The Okanagan Hockey Group (OHG) is pleased to announce that Brad Tapper has been named the Head Coach of the Okanagan Hockey Ontario (OHO) 16U AAA team.
Tapper, 40, will join Okanagan Hockey Ontario from the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Grand Rapids Griffins where he is currently an assistant coach.
“We are excited to bring Brad on board as the inaugural head coach of our 16U team,” said Andy Oakes, President of OHG. “Brad is a Whitby native and this is a great opportunity for him to move home with his family and join the OHO program in a major role. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a coach having spent the past nine years coaching professional hockey and is not only a former NHL forward but is a former student athlete that understands the commitment it takes to excel on and off the ice.”
Prior to joining the Griffins, the Whitby, Ont. native was the Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations with the Adirondack Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) during the 2017-18 season. Tapper has also served as an Assistant Coach with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves and Rochester Americans, as well as the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and Orlando Solar Bears.
“I am very excited to be able to coach the 16U AAA team and can’t wait to motivate the student athlete’s day in and day out,” said Tapper. “I want to thank my wife Alison and kids for their support over the last six years, I also want to thank Andy Oakes and Dixon Ward for putting their faith in me. I will work very hard to make sure our student athletes improve on and off the ice on a daily basis.”
As a player, Tapper spent nine years playing professional hockey, including 71 games in the NHL with the Atlanta Thrashers and 132 games in the AHL where he won a Calder Cup with the Chicago Wolves in 2002. Prior to turning pro, Tapper was a second team All-American student athlete at Rensselaer Polytech Institute (RPI) from 1997 to 2000, registering 116 points (65-51-116) in 106 games.
The Okanagan Hockey Ontario 16U team will compete in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) during the 2019-20 season.
ABOUT OKANAGAN HOCKEY ONTARIO
Located in Whitby, Ont., Okanagan Hockey Ontario is a Hockey Canada Accredited School and proud member of the Ontario Hockey Federation and Ontario Minor Hockey Association. Our primary focus is to promote the long-term development of each of our student athletes in the classroom, on the ice, and in the community. All students attend Henry Street High School. Students participate in the Academy for Student-Athlete Development (ASAD) program, run out of the Abilities Centre, which focuses on academic and athletic support, ensuring they are equipped with the resources they need to excel in both sport and the classroom. The strength and conditioning component of the program is executed in partnership with Elite Training Systems. On-ice training takes place at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre.
For more information on Okanagan Hockey Ontario, please contact Paul Pascuzzi at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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At the end of grade nine, my parents and I decided it would be beneficial for both my hockey and scholastic development to attend OHA the next year. We toured other hockey academies, but ultimately felt OHA was the best fit for me. The coach’s and trainer’s expertise allowed me to learn more about the game, further develop my skills, strength and stamina and readied me to enter the WHL as a competent and confident 16 year old. With the support of great teachers and tutors my grades improved and I made friends that will last a lifetime. I highly recommend OHA for the player who is looking to take their game, grades and life skills to the next level."