Okanagan Hockey Europe Director of Operations, Oly Hicks, has made the following organizational announcements:
Former NHLer Blake Wesley named Head Coach of Okanagan Hockey Academy Europe’s Prep Team
Blake Wesley has been part of the Okanagan Hockey Academy Penticton coaching staff since 2004. Prior to joining OHA, he was an assistant coach for three seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Tri-City Americans and Portland Winterhawks, and a longtime player in the NHL, recording nearly 300 games played.
“Blake brings a wealth of experience to Okanagan Hockey Europe both as a player in the NHL and as a long-time coach in Canada,” said Hicks. “Blake, as a Hockey Canada High Performance 1 coach, has shown to be a great teacher of the game and a good leader of young athletes.”
As a player, the Red Deer, Alberta, Canada product was selected in the 1st Round of the NHL draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. He spent seven seasons in the NHL with the Flyers, Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques, and Toronto Maple Leafs, playing alongside Hockey Hall of Famers such as Bobby Clarke, Ron Francis, Mark Howe and Peter Stastny.
“Blake is a very unique individual, from someone who toiled for years in the NHL as a defenseman to someone who has reinvented himself into a teacher, mentor and communicator of the game for young individuals striving for greatness,” said Al Coates, former NHL General Manager and current Okanagan Hockey Group Director. “From someone who has now spent over forty years in the NHL, I am appreciative of his many skills and work habits. We are excited for Blake to commence this new role for both him and OHG Austria.”
“After over 15 years with the Okanagan Hockey Group in Penticton, I look forward to the opportunity that awaits in Austria,” said Wesley. “I am excited to bring not only my passion for the game, but all of the knowledge and experiences that I have gained as a coach and player in North America to Okanagan Hockey Europe and I can’t wait to get going.”