Danbury announces coaching change
The Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) have announced a coaching change as Patrik Stefan has been named the team’s new Head Coach.
Former head coach Matt Voity moves to a new capacity within the Danbury Hat Tricks organization, joining Billy McCreary as an assistant coach for the Hat Tricks’ FPHL team and serving as the organization’s Goaltending Director.
Voity has been instrumental in the Hat Tricks’ goaltending success with Dillon Kelly and Brian Wilson reaching the American Hockey league from the Hat Tricks’ FPHL team, and bringing Maine commit and Latvian World Junior goaltender Patriks Berzins into the organization. He will continue his string of goaltending excellence in Danbury.
Stefan, a native of Pribram, Czechia, was the first overall pick in the National Hockey League draft in 1999 and played 455 games across seven seasons in the NHL for the Atlanta Thrashers and the Dallas Stars. He represented the Czech Republic at the IIHF’s World Junior Championships in 1998 and at the World Championships in 2006, claiming a silver medal at the World Championships.
Stefan worked as a certified NHL player agent from 2007-2021. Over those years, he represented Pavel Zacha, the 6th overall pick for the New Jersey Devils in 2015, Michael Neuvirth, drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 2nd round of the 2006 draft, and many other junior, collegiate, and professional players.
He was the head coach of the Little Caesers U15 Midget team, claiming a National Championship in 2019. Players on that team included Luke Hughes, currently playing at the NCAA DI level with the University of Michigan, Jack O’Brien, and his own son James, both currently playing for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.
“We are happy to welcome Patrik into the organization,” said President of Hockey Operations Billy McCreary. “Patrik has vast experience as a player, coach, and mentor. Not only does he possess a great hockey mind, but he has the innate ability to provide guidance to players who are committed to playing at the highest of levels. The foundation of Patrik’s beliefs and philosophies will provide us the necessary building blocks to continue our quest toward a Robertson Cup.”
Stefan will coach his first game on December 30th, when the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks travel to the Colisee in Lewiston, ME, and face the Maine Nordiques. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.