It can be a difficult time for young men that have spent the past few years revolving their lives around practice and game times, only to see that reality end when their junior careers finish.
Nicholas Thompson and Brody Dyck might find that transition a bit easier as they join Brad Veitch and Mike Drouillard behind the bench this year.
For Thompson, a defenseman that spent 2 full seasons in black, silver and white, along with a season split between Creston Valley and Princeton, coaching is something he feels he’s been gravitating towards for some time.
“It’s definitely something I’ve been interested in…I like to think I’ve always had a decent hockey brain, it’s been pretty easy breaking down the game the more I played it. I hope I can help our players do the same by showing them it can be easier when you slow it down.”
Coach Veitch concurs.
“You look at him and how he played. He was never the fastest or most skilled guy out there, but he always had a high IQ. He could do little things in a game, things to slow it down, making the right play at a key time, that was instrumental in our success.”
For Dyck, last year marked the final chapter of 3 full seasons wearing Outlaws colors. The intense forward hopes to bring the same passion he displayed on the ice to behind the bench.
“I hope I can show the guys, especially ones just starting junior, that it’s the same surface they’ve been skating since they were kids. I hope I can give clarity to the young guys when things get a bit tough for them…remind them it’s the same game they’ve been playing even when the circumstances are quite different.”
Coach Drouillard (4th from top left) is looking forward to working with Dyck and Thompson, along with the group of players that will represent Mission in the PJHL this season.
“The goal is the same every year. We want to win!
As the season progresses, we may see the need to add a few more pieces, but with the guys we have now, if they are coach-able and willing to learn, I believe it can all come together quite well. They just need to know they have to earn their ice time…that nothing will be handed to them.”
Coach Veitch on adding Dyck and Thompson.
“It’s a natural conduit having guys transition to coaching when they are done playing. They’re able to stay in the game, continue to build relationships with their (former) team mates and explain to the new guys why the coach might be a little hard on them. They understand because they’ve been there, not that long ago. It’s always good for the guys to have a ‘shoulder to cry on’ and someone to trust during a long season, and guys like Brody and Nic can be those guys.”
The Outlaws begin 2016-17 on Thursday in Surrey. Game can be watched on PlayFullScreen.com