Hockey has always been a part of Brandin Cote’s life and the Red Deer-native has his sights set on taking his next coaching step.
He coached the Bentley Generals to an Allan Cup title and, for the past four years, he’s been the head coach of the Red Deer Optimist Midget AAA Chiefs.
Now he has an opportunity to work with young players who like him are trying to take the next step.
Cote was invited by Bill Peters, head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League, to join the team’s development camp next week.
“I’ll be on the ice when the guys go on the ice and help out wherever I can off the ice,” said Cote. “They have a bunch of off-ice stuff planned that I’ll be a part of.
“It’s an opportunity to go down and see how they do things there and work with the prospects. Anytime you can be around players at that level and the management and coaching staff, have conversations and pick their brains, it’s always a good learning experience.”
The two have known each other for a long time as Peters was an assistant coach with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League under head coach Mike Babcock while Cote played there.
“I’ve been able to have them as friends and mentors,” said Cote. “They know my career path, in terms of where I want to go with coaching. Peters brought it up to me a couple of weeks ago and asked me to come down and help out. It’s going to be a good opportunity for me.
“I want to coach, I want to be where (Peters) is. That was one of my goals when I retired from hockey, to get into coaching as a career.”
Cote played five full seasons, plus a seven game stint as a 16-year-old, with the Chiefs. He went on to play in the American Hockey League with the Norfolk Admirals, the British Elite Ice Hockey League’s Nottingham Panthers, the East Coast Hockey League’s Texas Wildcatters, the Italian Serie A’s SG Cortina and the German second tier Bundesliga’s Fischtown Pinguins.
After his journey through various professional leagues, he played one season with the Generals, of the Chinook Hockey League, before turning coach.
“It’s great opportunity that I’m definitely looking forward to,” said Cote. “It will be a positive experience.”
He’ll be working with some faces WHL fans will recognize including the Hurricane’s first pick in the 2015 NHL draft, Red Deer Rebels defenceman Haydn Fleury, and this year’s first pick, Calgary Hitmen defenceman Jake Bean.
The Hurricanes development camp runs from July 6 to 9 in Raleigh, N.C.