Since the 2013/14 season we have had 83 players in our organization to move onto the college hockey level: 33 to NCAA Division 1 Schools (Long Island, Nebraska-Omaha, St. Cloud, Holy Cross, Arizona State, R.I.T., Brown, Cornell, Colgate, Union, Alaska Fairbanks, U. Mass. Amherst, Yale, Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech., Niagara University, American International College, Army, University of New Hampshire, Lake Superior State, U Mass.Lowell, and Denver), 15 more to NCAA Division 3 - Middlebury (N.E.S.C.A.C.), Tufts (N.E.S.C.A.C.), Saint Thomas (M.I.A.C.), Wisconsin-Superior (UMAC), University of Wisconsin-River Falls (NCAA-NCHA), Skidmore College (N.E.S.C.A.C.), Hamilton College (N.E.S.C.A.C.), Salve Regina (C.C.C.), Bethel College (M.I.A.C.), Hobart College (N.E.H.C.), Marion University (M.I.A.C.), Babson College (N.E.H.C.), Plattsburgh State (SUNYAC) and SUNY Canton (U.S.A.C.C.), 1 to NCAA-ACHA - University of Ohio Bobcats, 8 players to the N.A.I.T. Ooks, 1 player to the S.A.I.T. Trojans, 1 to Keyano College (A.C.A.C.), 3 players to Portage College (A.C.A.C.), 3 players to the U of A Augustana Vikings (A.C.A.C.), 4 players to the Concordia University Thunder (A.C.A.C.), 2 players to the Red Deer College KINGS (A.C.A.C.), 1 player to the U of Regina (C.I.S.), 1 player to the University of Guelph (C.I.S.), 1 player to Ottawa (C.I.S.), 1 player to York University (C.I.S.), 1 player to the University of Calgary (C.I.S.), 2 players to the University of Lethbridge (C.I.S.), 1 player to University of Ottawa (C.I.S.) , 1 player to Concordia (C.I.S.) and 3 players to the Grant McEwan Griffins (A.C.A.C./C.I.S.).
Rick Swan is the winningest coach in Bonnyville PONTIAC franchise history.
Rick was awarded the prestigious Order of Merit in 2020 from Hockey Alberta recognizing exceptional leadership and distinguished service to amateur hockey in Alberta having dedicated significant effort, time, and leadership towards growing and developing the game, and athletes not only in the Bonnyville community, but across the Province of Alberta.
Rick’s additional coaching experience includes:
- named Head Co-coach for Team AJHL who played in the 2019 Junior Club World Cup in Sochi, Russia winning a silver medal
- nominated for the A.J.H.L. Coach of the Year in 2018/19 - the third time since 2014/15
- named as the Head Coach of the 2018 Team Canada West for the World Junior 'A' Challenge winning a bronze medal defeating the Czech Republic 3-1
- named Assistant Coach for Team Canada West in the 2017 World Junior 'A' Challenge winning a gold medal defeating Team USA (USHL All-Stars) 5-1
- named Alberta Junior Hockey League's Coach of the Year in 2015/16 and was also nominated as well for the CJHL Most Outstanding Coach
- named 2016 Assistant Coach / Video for Team Canada West at the World Junior ‘A’ Championships
- named the Head Coach for Team West at the CJHL (NHL Central Scouting) Top Prospects game in 2017 (Cornwall, Ontario) defeated Team East 4-3
- nominated as a finalist for the 2015 AJHL Coach of the Year
In the past 7 seasons the Bonnyville PONTIACS have had 19 AJHL league award nominations.
In the past 5 seasons the Bonnyville PoONTIACS have had 5 All-League and 5 All-Rookie Team selections.
2020 - 3 alumni signed professional contracts: Brinson PASICHNUK - San Jose SHARKS / Steenn PASICHNUK - San Jose BARACUDA / Bobby MCMANN - Toronto MARLIES.
2019/20 - Thomas KRAMER was named to the AJHL All-Rookie Team.
