The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) feeds the American Hockey League (AHL) and the AHL in turn feeds the National Hockey League. The Ontario Hockey League is the world’s premier junior developmental hockey league that provides talent to all three leagues. A third of each the AHL’s and NHL’s head coaches once played in the OHL. Almost half of the ECHL’s head coaches (9 of 19) played their junior hockey in the OHL.
Jarrod Skalde is in his first season as the head coach of the Cincinnati Cyclones. Skalde played four seasons in the OHL, from 1987-88 to 1990-91, with the Oshawa Generals and Belleville Bulls. The second round pick of the New Jersey Devils in 1989 knows how to win. In 1989-90, he was a major part of Oshawa winning the Robertson Cup as OHL playoff champs and the Memorial Cup as Canadian champs. He was part of an IHL Turner Cup winning team in 2000-01 with the Orlando Solar Bears. He won a Calder Cup with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL in 2001-02 and a Slovenian Championship with HK Jesenice in 2007-08. Jarrod had a 111 game NHL career spread over eight different teams.
Nick Bootland is in his third year as head coach of the Kalamazoo Wings, one season in the IHL and two in the ECHL. The 1996 Dallas Stars 220thoverall pick played three seasons in the OHL with the Guelph Storm from 1995-96 to 1997-98.
Ryan Mougenel played four seasons in the OHL from 1993-94 to 1996-97. He began his OHL career with the Owen Sound Platers and moved to the Kitchener Rangers midway through the 1995-96 OHL season. As a player, Ryan won a Kelly Cup in 2002-03 with the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies. Mougenel is in his second season as head coach of the Las Vegas Wranglers.
Karl Taylor played three seasons in the OHL from 1988-89 to 1990-91, split between the Windsor Spitfires, London Knights and North Bay Centennials. Taylor is in his sixth season as a head coach in the ECHL and third as head coach of the Ontario Reign. Previously, he was coach of the Reading Royals.
Larry Courville played four seasons in the OHL from 1991-92 to 1994-95. Larry began his career with the Cornwall Royals and followed them through Newmarket to their current location in Sarnia. He finished his OHL career with the Oshawa Generals. Courville was an important part of Team Canada’s gold medal winning performance at the 1995 IIHF Under-20 World Hockey Championships. He appeared in 33 NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks during his playing days and is currently the head coach of the Reading Royals.
Cail MacLean is in his second year as head coach of the South Carolina Stingrays. MacLean played four seasons with the Kingston Frontenacs from 1993-94 to 1996-97. Cail had a successful 474 game playing career in the ECHL.
Nick Vitucci played two seasons between the pipes in the OHL with the Toronto Marlboros in 1985-86 and 1986-87. Nick is a member of the ECHL Hall of Fame. He has been on four Kelly Cup winning teams over his ECHL playing career. Vitucci is a two time Kelly Cup Playoff MVP and he was the 1997-98 ECHL goaltender of the year. Nick is in his second season as the head coach of the Toledo Walleye.
Kevin Colley is in his third season as the head coach of the Utah Grizzlies. Colley played three seasons with the Oshawa Generals from 1996-97 to 1998-99. In his final season with Oshawa, Kevin was eighth in OHL scoring with 101 points. Colley appeared in sixteen games with the NHL’s New York Islanders during the 2005-06 season.
Stan Drulia is in his first season as head coach of the Wheeling Nailers. Stan played five seasons in the OHL from 1984-85 to 1988-89 with the Belleville Bulls, Hamilton Steelhawks and Niagara Falls Thunder. His final season was nothing short of stellar with 52 goals and 145 points in just 47 regular season games. In that season, Drulia was awarded the Leo Lalonde Trophy as the OHL’s top overage player and the Jim Mahon Trophy as the league’s top scoring right winger. He was the ECHL’s MVP for the 1990-91 season with the Knoxville Cherokees. Stan appeared in 126 NHL games during his playing career, all with the Tampa Bay Lightning.