The Olds Grizzlys will have a new look behind the bench for the upcoming Alberta Junior Hockey League season.
The team announced Monday that Scott Atkinson will take the helm as general manager and head coach of the Grizzlys for the 2020-21 campaign. Pete deGraaf returns to the club as an assistant coach and Austin Ehret will come on as assistant coach, as well as equipment manager and trainer.
Atkinson was previously the coach of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the British Columbia Hockey League. He earned a 72-69-8-2-1 record in two and a half seasons behind the bench and was relieved of his position in December of 2019.
He was also involved in the development of the Edge School of Excellence Hockey Program and also coached at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal College.
“We are excited to have Scotty leading the Grizzlys organization in the role of GM & Head Coach, his resume and recruiting experience are unmatched and along with Pete and Austin, we can’t wait to get the season started. Its exciting times ahead for the Grizzlys organization,” said Trent Wilhauk, Grizzlys Vice-President.
Ehret was also a coach at the Edge School in Calgary for the last three seasons.
Jason Petrie will also return as Grizzlys Director of Scouting and Dr. Andrew Jackson as the Team Physician.
Last season, the Grizzlys finished at the bottom of the AJHL Viterra South division with a 10-41-7 record. Grizzlys GM and head coach Joe Murphy resigned on Jan. 13 and deGraff was named interim head coach. Atkinson was hired less than a week later, on Jan. 24.
In April, the club announced a number of players signed Letters of Intent for next season. They added 10 players in total, including five defenceman, four forwards and a goalie. Two come from the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs, with forward Kaleb Kremp of Innisfail and Sundre’s Tristan Baumung. Kremp, a five-foot-10, 165-pound forward had nine points in 32 games with the Optimist Chiefs last year and suited up for one regular-season game. Baumung, a six-foot-one, 190-pound blueliner played two regular season games and two playoff contests with Olds last year.