2019/20 - Lucas THORNE was named to the AJHL All-League Team.
2019/20 - 2 alumni - Brinson PASICHNUK (ASU) and Bobby MCMANN (Colgate) were both 2020 Hobey BAKER Award nominees.
2019/20 - Joel RAY was awarded the AJHL Inter Pipe-line scholarship and named the RBC Community Ambasador.
2019/20 - Lucas THORNE was nominated for the AJHL Most Valuable Player and Joel RAY for AJHL Most Dedicated Player.
2019/20 - 6 PONTIAS were selected to Team AJHL who competed for the Junior Club World Cup in Sochi, Russia winning a silver medal (Josh Kroon, Marc Benoit, Daine Dubois, Jeremy Gervais, Roc Truman and Head Coach Rick Swan).
2019 - Five PONTIACS Alumni attended NHL Development Camps this summer (2019): Brinson and Steen PASICHNUK - San Jose SHARKS / Kirby PROCTOR - Las Vegas KNIGHTS / Bobby McMANN - Nashville PREDATORS and N.Y. ISLANDERS / Max GOTTLIEB - Los Angeles KINGS.
2018/19 - Nine players committed to NCAA schools.
2018/19 - Lucas THORNE was named to the Alberta Junior Hockey League All-Academic Team. In addition, Luke ALBERT was also nominated as the AJHL Top Defenseman and Colby MUISE as Top Goaltender. Luke Albert and Grayson Constable were selected to the AJHL All League North Team.
2018/19 - eight former PONTIACS wear letters at the college level (NCAA and ACAC).
2017/18 - Joel RAY was named to the Alberta Junior Hockey League All-Academic Team.
2017/18 - Kirby PROCTOR and Lucas THORNE were also named to the AJHL All-Rookie North Team.
2016/17 - Ryan SYMINGTON won the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Most Dedicated Player.
2016/17 - Jake GRESH was nominated as a finalist for the AJHL Most Outstanding Rookie.
2016/17 - Isaac SANIGA and Jake GRESH were named to the AJHL All-Rookie Team.
2016/17 - Former Bonnyville PONTIAC Spencer FOO (2012-2014) was a ‘top 10 finalist’ for the NCAA Hobey Baker Award and signed an NHL contract (2017) with the Calgary FLAMES. Spencer currently plays in the KHL for HC Kunlun Red Star.
2016/17 - Five former PONTIACS who played in Bonnyville from 2012/13 to 2015/16 attended NHL Development Camps (2016) - (Brinson PASICHNUK - Montreal / Bobby McMANN - Columbus and Buffalo / Spencer FOO - Calgary / Alex SMITH - Calgary / Max GOTTLIEB - Las Vegas).
2015/16 the Bonnyville PONTIACS surpassed franchise records with winning percentage (.742), most games ever won (40), most points (89) and least number of losses (11). That year there were four major AJHL award nominations for Most Valuable Player; Most Outstanding Defenseman, Most Dedicated Player and Coach of the Year which was also a franchise record.
2015/16 Forward Bobby McMANN (Colgate RAIDERS) won the AJHL Most Valuable Player and was nominated for the CJHL Most Outstanding Forward.
Also in 2015/16 Defenseman Brinson PASICHNUK (Arizona State Sun Devils) won the AJHL Most Outstanding Defenseman and was nominated for the CJHL Most Outstanding Defenseman.
2015/16 - Bobby McMANN and Brinson PASICHNUK won a gold medal with Team Canada West at the 2015 World Junior ‘A’ Championships. Brinson PASICHNUK was also listed 115 on the NHL Central Scouting List.
2014/15 the Bonnyville PONTIACS broke a number of franchise records for number of play-off games played in a single season; most wins in a play-off year; first time in the AJHL North Division final; highest attendance (single game of 2300 and post-season total of over 13,000). Ryan BLACK was as a finalist for the AJHL Most Outstanding Defenseman, Brinson PASICHNUK a finalist for Most Outstanding Rookie.
