jason has played and excelled at every level including amateur, collegiate, professional and as a coach (MWJHL Coach of the year 2014) . Born and raised in the city of Detroit, McCrimmon played youth hockey for the Detroit Rockies out of Jack Adams. He then went on to play Junior A hockey for Belle Tire, playing NCAA Division III hockey at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. After college, McCrimmon played years of professional hockey in the states and in Europe where he captained a team in Finland.

McCrimmon currently is the President/Founder of Detroit Ice Dreams Youth Hockey Association and Head Coach/GM and owner of USPHL Motor City Hockey Club (Junior A) team who has over players that currently playing Collegiate and Professionally. McCrimmon was recently named as Youth Hockey Ambassador for the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL as well as named to the NHL’s top 40 under 40.

Errol McDonald

Player Advisor & Founder, Avenue Sports Management


Errol McDonald, BA, RRC is the Founder, and Managing Director of Avenue Sports Management. He is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, where he attended and played 4 seasons for the Division I Tigers Hockey Team. After graduating with a degree in Business Management and continued education within the financial industry, he added his RRC designation in financial planning.

His path as a player from Junior A, to the NCCA and eventually professional hockey in the United Hockey League, is what assists Errol in providing sound advice to young athletes on and off the ice. His experience in business, marketing and operational development has allowed him to channel those experiences into player advisory, coaching, and development.

Errol is dedicated to push each player to their full potential with effective training, coaching and mentorship to improve their skill set, mental awareness, compete-level and professionalism. As someone who has been through the process, he is able to use his experiences to guide young athletes through those same pathways towards achieving their own goals.

For more information visit – avenuesportsmgmt.com/

Alfie Michaud

Assistant Coach, University of Maine Men's Ice Hockey


Alfie was born in Selkirk, Manitoba where he played all his minor hockey until he left to Saskatchewan to play his Jr hockey. He then earned a scholarship to play for the Maine Black Bears.

During his playing days with the Black Bears, Michaud helped guide the University of Maine to its second NCAA National Championship in 1999, earning the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player accolade and an NCAA All-Tournament team recognition. In 1998 Michaud was named to the Hockey East All-Tournament team.

Following his graduation from the University of Maine in 1999, Michaud spent parts of 15 years in as a goaltender in the professional ranks, including stints with the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks and the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch and Manitoba Moose.

After retiring from playing, Alfie was hired by the Arizona Coyotes to work with their AHL affiliate the Portland Pirates. After one year with the Pirates Alfie went back to his Alma mater to be the goalie coach for the Maine Black Bears. After a year of goalie coach Alfie was promoted to a full time assistant coach which he has been doing the last 4 seasons.

Tim Ohashi

Video Analyst, Seattle Kraken


Tim Ohashi grew up in Washington, DC and went on to graduate from Brown University with a plan to become a middle school teacher. His plans changed when he suffered a serious injury, leaving him with nothing to do which is when he enrolled in sports management graduate classes at Georgetown University. This program fuelled his desire to get his foot in the door and started his career path to working in the NHL with the Washington Capitals and now the Seattle Kraken. In Washington, he worked under coach Barry Trotz who heavily relied on video as a coaching tool and provided Ohashi with the opportunity to work in the NHL. Ohashi recently became the first coaching hire for the Seattle Kraken, the newest expansion team in the NHL in fall of 2020.

Murat Pak

Head Coach, U9 Red Devils Bad Nauheim, Germany


Murat is one of a handful players with turkish roots in Germany. Long retired he is currently serving as Head Coach of the U9 team of his hometown team Red Devils Bad Nauheim in Germany.

Murat was part of the Coaching staff as Hockey is Diversity Delegate to participate in the DEL Future Camp for U13 and U15 players. When not coaching on the ice Murat works as a dentist.

John Paris Jr.


John Paris Jr. was the first African-Canadian to coach in professional hockey, coaching the Atlanta Knights of the International Hockey League (IHL) in 1993/94. In his first season behind the bench, he led the team to a Turner Cup championship. Paris Jr. grew up in Windsor, Nova Scotia and went on to play in the QMJHL, WHL, AHL, and skated in a few NHL exhibition games. After his playing career ended, he began coaching youth hockey and became the first black coach in the QMJHL history in 1987 with Trois Rivieres. Over the years, he has worked as a scout, head coach, and general manager in the QMJHL, CHL, IHL, WHL, and NHL.

Paris Jr. was inducted into the Nova Scotia Hall of Fame in 2005 and is also a certified sports psychologist.

