BLAINE, MN (NAHL.com) -The North American Hockey League (NAHL) is pleased to announce the coaches that will represent Team NAHL at the 2019 Sirius Junior Club World Cup in Russia. Aberdeen Wings head coach Scott Langer has been named the team’s head coach and Amarillo Bulls head coach Rocky Russo has been named the assistant coach.
“Scott and Rocky are two very experienced and well-respected coaches in the NAHL and they are both a great choice to lead our players in Sochi,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “Both had very successful seasons in 2018-19, not only with the on-ice success of their teams, but also with the number of NCAA commitments each program had. We are confident they will be great leaders behind the bench while in Russia and we appreciate their commitment to the NAHL and its players.”
The 2019 Sirius Junior Club World Cup will be held at the home of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, at the base of the Sirius Educational Centre from August 23-31, 2019. The annual tournament, which is sanctioned by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), brings together world-class junior hockey clubs from various countries for competition.
Team NAHL, which will be comprised of a 24-man roster featuring one player from each of the 24 teams that competed in the NAHL during the 2018-19 season, will be announced soon. The roster will be limited to five players with 1999 birth years.
This past season, Langer guided the Aberdeen Wings to their first ever Robertson Cup National Championship back on May 14th. With the over 550+ NAHL wins to his credit, Langer is currently the active NAHL wins leader. During his time with the Wings, he has helped the team to set several new franchise records, as well as, capture three divisional titles. Langer was named Central Division Coach of the year in 2016-17 and again this past season in 2018-19. He has previously won both NAHL Coach of the Year and NAHL GM of the Year during his time with the RoadRunners organization. He has coached in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament a record 10 times.
“It is an honor to be the first coach to represent the North American Hockey League as the Head Coach of this event. I look forward to working with the league staff, Coach Rocky Russo, and the elite players of the NAHL that were selected. I believe the talent we’ll have on ice will represent the league and the United States very well,” stated Langer. “It will be great exposure for the players, as well as the NAHL, to show off our incredibly successful brand of hockey. This will help elevate our league and expose it to international competition, as well as help with future recruiting.
Russo just completed his second season as the head coach of the Bulls. He was named the NAHL’s South Division Coach of the Year during the 2018-19 season thanks to the Bulls posting a 46-8-6 record and winning both the South Division’s regular season and playoff titles. In addition, the Bulls saw 13 of their players make NCAA commitments this past season. Russo was previously an Assistant Coach in the NAHL for both the Bulls and St. Louis Bandits, where he helped the Bulls to Robertson Cup National Championships in 2013. During the four years prior to returning to Amarillo as head coach, Russo was the Head Coach of the Philly Little Flyers of the Eastern Hockey League where the program was quite successful posting a mark of 159-34-14-3 and advancing to two consecutive league championships.
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected to coach the NAHL Junior Club World Cup team. We expect the competition to be excellent against the other countries and the experience for the players to be first class in every way. I have no doubt that this event will serve them well in their development as they return to the NAHL and prepare to be NCAA Student-Athletes,” said Russo.