The PONTIACS are an exciting team on the rise and they have one of the best reputations of treating their players better than anyone else in Junior ‘A’ hockey. Bonnyville has been host to the World Junior 'A' Challenge for 2 of the past 4 years. Anyone paying attention in the hockey world can see that the Bonnyville PONTIACS can offer one of the best opportunities to players with respect to their on and off-ice development and help elevate their success beyond their Junior ‘A’ journey.
General Manager and Head Coach: Rick SWAN
Coaching Career: Rick completed his 8th year with the PONTIACS organization and has been the Bonnyville PONTIACS Head Coach and General Manager since 2013. Previously Rick began with the PONTIACS as the Assistant General Manager and Associate Coach in 2012.
- Co-Head Coach with Team AJHL for the 2019 Junior Club World Cup in Sochi, Russia winning a silver medal;
- Nominated as the A.J.H.L. Coach of the Year in 2018/19;
- Head Coach of the 2018 Team Canada West for the World Junior 'A' Challenge winning a bronze medal;
- Assistant Coach with the gold medal champion Team Canada West at the 2017 World Junior 'A' Challenge;
- Head Coach for Team West in the 2017 C.J.H.L. (NHL) Top Prospects Game in Cornwall, Ontario;
- Assistant Coach / Video at the 2016 World Junior 'A' Challenge;
- Awarded the 2015-2016 'AJHL Coach of the Year' in the Alberta Junior Hockey League;
- Nominated as a finalist for the Canadian Junior Hockey League Coach of the Year in 2016;
- Nominated as a finalist for the 2015 A.J.H.L. Coach of the Year;
- 2015 guest coach with Team Canada West (WJAC);
- K of C PATS Midget AAA Head Coach from 2008 to 2012; 2008/09 awarded the AMHL Midget AAA “Glen SATHER” Coach of the Year;
- 2007/08 awarded the league Midget AAA Minor Coach of the Year;
- Two time 'back-to-back' Sherwood Park Kings Club "Ken HITCHCOCK" Coach of the Year (2004/05 and 2005/06);
- Sherwood Park Minor Hockey Coach of the Year (2003/04);
- 2009/10 awarded the prestigious K of C Hockey Merit Award for Contribution to Coaching;
- 2011 recognized as the Edmonton Police Service Community Kiwanis Top Cop Honorable Mention;
- 2011 selected for the Canadian hockey coach exchange with the Chinese Ice Hockey Federation to mentor, present and instruct coaches in that country;
- Involved with Hockey Alberta (Alberta Cup, U15, U16 and U17 teams);
- Hockey Alberta Coach Mentor;
- 2011 Western Challenge Cup - Gold Medalist (Team Alberta U16);
- Head Coach and On-Ice Administrator of Louis St. Laurent High School Hockey Barons Skills Academy 2009 to 2012.
So far through Rick’s tenure as head coach of the PONTIACS 83 Pontiac players have committed to College and Universities across North America.
Playing Career: Lake Forest College Foresters (Illinois) N.C.A.A. - top scorer / Cole Harbor Junior 'A' Colts - MVJAHL (Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia) - league MVP / U of A Golden BEARS - Canada West University (CWUAA) Scoring Champion (Dave Sweeny Schriner Trophy winner); Alberta Golden Bears Assistant Captain and Canada West All-Star / CIS Championship All-Star / Played professional hockey - Germany - Bundesliga (top scorer) - Essen, Germany.
Education: High Performance 1 Hockey Canada - N.C.C.P. 3; Bachelor of Physical Education / Recreational Administration Major degree from the University of Alberta. Edmonton Police Service member prior for 26 years.
