ESPANOLA, Ont. – The Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League have unveiled a whole new look after announcing the hiring of an all new staff for the upcoming season.
Joining the new head coach Dave Clancy this season will be some veteran NOJHL coaches and staff members as the Express are clearly gearing up for a turnaround season.
“It is exciting to have so many great staff members believing in what we have going on here this season in Espanola,” boasted general manager Chad Clarke.
“I have no doubt these individuals will have an immediate impact on our program with their championship mentality.
Development and advancement to the OHL, U-Sports and NCAA ranks will be our key focus and we now have the right people with proven track records in place to be very successful both on and off the ice”, added Clarke.
The following are the recent additions to Espanola Express staff joining Clarke and new bench boss Clancy.
ASSOCIATE COACH – CLAYTON BERTRAND
Coach Bertrand joins the Express coaching staff with over 15 years coaching experience under his belt. He has experience with the U-17 Hockey Canada program for two years as a selection coach with OMHA. Last Season Clayton was an associate coach with the West Division Champions Rayside-Balfour Canadians. He will be looking to bring his NOJHL championship run experience from last season to the Express this year. He has been married for 25 years to Christine and has three children, Zak, Amanda and TJ. He is also a sales manager for Molson Coors in Northern Ontario for the past 22 years.
ASSISTANT COACH – VAGELLI SAKELLARIS
Sakellaris has spent the past two seasons with the Rayside-Balfour Canadians as an assistant coach and this past season enjoyed a playoff drive that lead him to the NOJHL Championship series. He has previously been an assistant/associate coach with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves midget AAA team and guided them to a TELUS Cup Championship, Canada’s National Midget AAA Championship in 2008. As a player Vagelli appeared in the TELUS Cup then known as the Air Canada Cup and lost in the championship game. He is a teacher at Lasalle Secondary School in Sudbury and is married to his wife Tara and they have two young children at home.
EQUIPMENT MANAGER – BRIAN WORKMAN
A junior hockey legend in his own right, Brian has been involved with Junior Hockey for over 25 years with franchises in Sudbury and Rayside-Balfour. Brian has been selected as team equipment manager for every Team NOJHL appearance at the Central Canada Cup, a mid-season league all star showcase tournament between the Central Canada Junior A leagues. Earlier this summer Workman was awarded with a NOJHL Life Time membership award for his long-term dedication and outstanding service to junior hockey.
TRAINER – CHRIS SEGUIN
This is Chris’ second season training in the NOJHL and first with the Express. He has trained at various levels of minor hockey, as well as sports outside of hockey. Most recently, Seguin was a trainer at the 2016 and 2017 NOHA U-15 Development Weekends and with Team NOHA at the OHL Cup and the OHL Gold Cup in the Spring of 2017 and 2018.
Raised in Sudbury, Seguin resides in Val Caron with his wife, Kelly and son, Owen, and their many four-legged family members. Chris is a graduate of Laurentian University’s Bachelor of Social Work program and is employed with The Canadian Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Service.
DIRECTOR OF SALES AND PROMOTIONS – GRANT TRAYNER
Grant is a recent graduate of the Sports Administration program at Laurentian University in Sudbury. He has gained valuable marketing, account management and sales experience with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, ECCO Golf and Northern Ontario Railroad Museum & Heritage Centre.
Before joining the Express he was an assistant general manager and director of hockey pperations of the Rayside-Balfour Canadians and Sudbury Nickel Barons. He also sits on the board of the Big Nickel International “AAA” Hockey Tournament in Sudbury.