Editor’s Column: RMJHL coaches in place
The Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League’s (RMJHL) head coaching stable is complete.
With the circuit’s five other assignments previously announced, Aspen Junior Hockey recently tabbed Jay Miller to lead their charge during the Leafs’ inaugural season.
Miller most recently served as head coach and general manager of the Northern Pacific Hockey League’s (NPHL) West Sound Warriors where last year he guided the club to the regular-season title, Cascade Cup championship and a berth to the USA Hockey Tier III Junior A National Championships.
“This was a very strategic process,” Leafs hockey director Shaun Hathaway said of Miller’s appointment. “We took our time with a national search and are very confident we hired the perfect candidate for this position; Jay’s resume and results point towards instant success for Aspen in the RMJHL.”
While with the Warriors, Miller also served as the team’s governor and a point of contact for the NPHL Board of Directors.
“Not only is our club stronger with Jay’s leadership, the league itself will benefit greatly from his previous experience and knowledge,” added Hathaway, who also serves as president of the RMJHL.
The other RMJHL head coaching hires include: Cam Clemenson (Colorado Thunderbirds); J.J. Crew (Colorado Rampage); Jesse Davis (Breckenridge Bucks); Nick Harper (Pikes Peak Miners); and Jeremy Baker (Glacier Yetis).
The USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior A league will debut this fall.
Congrats to Cale Morris, who was named to the All-United States Hockey League (USHL) Third Team for the 2014-15 season.
Splitting time between the Chicago Steel and Waterloo Black Hawks, the former Thunderbird and Colorado Hockey Club (now Rampage) product compiled a 27-15-4 record to finish tied for second among USHL goaltenders in victories.
He also ranked second with a .920 save percentage, third with a 2.41 goals-against average and tied for first with four shutouts.
The Larkspur native has committed to play his NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Notre Dame.
Four players with Colorado youth hockey ties – forwards Scott Eansor and Dominic Turgeon and defensemen Brandon Carlo and Caleb Jones – were invited to participate in the upcoming U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp, which will run from Aug. 1-8 in Lake Placid.
Eansor, from Englewood, is a former Thunderbird and Littleton Hawk who recently completed his second season with the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Seattle Thunderbirds.
Turgeon (Cherry Hills Village) is another former T-Bird and Hawk who recently signed with the Detroit Red Wings after finishing his third full season with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.
Carlo skated locally for the Thunderbirds and Colorado Hockey Club and last season with the Tri-City (Wash.) Americans – his second full season with the WHL squad. The Boston Bruins selected the Colorado Springs native in June’s NHL Entry Draft.
Jones, who skated for the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-18 Team in 2014-15 and was selected in this year’s NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, played locally for Littleton.
The quartet will audition for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be showcased from Dec. 26, 2015-Jan. 5, 2016, in Helsinki, Finland.
Carlo played on last year’s U.S. team that fell in the quarterfinals to Russia.
Ben Lown, who skated on the Thunderbirds’ 16U National team last season, was named to this year’s U.S. Under-18 Select Team that will compete in the upcoming Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, which will run from Aug. 10-15 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Lown, from California, has committed to play his NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Miami-Ohio.
Our condolences to the friends and family of P.J. Purcell, who passed away in June after a long illness.
Purcell, who played on the Utah Golden Eagles’ 16U AA team last season, also played many years with the Utah Jr. Grizzlies.