The Minnesota Magicians, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce Scott Meyer as the team’s first Head Coach and General Manager. “We are very excited to have Scott as our organizations first head coach," said Magicians Owner/Governor Scott Krueger. “Scott has a wealth of coaching experience at all levels of hockey. His time coaching and recruiting at the Junior A level will prove invaluable to the Magicians."
Meyer has served in various roles for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders during 6 of the last 8 seasons. Meyer served as the full time assistant coach for the Roughriders from 2004-2006. During that time, Meyer helped the Roughriders to their first Anderson Cup and Clark Cup Championship. He was also named the USHL All-Star Associate Head Coach in 2005. From 2007-2008 Meyer worked for the Des Moines Buccaneers and then returned to the Roughriders in 2010-2011. In that season the Roughriders won their second Anderson Cup title and the Roughriders were named USHL Organization of the Year.
The Rugby, North Dakota native played professionally in the New York Ranger system from 2001-2004. He was an ECHL All-Star in 2002. Meyer also spent time with the Rangers in April of 2002. At the collegiate level, Meyer was a Division I All-American at St. Cloud State University, helping the Huskies to their first WCHA Final Five Championship in 2001. Meyer was a 2 time All-WCHA team member as well as the Student Athlete of the Year at SCSU in 2001.
“I am honored to be named the head coach of the Minnesota Magicians. I would like to thank Scott Krueger for the opportunity to bring Tier 2 junior hockey back to the Twin Cities. I am looking forward to starting a new tradition in Richfield and building our team for next season," said Meyer.
The Minnesota Magicians also named Ryan Kraft as the team’s assistant coach. “We are equally excited to have Ryan as our team’s assistant coach," said Krueger. “Ryan is a great teacher of the game and will help our players develop throughout the season. His experiences from high school to professional hockey will be a great resource for our players."
The Bottineau, ND native grew up playing youth hockey in Moorhead, MN. At Moorhead Kraft was a three year letter winner for the Spuds, helping them to three consecutive appearances in the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament. Kraft was a four year letter winner and a captain at the University of Minnesota. Kraft is a member of the “150 Point Club” with the Gophers.
Kraft played professionally with the San Jose Sharks and New York Islanders organizations. Kraft played for the Richmond Renegades (ECHL), Kentucky Thoroughblades (AHL), Cleveland Barons (AHL), and the San Jose Sharks (NHL). During the 2000-2001 season Kraft was named the AHL Rookie of the Year. In 2003, Kraft signed as a free agent with the New York Islanders and spent the next two seasons playing for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL. From there, he spent the next five seasons playing for the Kassel Huskies overseas in Germany, where he won a championship in 2008.
Kraft has been involved in the development of hockey players for 20 years. For the last 17 years, he has worked as a skating instructor with Pro Edge Power and Diane Ness. Kraft is currently serving as an assistant coach for the Boys Varsity Hockey Team at Lakeville North High School.
“I am honored to be named assistant coach of the Magicians and to be working with such a great group of people. I look forward to the opportunity of building a team from the ground up and competing in the NAHL next season," said Kraft.
The Minnesota Magicians are also pleased to announce Shane Wagner as the team’s assistant/strength and conditioning coach. “The Magicians are thrilled to have Shane as an assistant coach with the Magicians,” said Krueger. “Shane is a great teacher of the game as well and will help our players develop on the ice and in the weight room."
Shane is a graduate of Stillwater High School where he served as team captain for the Ponies. After graduating, Shane played 2 years of junior hockey in the AWHL for the Butte Irish. Shane played collegiately at Hamline University where he served as the team captain his senior season. After graduating from Hamline, Shane embarked on a 6 year professional career. He recently retired from playing following a playoff championship with the Mississippi Surge of the SPHL.
Shane has over 15 years of coaching experience in multiple camps and clinics. Shane currently serves as the Head Coach/General Manager of the Hudson Crusaders. His efforts with the Crusaders have helped to solidify the Tier 3 franchise. Wagner also serves as the camp director for Exceed Hockey in Stillwater. “I am very excited to be a part of the Minnesota Magicians. I can’t wait to get started and look forward to building the Magicians program," said Wagner.
The Magicians welcome AJ Bucchino as the teams Goalie Coach for next season. Bucchino is currently the Director of Development for Pro Hybrid Goalie Training in the Minneapolis/St Paul area.
The White Plains, New York native played prep school at Tilton and Avon Old Farms. From there Bucchino played junior hockey with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL before moving on to college.
Collegiately Bucchino played at the University of New Hampshire for one season and finished up his career at River Falls. Bucchino was a two time All-American for the Falcons. Bucchino played four seasons of professional hockey with stops in the East Coast Hockey League, Central Hockey League, and Southern Professional Hockey League.
“We are happy to have AJ on board with the Magicians. We feel his experience with goalies will help round out our staff for next year," said Krueger.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)