The Kerry Park Islanders’ coaching and management have undergone some changes in anticipation of the 2021-22 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season.
Owner and former head coach Brandon Cox will transition from behind the bench to the front office, taking over the role of general manager. Troy Newans will replace him as head coach, with Cody Carlson joining the staff as both associate coach and assistant general manager. Dan Whiteford is now on board as an assistant coach.
Cox bought the team in the summer of 2020 only to have his first season with the club disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Isles played just 11 games under strict health guidelines in October and November of last fall before restrictions forced the league to postpone and then cancel the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign.
Originally from Parksville, Cox played junior B hockey with the Golden Rockets of the Kootenay International Hockey League, then spent three years in the B.C. Hockey League, posting 59 points and 610 penalty minutes in 168 games. He played a year of professional hockey in the Central Hockey League, then went into coaching and skill training.
Newans has a wealth of experience as well, including time as an assistant coach with the junior A Cowichan Valley Capitals and the junior B Oceanside Generals. Whiteford also spent many years as an assistant coach with the Caps, working with four different head coaches. Carlson is a Victoria native who played five seasons in the Western Hockey League prior to a pro career that took him throughout the U.S. and Europe. He played the last three seasons with ASC Corona Brasov in Romania.
Beyond those changes, the Isles made a trade recently, sending Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey product Kal Nagy back to the Campbell River Storm on June 15 in exchange for Dylan Parsons and Ben Northcott.
Nagy, a 2003-born blueliner, started the 2020-21 season with the Storm before a Nov. 4 trade sent him to Kerry Park for future considerations. The Storm said in a press release that they “immediately regretted” trading Nagy away. He had two assists in seven games with Campbell River before the trade, then played only two games with the Isles before the season ended abruptly.
Parsons is a 2001-born defenceman from Victoria who last played in the VIJHL in 2018-19, when he had 20 points in 43 games for the Westshore Wolves. He went east for the next two seasons, playing junior A for the Pickering Panthers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Soo Thunderbirds of the North Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Northcott is a 2003-born defender from Prince Rupert who made his junior B debut with the Storm last season, putting up one goal and two assists in nine games.
The Isles have also joined with the Lake Cowichan Kraken and Peninsula Panthers to offer a three-team tryout on July 23-25 at Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich. All three teams will be there to evaluate prospects, along with two junior A teams. To sign up, email email@example.com with name, birth year, height, weight, last season’s team, and hometown.