Neil LANGRIDGE: Assistant General Manager / Assistant Coach / Business Operations Manager
Neil has taken over as the Bonnyville PONTIACS Business Operations Manager responsible for revenue, sponsorship, marketing and fundraising as well as overseeing our game-day operations staff. Neil became the Bonnyville PONTIACS Assistant Hockey Operations General Manager in 2018/19 season. Neil has key involvement and input with Player Personnel decisions and transactions. He will be entering his 4th year behind the bench with the Bonnyville Junior 'A' PONTIACS as Assistant Coach primarily responsible for our forwards. Neil also has a lead role in player transactions and recruiting. In addition to coaching, assisting with day-to-day hockey operations, player transactions, scouting and recruiting, Neil was co-chairman of the 2018 World Junior 'A' Challenge which was held in Bonnyville. Neil has been an extremely successful coach winning four straight North Eastern Alberta Junior B Hockey League (NEAJBHL) championships as a Head Coach and General Manager. Neil is also involved with Hockey Alberta’s Program of Excellence with the Alberta Winter Games and the Alberta Cup. Neil is an HP 1/NCCP 3 Hockey Canada certified coach with an outstanding hockey mind. His hockey experience and knowledge makes him an extremely valuable member of the Bonnyville PONTIACS organization which is evident with the great success he has had in bringing elite players with character to our organization. Neil is an 'everyday learner' and his strength is his ability to create positive relationships and he has a solid reputation for developing his players. firstname.lastname@example.org. (780) 826-0026.
T.J. MILLAR: Assistant Coach / Education Advisor / Skills Coach
T.J. MILLAR will be entering his 3rd year with the PONTIACS. Previously spending the two seasons with the Nipewan Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League where they won the SJHL Championship and two 40-win seasons. T.J. also spent a year with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League as a video coach. T.J. attended the University of Finland obtaining his Sport Management Masters Certificate specializing in hockey coaching. During that time he served as a guest coach with Vierumäki United U20 team in the Jr. A Suomi-sarja league. T.J. was also involved with Hockey Alberta's Pee Wee Prospects Program of Excellence at the 2020 Alberta Winter Games winning a gold medal. T.J. is one of the brightest young hockey minds in the game and one who is enthusiastic and he brings a passionate energy towards being an "everyday learner." He has a "master of the process," is authentic, confident and 100% energetically engaged in connecting effectively with dynamic communication with our players, staff and parents. T.J. takes a lead role with our defensemen along with overseeing team and individual video. In addition, T.J. runs our individual and team skill development sessions with the PONTIAC players. T.J. is also involved in Player Personnel decisions and HCR management. Other duties include being the Head Instructor for the PONTIACS/Notre Dame High School Hockey Program as well as looking after our player education needs (SAT Prep.course and high school enrollment) and overseeing our Billet Program with our Coordinator Tamara CARPENTER. email@example.com. (403) 869-5536.
Chad NELSON: Head Director of Scouting and Recruitment / Player Personnel
This will be Chad's 3rd year with the Bonnyville PONTIACS. Chad was an incredible find for our organization as his vision and ability to network with the 'right people' are at a standard of excellence. Chad is also a former player with the Bonnyville PONTIACS. Chad has taken our player prospect focus to a higher level and he is passionate about not only promoting the right players to our program who possess both ability and high character, he also has a passion to seek positive opportunities for great character kids. Chad works closely with Rick SWAN, Neil LANGRIDGE and Ash FENNELL in identifying future PONTIAC players in Alberta, Canada, the USA and the CSSHL. We are excited and impressed about Chad's 'mind for the game,' his enthusiasm to make the right impression and we are fortunate to have his knowledge, forward thinking, experience and passion with our organization. firstname.lastname@example.org. (780) 753-4477
Life Skills and Elite Mindset Performance Coach / Recruiting / Assistant Coach: Jason WIWAD
Jason an MVP behind the scenes for our organization and will be entering his 4th year with the PONTIACS. He is a Certified Life Skills Coach and works relentlessly with current roster and prospect players through support, providing hockey path and personal advice, player guidance, personal goal setting, team building and positive encouragement through the year. This includes regular individual player and team meetings throughout "the off and in season" with respect to hockey, academics, human performance, life and individual counselling to help them increase personal competence and enhance self-confidence.
