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By Matt Kakbeeke, Hockey Director, 11/22/20, 10:45AM EST


KALAMAZOO, MI: Despite getting a bit of a late start to our 20-21 hockey season, we were starting to see tremendous development on the ice with our players before this three-week pause.

While the pause is in effect, we decided to utilize the time to offer our Coaches College series virtually!

Generally spread throughout a season, we had an unbelievable Coaches College lineup scheduled that kicked off on Monday, Nov. 30th at 7pm and ran through Monday, Dec. 7th


We closed out our first Zoom Coaches College Series with Tampa Bay Lightning Assistant Coach and 2020 Stanley Cup Champion, Derek Lalonde. Coach Lalonde talked success strategies in the NHL bubble, skill development - even at the world's most elite level, and provided some fantastic video footage of game breakdowns, and drills for coaches to dial in to desired skill acquisition for their players. Having just completed his second season behind the bench for TBL, Lalonde previously served as the head coach for the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL), the head coach for the Toledo Walleye of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), the head coach and general manager for the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League (USHL), and assistant coach at both Denver University and Ferris State University (NCAA).

TOBIAS JOHANSSON, Frölunda Indians, Sweden

 Saturday, December 5th at 9am, KOHA was honored to have Tobias Johansson from the Frölunda Hockey Club (world-renowned club) in Sweden, who is currently the U20 Head Coach and Director of Player Development.

Tobias talked about what it takes, as a coach, to ensure your players are getting better every day - from practice planning & execution, to engaging the players and helping them take responsibility in the process of their own development.

Having helped develop players like Rasmus Dahlin (#1 pick overall in the NHL 2018 draft) and Lucas Raymond (#4 overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings), Tobias has a unique ability to communicate effectively with today’s elite athletes and shared that with our group.


Dave Caruso, USA Hockey Manager, Coaching Education Program joined us for our Zoom Coaches College Series. So many coaches aren't sure how to best engage their goalies in practices to maximize development. Dave gave some terrific ideas and insight as both a coach and a goalie.

Caruso joined USA Hockey in July 2019 after spending two seasons as a goaltending consultant for his alma mater, The Ohio State University men’s ice hockey program, where he was part of a coaching staff that helped lead the Buckeyes to the 2019 Big Ten regular-season title, and a spot in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four. Caruso played goal for Ohio State from 2002-06 and is the school’s all-time leader in career goals against average at 2.07.


Spiros Anastas, Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations for the Brampton Beast (ECHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators).

Following Dan Muse's Zoom Coaches College presentation was no easy task, but Coach Anastas rose to the occasion. He talked development, culture, and what's most important to connect with today's players to maximize their potential on and off the ice - regardless of the level of play. Absolutely worth the watch!

A Toronto native in his second season at the helm of The Beast, Anastas held the same position with the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) leading them to a Kelly Cup playoff berth during the 2018-19 season. Anastas also spent two seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) under the tutelage of Jeff Blashill, helping lead the team to a 2013 Calder Cup Championship.

Under Andy Murray at WMU, Anastas also served as an assistant coach and video coordinator helping the team win their second Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Championship in program history and earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament.


Our second guest for the KOHA Zoom Coaches College! On Tuesday, December 1st, KOHA was honored to welcome Dan Muse, head coach of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP). Coach Muse absolutely knocked it out of the park talking about team culture, player development, his mission as head coach, and so much more! Worth the watch - BOOKMARK IT NOW!

With 15 years of coaching experience prior to taking the reins of the NTDP, Muse spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators where he was part of two Central Division champion teams, including the Presidents’ Trophy winning team during the 2017-18 season.


The KOHA ZOOM Coaches College kicked off on Monday, Nov. 30th at 7pm with special guests, Rick Knickle & Glen Zacharias. Both have a long history of player development and scouting in the NHL. Glen won The Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004, and Rick won the IHL’s Turner Cup with the Flint Generals in 1984 alongside former K-Wings and current Kalamazoo residents, Lou Nisker and Wade Dawson.

Rick previously served as the Director of Scouting for the Arizona Coyotes and Assistant Director of Scouting for the Nashville Predators.

It was a FANTASTIC call! They shared the importance of focusing on development at the youth levels, what scouts look for in players - on and off the ice - and much more!

Rick & Glen also talked about their company, GameSensed and what it offers youth players from a video analysis perspective. You can find more information here: