About 20 years of coaching young hockey players has led to this moment for Sylvan Lake’s Cody Reynolds.
Hockey Alberta recently named Reynolds as an assistant coach for Team Alberta at the WHL Cup, formerly known as the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup, in October. Red Deer’s Brandin Cote will serve as the team’s head coach.
“This is something I’ve worked towards for several years now and for it to come to fruition is very exciting for me. I’m really looking forward to it,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds, who runs the Fox Run Hockey Academy, is a head instructor and program developer for the Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp. He’s also an associate coach for the Red Deer College Kings, a former assistant coach with the Queens and has won the Distinguished Leaders Award from Hockey Alberta.
Coaching Team Alberta at the WHL Cup will be one of Reynolds’s greatest achievements in hockey so far, he said.
“It’s a program that is very hard to get into – it’s very competitive. Hockey Alberta has a high standard for coaches and players.
“There’s nothing better than being able to work with these kids, especially in a short-term competition when you see them pushing themselves – you get to help be a little piece of their puzzle in getting to the next step and accomplishing their goals,” he said.
Reynolds said he’s excited to coach alongside Cote.
“Brandin and I are good friends and … I really enjoy working with him. Our philosophies align very closely. We challenge each other and work with each other really well. I think that’ll be a nice bonus heading into this,” said Reynolds.
The two have previously coached together at Red Deer College and scouted talent at the Alberta Cup in Red Deer.
Cote is currently an assistant coach with the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos and a former assistant coach with the Prince Alberta Raiders. He’s also coached the Red Deer Midget AAA Optimist Chiefs, RDC Queens, the Bentley Generals and Team Alberta at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.
He played five seasons with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs and three seasons with the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.
The WHL Cup features the highest rated players under 16 years old representing Alberta, B.C., Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The round-robin tournament assists the four Western Provincial Hockey Associations (Hockey Alberta, BC Hockey, Hockey Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association) evaluate prospects for future high performance programs.
The majority of the players participating in the event were selected in the WHL Bantam Draft, and many of these top young prospects will play major roles on WHL Clubs in the seasons ahead.