Jason will also assist our Pontiac players in navigating the pressures that are involved with playing at the Junior 'A' level while coping with school, hockey performance expectations and life as elite athletes and people. Jason is an invaluable resource and huge addition to the Pontiacs hockey operations staff. His intention is to help elevate our players to reach higher levels of personal development and performance in their game by assisting our players to exceed their potential to be the very best that they can be.
Setting personal goals, becoming the best teammate you can be, the art of servant leadership, coping with living away from home, the path and expectations of the NCAA and Canadian College, academics, meeting coach expectations, being accountable as a Junior 'A' player and having a support person beyond the confines of the arena are critical to a young player's success in hockey and in life and the Bonnyville Pontiacs are excited to have Jason join their team in a bigger role immediately.
Jason has over 20 years-experience as a youth pastor, a high performance Coach and a Player Advisor working with youth, coaches and players at the Bantam, Midget, Junior 'A' Major Junior leagues across Western Canada. Jason also serves as a Director of Scouting with the PONTIACS in addition to his role as a Life Skills and Personal Development Coach.
Jason is the Director of Families and Youth at Calvary Lutheran Church in Edmonton and has been in Youth Ministry for 20 years. Jason is also the Assistant Golf Professional at Redtail Landing Golf Club and has been involved in hockey as a coach and a scout for the past 20 years. Jason coached with the Team Alberta program of Excellence at the Alberta Cup and Alberta Winter games winning Gold Medals at both those events. From 2013 to 2015 Jason was a Director of Scouting for Pacific 4 Sports and has an excellent grasp of player pathways beyond Junior 'A' hockey. In 2016 Jason was a scout for Hockey Prospects, scouting WHL for the NHL Entry Draft. Jason has excellent communication skills and an exceptional eye for player potential. Jason is also the owner and operator of Big Picture Hockey Development which provides hockey mentorship and skill development to players, coaches and minor hockey organizations.
Jason finds it rewarding to be a part of a player’s hockey journey to help individuals reach their potential and achieve their goals. “I joined the Pontiacs as my wife and I value the culture and purpose that exists in this organization. We are excited to partner with everyone involved to help young men reach their full potential in both hockey and life and to see them become successful members of our community” says Jason. Jason is married to his wife Anne who is a Psychologist with Alberta Health Services and has a dog named Sophie. email@example.com. (780) 721-4008.
Goaltender Consultant / Assistant Coach / Scout-Evaluator: Kelly BROOKS
Kelly has been with the Bonnyville PONTIACS since 2015. Kelly is a former member of the University of Alberta Golden Bears from 1982 to 1985 winning two Canada West Championships. Kelly also played in the Alberta Junior Hockey League for the St. Albert Saints and the Calgary Royals. Kelly is one of the brightest "goaltender minds" in hockey. Kelly works with goaltender evaluation at the Top Prospects and Main Camps which includes developmental feedback. In addition, Kelly will work with goaltender development in Bonnyville throughout the season.
Kelly teaches and promotes "Head Trajectory" developed and created by Lyle MAST, which trains the value of efficiency and quality vision along with balance, to achieve consistent and optimum performance, by eliminating delays in movement, rotation and access to the puck. (780) 909-4998.
Athletic Therapist: Danielle LARSEN
The PONTIACS are extremely fortunate to have Danielle apart of our staff with her extensive experience (over 13 years) in Athletic Therapy as well as having an Advanced Certificate in Athletic Therapy from Mount Royal University. Danielle worked as an Orthopedic Bracing Technician as well as an Athletic Therapist Administrator for the University of Calgary prior to owning her own Athletic Therapy clinic (Game Day Athletic Therapy). Additional related experience includes involvement with the Canada Winter Games Sport Medicine team, Hockey Alberta's Program of Excellence, Hockey Canada's high performance program, the University of Calgary Dinos hockey, soccer and volleyball teams.
