The Valley West Hawks have confirmed a new head coach and new general manager for the upcoming season.
Rob Evers will take over as head coach after working with the regional Midget AAA team as an associate coach/general manager. Stefan Burzan joins the team in the role of general manager.
The moves follow the departure of Jessie Leung, who left the team after three seasons to become an assistant coach with the BC Hockey League’s Trail Smoke Eaters.
“I joined the team three years ago, when I met Jessie and agreed to come on board,” said Evers, who also serves as the U16 Evaluator Lead with BC Hockey. “Since then, I’ve invested a lot of time developing and recruiting players.”
Burzan takes on the general manager’s role a couple of years after hanging up his skates.
He played for Valley West team in the 2009-10 season, before moving on to a five-year career in junior hockey which saw him play for eight teams at the Junior B, Junior A and Major Junior levels.
He is the older brother of Luka Burzan, a former Valley West Hawk who played for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League this past season.
“The general manager’s job is a ton of work, believe it or not,” said Evers. “He’s been at the rink helping us for the last couple of years. It seemed like a perfect fit, as he’s not far removed from playing in the program.”
Kyle Spencer returns to the team as an assistant coach. Guido Lamberti-Charles will also work as an assistant.
The new coaching/management team has already been working to assemble next season’s team, which has committed to 17 players for 2017-18.
The Hawks placed seventh in the 11-team BC Hockey Major Midget League last season, a year after winning its first provincial championship.
But Evers insists wins and losses doesn’t determine the success of the program.
“The ultimate measure is how many kids we move on to Junior A or the WHL,” he said.