The Connecticut Nighthawks have added an experienced coach and general manager to lead their program for the 2017-18 season.
By Jim Smith
Former Plymouth State University and New England Wolves head coach Brett Tryder will guide the Nighthawks as they enter their initial season in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) this fall.
Tryder spent three years as an assistant coach and seven years as a head coach at Plymouth State and then coached in the Eastern Hockey League with the Wolves.
“I hit the ground running and had a handful of guys in my recruiting list that were excited to be a part of the USPHL Premier,” said Tryder. “It’s crunch time for everybody now. It’s a big couple of weeks.”
As the team enters the final month prior to the opening of training camp, Tryder has been focusing on finalizing his team’s roster.
“We are filling in the back end of the roster and I think we are looking good with our top six,” said Tryder.
With the advent of the USPHL’s National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC) the Nighthawks have created an affiliation with the Jersey Hitmen.
“Creating a relationship with the Hitmen as our affiliate has been a priority. We will have constant communication with them. We will try and get players in the pipeline for next year.
“The cooperation with the NCDC is an important thing. I think the USPHL has more of an eye on development now that they have that new step,” added Tryder. “It makes more sense. I think the overall development model for the USPHL is better.”
Working with Tryder, who guided the 2005-06 Plymouth State University team to the school’s best conference winning percentage – a record still intact – will be Jason Olson and Kyle Richards.
“We are restructuring, but I believe Kyle Richards will be the Elite coach and Jason Olson will be my assistant coach,” Tryder noted.
In the front office, Olson has many of the administrative tasks completed.
“Jason has done a good job administratively getting the schedule going and [making] travel arrangements,” Tryder said. “I don’t feel burdened at all with administrative stuff. We are in pretty good shape. I am stepping into a pretty good situation.”
As with most coaches, Tryder has been a road warrior, traveling to East Lansing, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Vegas and Nashville among other stops along the way.
“I’ve been hitting every showcase that is available. The season never stops,” Tryder concluded.
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