For the first time in his coaching career, Sylvan Lake’s Cody Reynolds will be behind the bench at the 2023 Canada Winter Games.
A veteran in the hockey community Reynolds will serve as an assistant coach for Team Alberta’s U16 male team at the upcoming Games.
He’s coached for Alberta at the 2019 WHL Cup but not at the Winter Games, which begins this Saturday in Prince Edward Island.
“It’s a terrific program,” he said. “The people you get to work with are second to none. It’s a growth mindset for myself going into it being an everyday learner.”
In different ways, Reynolds has been involved with Hockey Alberta for just over 10 years and has been a part of multiple different tournaments including the WHL Cup and the Alberta Cup.
“Now having an opportunity to be a part of a Canada Games team is special and something that I personally have been working towards for a long time,” Reynolds said.
“Just to get that chance to represent the province again and work with this caliber of people is an outstanding opportunity.”
Reynolds is joined by head coach Serge Lajoie, and assistant coaches James Poole, Derrick Martin, and Derek Purfield.
They also have plenty of talent on the roster including Red Deer Rebels prospect defenceman Luke Vlooswyk.
“We’ve got some special players there’s no doubt about it,” he added.
He served as an associate coach for the Red Deer Polytechnic Kings hockey team from 2016-2020, and returned in 2021 after one year as head coach of the Red Deer U18 AAA Chiefs for the 2020-21 season.
The process began in April scouting players during the Alberta Cup. From there they made a list of players to invite to summer camp and hosted them in Red Deer for a week. The coaching staff then scouted them during the first couple of weeks of their season.
They named their final roster and held a team camp in December so all the staff and players could become familiar with each other.
“It’s been a long process but it’s been really detailed and it’s been a very thorough process as well,” Reynolds said.
The team is built with plenty of depth up front and the back end is comprised of mobile, strong defencemen and solid goaltending.
“I’m very confident in the team we’re bringing out there. There’s going to be some very competitive teams with some of the bigger provinces,” he said. “I’m very excited to see what our group is able to do out there.”