Jason Payne

Head Coach, Cincinnati Cyclones


A native of Toronto, ON, Payne is entering his third season with the Cyclones and most recently was hired as the first black Head Coach in North American professional hockey. During his two years with the Cyclones they have gone 89-30-16 including a regular season best 51-13-8 record in 2018-2019. Prior to coming to Cincinnati, he served as the Player Development coach of the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) as well as General Manager of the Georgetown Raiders of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL). He also coached both the Toronto Patriots of the OJHL and the Mississauga Sens AAA program. Payne is also the owner of the Precision Skating School in Toronto where his program focuses on the key dynamics of skating, puck handling techniques, defensive tactics, and other game related skills. He has worked with all levels of hockey players – from pee wee all the way to professional players.

Rico L. Phillips

Director of Cultural Diversity and Inclusion, Ontario Hockey League


Rico L. Phillips is currently serving the Ontario Hockey League as Director of Cultural Diversity and Inclusion since 2020. His journey in hockey was as an student athletic trainer, player, referee , coach and founder of the Flint Inner City Youth Hockey Program.
He holds a USA Hockey Level 4 Coaching Certification.

In 2019 he was awarded the prestigious Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award for his work in grassroots programming. He is also on the advisory board of the Hockey Diversity Alliance.

Rico is married and has 3 adult children and one grandchild

Matt Pinchevsky

Head Coach / Director of Player Development, Maine Nordiques


Matt, who is also referred to as Pinch, is currently the Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel & Development of the Maine Nordiques in the North American Hockey League.

Entering his 13th year of coaching, Pinch has a strong passion for skill development and helping players progress on and of the ice. He has established many strong relationships over the years coaching and training players that have gone on to have success as they climb the ladder. Former hockey students that have worked with Pinch have reached the NCAA D1, Major Junior, Minor-Pro, and NHL levels.

Player Development has always been a major role in his coaching experience; every player getting better is a priority for him. Over the years Pinch has helped take part in the advancing of more than a 100 student-athletes to NCAA hockey programs. Serving the game through guidance and mentorship is a daily objective for Pinch, and his passion for the game is always felt by those around him.

Prior to coaching in the NAHL, Pinchevsky has been fortunate to work with many successful groups, from AAA teams that make trips to USA Hockey Nationals to playoff clinching Jr. teams in various leagues. During this time, Pinch also worked for Select Hockey and Legacy Global Sports, which provided the opportunity to coach internationally for 10 years. Pinch also has a strong background in the Academy Hockey model; in fact, he and Eric Soltys, amateur scout with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, were partners in building the foundation of the Selects Academy. Identifying and recruiting hockey talent and character has been a role involved in every step of his career.

Before the beginning of his coaching career, Pinch played his minor hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, MN for the worldwide recognized hockey program. After Jr. A hockey, he went on to play at the collegiate level and earn a Bachelor’s degree focused in Communication and Journalism from Curry College.

Pinch and his wife Katherine make Maine their home with their son Cole.

David Singh

Assistant Coach, Concordia University Women's Hockey


David is a member of the Concordia Stingers coaching staff. He also works with the NHL as an off-ice official in Montreal. He has had the chance to coach at the collegiate, elite, and minor league levels. He has attended the Canada Games in 2019 and will be returning in 2023. He has also officiated hockey and soccer at the semi-professional level. He is also a Match Director for Major League Soccer during the summer months. He has had the privilege to work as an official at the 2010 Olympics, 2015 and 2016 IIHF World Juniors, FIFA Woman’s World Cup and most recently the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

He has a passion for teaching and learning the game from his various interactions at all levels of play. He is thankful to have the chance to work with very knowledgeable coach’s at Concordia on a regular basis. David’s involvement with the NHLCA’s BIPOC program is an important step in his development. He hopes to grow his experience and eventually work full time at the professional level.

Graeme Townshend

President, Townsend Hockey Skating Systems


A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Graeme Townshend also served as captain of the men’s hockey team. Upon graduation, Townshend enjoyed a 10 year professional playing career which included the NHL, AHL and IHL. During his career Townshend averaged 20 goals per season while competing in over 650 professional games. Townshend went on to coach 11 years professionally in the CHL, ECHL and NHL. He currently operates Townshend Hockey Skating Systems which offers a series of youth boarding hockey camps in New England.

Seth Van Voorhis

Associate Head Coach, University of Buffalo


Seth Van Voorhis is entering his third year with the Buffalo Bulls ACHA hockey program. Seth’s background includes, coaching at various levels of youth and high school hockey as well as scouting for junior programs based in Canada. Van Voorhis also spent some time doing video replay and film at the NCAA collegiate hockey level for Colgate University. “I fell in love with the sport attending my first college hockey game as a kid. Whatever part of the game I could take part in I wanted to do it whether it be playing or coaching/teaching. 

