BOSTON, MA -- This past week a pair of announcements were made regarding a couple coaches from the Mid-Atlantic Conference of the Eastern Hockey League (EHL).
After two seasons behind the bench for the New York Applecore, Graham Johnson has been named the new head coach of the MSOE Raiders in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA - Division III). Also after two seasons (one as Head Coach and one as Assistant Coach), George Lewis of the Philadelphia Little Flyers has been named the new Assistant Coach of the Amarillo Bulls in the North American Hockey League (NAHL - Tier II). The EHL would like to congratulate each coach on earning their new positions, as well as thank these hard-working individuals for everything they did for the league.
"My experience in the EHL has been invaluable to my development as a head coach," said Johnson. "The caliber of the coaches in the league forces you to get better everyday, to work hard, and get creative. My time with the Applecore has provided me the tools to move on to the college level as a more prepared head coach, in order to compete in one of the most competitive conferences at the NCAA Division III level."
Lewis echoed a similar sentiment towards his time in the EHL, and also spoke of his excitement towards being reunited with Rocky Russo (former Head Coach of the Little Flyers).
“Rocky is an excellent hockey coach as everyone knows,” Lewis said. “I was fortunate enough to walk into a good situation when I got together with him in Philadelphia. Rocky and I are pretty much on the same page when it comes to coaching; from the way we think the game, prepare, and compete. We want to do a good job.”
Each coach can't wait to get started this fall, but they also are really thankful for all those who helped them reach this point. Just like all of the players that advance from the EHL, the coaches rely on strong supporting casts as well.
"I would like to thank Bob and Steve Santini, Mark Kumpel and the rest of the league staff, for the opportunity to coach in the EHL," said Johnson. "My assistant coaches [Eric Soltys, Brian Fahey, and Matt Voity], and everyone else who helped over these past two years, this would not have been possible without each of you."
"I would like to thank the Giacobbo family for the opportunity they gave me with the Little Flyers," said Lewis. "I would also like to thank Mark Catron, Mike Narrigan, Anthony Lorusso, and everyone else that made my job that much easier in Philadelphia. I learned a lot during my time in the EHL, and I will be keeping a very close watch on the league as it continues to grow stronger over the next few years."
Read the full releases on Graham Johnson and George Lewis.
BOSTON, MA -- It's around this time every year, where all 31 teams in the National Hockey League (NHL) hold their annual development camps. The players featured at these camps include both signed and unsigned prospects. It's a chance for everyone involved to hit the ice with some of the best hockey minds in the world, and the experience gained is simply invaluable.
BOSTON, MA -- On Tuesday, the North American Hockey League (NAHL) held its annual draft, as the hockey calendar turns over to the upcoming 2018-19 season. In total, four former Eastern Hockey League (EHL) players were drafted, led by Dylan Schuett who was selected 6th overall by the Brookings Blizzard. The 2017-18 EHL Rookie of the Year is honored to have been selected towards the very top of the draft, and he took some time to talk about how valuable his time in the EHL was towards his development.
RAVIN - "Before the start of the 2017-18 season, were you nervous about being one of the youngest players in the EHL?"
SCHUETT - "Before the season began, I was definitely a little nervous going from playing against guys my age or a year younger at Edge, to playing against guys up to 3 years older. However it provided me with extra motivation to prove that I belonged with the older boys and could fit in with their speed and size and more mature game. I think being the youngest also took some pressure off because there were no expectations for me to live up to, especially as a new player and rookie, at the start of the season, which changed quickly."
RAVIN - "At what point last year did you realize you belonged on the same ice as all these players that were at least a couple years older than you?"
SCHUETT - "I would say it was when [Devin] Panzeca showed up around the 10-game mark; that's when I realized I belonged. It helped that I scored the first goal of the year for the Wizards, as I got that monkey off my back right away. However, when Panzeca arrived around the 10-game mark, things just took off from there. It was when he took me under his wing that I really started to excel and realized I could not only keep up, but perform with the older guys."
RAVIN - "Looking back on the year as a whole, what areas of your game were you able to improve that helped you go #6 overall in the NAHL draft?"
SCHUETT - "I don’t think it was any one part of my game that improved, but rather my game as a whole. Freddy and Kory gave me the opportunity to play in all aspects of the game, whether it was even strength, penalty kill or even power play. I became relied on for key face-offs and important situations in the game. Freddy, Kory and Adrien spent a lot of one-on-one time with me as well. On the ice it was little things, like puck control, fluidity, and hand placement on my stick. Of the ice, Adrien spent a lot of his time with me in the gym to get bigger and stronger, and to improve my strength and physicality on the ice. I gained 12 pounds throughout the season, which is more than I ever have before, and I know it was due to the the intensity of the training with Adrien."
While Schuett was the first EHL player selected in the draft, he wasn't the only one. Hayden Taylor was part of the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers that won the 2016-17 EHL Championship, and he was selected by the Lone Star Brahmas with the 21st overall pick in the draft.
Later on, Niks Krollis of the New Hampshire Avalanche was selected by the Amarillo Bulls, and Bryce Witman of the Philadelphia Revolution was taken by the New Jersey Titans.