The Trail Smoke Eaters are pleased to announce the hiring of Nick Deschenes as the team’s new head coach and general manager.
Deschenes, a native of Morinville, Alberta, joins the Smoke Eaters from the KIJHL’s Grand Forks Border Bruins, who he led to a 6-7-0-1 record through fourteen games this season.
“We as a board of directors met with Coach Deschenes on the weekend and were very impressed with his approach,” said Smoke Eaters president Tom Gawryletz.
“He comes to our organization with a terrific hockey background and was doing a great job with the club in Grand Forks,” Gawryletz added.
As a player, Deschenes skated in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Fort Saskatchewan Traders, scoring 40 goals and 85 points during the 1998-99 season earning a scholarship to Yale University. Deschenes played four seasons with the Bulldogs, scoring a NCAA career-high 17 goals and 37 points during the 2000-01 season. Upon departing the Ivy League school, Deschenes played in the AHL (Philadelphia Phantoms) and ECHL (Trenton Titans) before a five-year stint in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
He joined the Border Bruins as a coach at the tail end of the 2011-12 season after his final season of professional hockey with the Federal Hockey League’s Danbury Whalers.
Assistant coaches Barry Zanier and Craig Clare, who had been serving as interim co-coaches for the past twelve days, will now resume their regular roles. Deschenes is expected to join the Smoke Eaters for practice Tuesday.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)