KALAMAZOO, MI - The Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA) is excited to announce the RETURN of K-Wings veteran center, Justin Taylor, to the 2018/19 KOHA Skills Staff.
Taylor was a sixth-round draft pick by the Washington Capitals in the 2007 draft, and has played primarily in Kalamazoo since the 2010 season amassing an impressive offensive career that has landed him at the top of the team's scoring list as the K-Wings All-time ECHL points and goal leader. The K-Wings loaned Taylor to the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League (AHL) for a couple of games during the 17/18 season.
"I am excited to work with KOHA's players again this season, it was a pleasure to be part of the KOHA Skills Staff last year. The Kalamazoo hockey community has given me so much, it's nice to be able to share what I've learned throughout my career and help young hockey players in our area. I look forward to getting back at it with the kids to continue their development as players and teammates," said Taylor.
KOHA's Hockey Director, Matt Kakabeeke, is happy to have Taylor back for the 2018/19 season, "I said this last year, and it still hold true: Justin's passion for the game is infectious. Our young players look up to him and feed off of his commitment to hard work, personal improvement and leadership. His ability to connect with both players and coaches is invaluable, and we are ecstatic he will be on the ice with us once again this season."
Taylor, his wife, their son and two dogs currently reside in Kalamazoo, which Taylor finds "neat, because I was born on Manitoulin Island, in Canada. It's a fun fact the kids can look up since it's not far from Michigan (only a lake divides us!)."
Here is a link to a great article about Justin's perseverance after an on-ice injury during the ECHL playoffs a couple of seasons ago: "From Legally Blind to Leading Scorer"