This award is presented to Hockey PEI’s top coach who shows leadership to players, demonstrates skill development, fair play and has a sound philosophy for the game of hockey. Winning may be considered an asset for this award, but it is certainly not the only and most important one.
Hockey PEI Staff | June 24th
Nathan DesRoches has been with the Arsenault Fish Mart Western Red Wings Junior B Hockey Club for the past 6 seasons and has had his fair share of ups and downs during that time. But nothing could ever amount to the past season he and his team experienced. COVID-19 introduced many challenges for those a part of the game of hockey. As a coach and a leader of his team, DesRoches was forced to make changes and adapt to the new guidelines and playing rules. But this wasn’t the biggest challenge. Above all, the team had been put through a very heartbreaking time, losing a teammate, Alex Hutchinson due to a boating accident in September of 2020, which left the team and coaching staff in a very tough emotional time.
Despite the loss, DesRoches remained strong, full of devotion, spirit and positivity and truly gave it his all this past season. He was the key person to motivate and encourage his team to do their best and win for Alex. He kept the players, staff and fans remaining hopeful, especially Alex’s parents and grandparents who attended all the Red Wings’ games in Alex’s memory.
For Nathan, Respect is a priority both with him and players, which can be clearly seen. The Red Wings completed the 2020-21 season with 21 wins, and only 2 losses while claiming the Junior “B” Provincial title and setting the league record of 24 straight wins.
For the reasons above, Hockey PEI is extremely humbled to present Nathan with the 2020-21 Coach of the Year Award and will forever keep the memory of Alex Hutchinson alive with the compassion and leadership of Nathan and his team.