Education: Danielle has a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree with a major in Athletic Therapy from the University of Calgary as well as an Advanced Certificate in Athletic Therapy from Mount Royal University.
Equipment Manager / Athletic Trainer: Kim SYDORA
The PONTIACS are very pleased to have Kim SYDORA on staff upcoming for her 4th season. Kim previously spent over 8 years as the Trainer / Equipment Manager prior to the 2012/13 AJHL season. Kim's extensive knowledge, experience and organization skills are second to none. Kim is responsible for planning, coordinating and directing the operations of all equipment and acts as a technical advisor on all equipment issues and assists the management team with equipment budgets and potential equipment purchases. Kim also works for the Lakeland Heat Junior Lacrosse team in the summer.
Hockey Operations Advisor: Dennis FONTAINE
Hockey Operations Advisor, Player Evaluation and Play-By-Play / Color. Dennis is a major part of the Pontiac organization and is heavily involved in a Hockey Operations advisory role and mentor. His knowledge and experience regarding the game and the Alberta Junior Hockey League is extensive and his viewpoint on players is invaluable to Hockey Operations. Dennis' son Justin (a former Bonnyville PONTIAC) played for the Minnesota WILD of the N.H.L. and in the Edmonton Oilers system playing for the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors. Last season Justin played for China in the K.H.L. and he currently plays in the DEL in Cologne, Germany.
Scouting / Recruiting Staff:
Ash FENNELL: Director of Scouting and Recruitment
Ash played his hockey in Edmonton and was coached by Rick SWAN. Ash has coached at the AAA Midget level with MLAC and helped push them to their 1st play-off appearance in 13 seasons. As a coach, Ash has moved his players onto the Junior ‘A’ level across Canada and he has the ‘right’ philosophy with using our game as a vehicle to help build character and great citizens because of their involvement. Ash lives in Edmonton with his wife Jill and 2 children Dawson and Danai. firstname.lastname@example.org. (780) 466-3115.
Alberta / B.C. / Saskatchewan Regional Scouts - Scouting and Player Identification
Dave Lynes has been around the game as a coach, an administrator, as a mentor and as a scout for the majority of his life. As a player he played for both Team B.C. and in the Canada Winter Games. As a coach he has been involved in the Elite Development Programs for both Hockey B.C. and Hockey Alberta as an instructor and coach in both the male and female programs. He and his wife live in Sherwood Park and are the proud parents of Trammel and Maverick who both played Junior and NCAA College hockey. email@example.com - (780) 970-3115.
Kyle has coached in both the AJHL and the SJHL and brings a passion and energy, along with attention to detail in everything that he does. Kyle has outstanding hockey insight and perspective in player evaaluation and he also worked as a Golf Professional in addition to running several major businesses. Kyle resides in Calgary and his knowledge of hockey and enthusiasm to get players great opportunities is something we are extremely excited about with him being a part of our team.
Chris has extensive experience scouting, evaluating and promoting hockey throughout Canada and the United States. His networking abilities and passion to assist and help young players achieve their goals is unmatched. He has a reputation of being one of the hardest working 'hockey people' in Junior 'A'.' We are excited to have Chris help in directing quality players with both ability and character to the Bonnyville Pontiacs organization. Chris lives in St. Paul, Alberta. firstname.lastname@example.org. (780) 614-8830.
Bonnyville Centralized High School
Notre Dame E'cole High School
PONTIACS Billet Liaison and Coordinator: Tamara CARPENTER. 780-545-6210.
Physical Therapist - J.F. BERNIER (Health First Physiotherapy)
Team Chaplains - Graham McDONALD and Tyson WATTERS (Hockey Ministries International)
Team Chiropractor - Dr. McGHIE
Team Massage Therapist - “All About You” - Stephanie McAFEE
Team Doctors - Dr. Dean HANSON and Dr. Joel CADRIN
Team Dentist - Lake Center Dental and Bonnyville Dental Clinic
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