KEARNEY, Neb. - Tri-City Storm assistant coach Erik Largen has accepted a new position as the number one assistant coach with the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League.
Largen, who was in his first season with the Storm after coming to Kearney in June, will get a chance to move into a role as a number one assistant after spending time in the number two role with Tri-City.
"Erik's a bright young coach who has a very strong future in this game," said Storm head coach Jim Hulton. "He's got a good work ethic in both coaching and in recruiting and when you combine those two it makes for a very bright future. We'd like to thank him for all his efforts representing the Storm and we wish him all the best in his endeavors in Janesville."
The Fairbanks, Alaska native began his coaching career as an assistant with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the NAHL under former Storm head coach Josh Hauge.
Largen, who is 26-years-old, also spent two seasons with the Twin Cities Northern Lights of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League (MNJHL).
"We're happy with current assistants JB Bittner and Erik Blase," Hulton said. "We think we can make up for the loss of Erik with a group effort. JB has a ton of experience as a recruiter with his background at Ohio State so he's very comfortable picking up on the scouting and I've also done a lot of scouting in my past."
The Storm head to Sioux Falls this weekend to face the Stampede in a two-game series Jan. 3-4.
Tri-City will return home for a pair of weekend games against Omaha and Sioux Falls on Jan. 10 and 11. The Lancers will be in Kearney for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop on Friday night, while Sioux Falls returns for a7:05 start on Saturday.
The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) have announced the hiring of Erik Largen as the Jets new assistant coach. Coach Largen replaces former Jets Assistant Coach Jason Dobes and will begin his duties on January 1, 2014.
"I am very excited about Erik joining the Jets. He brings much more to the table then just coaching experience. He has a great eye for talent and knows what it takes as a coach to develop hockey players on and off of the ice. Erik is very passionate about what he does and cares about his players. This is a tight nit family here in Janesville and we had to make sure we brought the right guy in and we know we found the perfect fit," said Jets Head Coach Joe Dibble.
Coach Largen comes to the Jets with a wealth of playing and coaching experience. Largen played in the NAHL for the North Iowa Outlaws and the Southern Minnesota Express prior to playing Division 1 college hockey at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks.
Largen served as assistant coach of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the NAHL in 2009-10 and 2010-11. The Ice Dogs were the runner-up in the Robertson Cup in 2010 and won the Robertson Cup championship in 2011.
Largen was head coach of the Twin Cities Northern Lights in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League in 2011-12 and 2012-13. The Northern Lights compiled an impressive 87-9-2 regular season record under Coach Largen and qualified for the USA Hockey Tier III National Tournament in both years and finished as Tier III National runner-up last season.
Largen has been an assistant coach with the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League (USHL) this season.
"It is never easy making a coaching change mid-season, said Jets President Bill McCoshen. Jason Dobes worked hard and we sincerely appreciate everything he did for the Jets the past 2 seasons. Our hockey model is different than most teams in our league. The Jets are young by NAHL standards, but loaded with talent. My partners and I felt we needed to bring in someone with higher level playing and coaching experience to complement the great work Head Coach Joe Dibble has done in Janesville. Our primary job as an organization is to develop and promote our players to the highest college level possible, and we believe this move will help us achieve that goal," said McCoshen.