Claude Vilgrain

Hockey Instructor, AMP Hockey Academy


Claude Vilgrain was born in Haiti and grew up in Quebec City. He played three seasons for Laval in the QMJHL before being drafted into the NHL by the Detroit Red Wings in the 6th round (107th overall) in 1982 draft. After being drafted, Vilgrain never received a contract and went on to play three seasons at the University of Moncton. After his time in Moncton, he joined Team Canada where they played on home soil at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. In 1987, he signed his first NHL contract with the Vancouver Canucks and went on to play in 89 NHL Games for Vancouver, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Vilgrain spent most of his career playing in the AHL and finished his career in Europe.He is currently a hockey instructor at AMP Hockey Academy in Calgary, Alberta.

Joel Ward

Assistant Coach, Henderson Silver Knights


The Silver Knights announced on November 23, 2020 that Joel Ward was hired as an assistant coach. Ward announced his retirement from the NHL in April 2020. His role with HSK will be his first job coaching professionally.

In an NHL career that spanned 11 seasons, Ward developed a reputation as a reliable two-way forward. In the 2009-10 season with the Predators, Nashville was 21-3-2 when Ward had a point. He had two 20-goal seasons: One with the Capitals in 2013-14 and one with the Sharks in 2015-16. Throughout his career he played in a total of 726 games for Minnesota, Nashville, Washington and San Jose. He was also selected to represent Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Championship, where he notched nine points (6G, 3A) in eight games played.

Ward’s playing career included games played in the NHL, AHL, and WCHL, as well as Canadian university hockey and the Ontario Hockey League. Ward was named the CIS Most Valuable Player in 2005 and the Most Sportsmanlike Player in consecutive years in 2004 and 2005.

Eli Wilson

Owner, Eli Wilson Goaltending


With over 20 years as a full-time goaltending coach, Eli is known worldwide as one of the leading minds in goaltending coaching and development. His no nonsense approach to coaching has resonated worldwide across the goaltending community. He has worked with over 30 goaltenders in the NHL, many of them since their minor hockey days.

Eli has coached and developed over 200 WHL goaltenders. He has worked as a goaltending coach for the Ottawa Senators (NHL), Syracuse Crunch (AHL), Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL), Vancouver Giants (WHL), and most recently the Tri-City Americans (WHL). Under Eli’s tutelage, goaltenders have gone on to win numerous prestigious awards and championships: Stanley Cups, Conn Smythe Trophies, Vezina Trophies, World Junior Gold Medals, American Hockey League (AHL) championships, AHL Playoff MVPs, WHL Goaltender of the Year, Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Goaltender of the Year, and Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Goaltender of the Year.

Today, Eli Wilson Goaltending is a world leader in goaltending development. Eli runs goaltending camps, clinics, and consults worldwide. The primary focus at Eli’s camps is to ensure that the goaltending position is taught as simply as possible by utilizing basic systems for all game situations. All drills are applied in a well thought out order to ensure maximum improvement for the goaltender. The terms used during instruction are simplistic and self-explanatory to avoid any confusion. Video analysis is used for all on ice sessions to provide instant feedback and review for the goaltenders. All aspects of Eli’s camps are of the absolute highest quality. Professional coaches, paid shooters, and dedicated off-ice trainers all make up the staff that provides the premium experience in goaltending development.

Eli is also the author of his best-selling book, Hockey Goaltending. In it, Eli shares his training methodology and provides practice drills that are now utilized by coaches at all levels of hockey.

Perry Wilson

Goaltending Coach, Windsor Spitfires


Perry Wilson was born on June 23rd, 1960 in Truro Nova Scotia and moved to Ontario in 1970. He graduated from Forster Secondary School in 1978 and started working at the Chrysler Corporation in 1979. Following his passion for hockey, he started coaching the varsity Women’s team at the University of Windsor in 1998. In 2008, he retired from his job at Chrysler to pursue a career in hockey and in 2009, he attended the very first Goaltending Coach Program of Excellence. In 2010, he won the first of 5 gold medals with the U18, U22 and the Senior Women’s programs and in 2012, he was on the staff for two World titles. He was invited to start the development process in New Zealand in 2013 and after 2 months of development, he began working with their National teams. In 2017, he realized his dream was to work with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League as the team’s goaltending coach. In 2018, he moved over to coach the Men’s U17 program with Hockey Canada.

Perry continues to help develop goalies in the Windsor area while also working with A-21 prep school. He has two daughters and 4 grandsons!

Davis Yoo

Coach, North York Knights 2008 AA


Davis is a hockey coach in the GTHL in Toronto.  After playing competitive youth hockey during his younger years, he developed the coaching “bug” while volunteering as an assistant coach and skating instructor for a PeeWee rep team in London, Ontario while studying at Western University.  Almost 30 years later, Davis is still behind the bench, running on-ice and off-ice programs, and learning more about the game than he teaches.  He has had the pleasure of working with some amazing coaches from across the globe (including a few NHLCA members) and remains very passionate about youth competitive hockey.
Davis also takes the time to fundraise and volunteer to help make hockey more accessible and economically feasible in the Greater Toronto Area.