The Humboldt Broncos have named Nathan Oystrick as the team’s new head coach and general manager.
Oystrick, 35, who is originally from Regina, is joining the team nearly three months after a devastating crash involving the team’s bus.
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He said he will never forget the circumstances that brought him to Humboldt.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to be the Humboldt Broncos head coach, and look forward to joining this tremendous community and leading this historic organization, all the while never forgetting the circumstances which have brought me here,” Oystrick said.
“I’m honoured and excited to help lead the Humboldt Broncos toward success in 2018-19.
“I understand how much the Broncos have always meant to the community of Humboldt, but I also understand what the team has come to mean to so many people across North America and beyond.”
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Darcy Haugan, the Broncos’ previous coach, was one of 16 people killed when the team’s bus and a semi collided at an intersection in northeast Saskatchewan on April 6 as the team was travelling to Nipawin for a playoff game. Thirteen others were injured.
Haugan was recently honoured by the NHL as the first winner of the Willie O’Ree Community Hero award.
Broncos president Kevin Garinger said Oystrick’s strong work ethic and leadership will be instrumental in rebuilding the organization.
“Nathan is an outstanding coach who brings in a combination of exceptional playing experience, solid leadership skills and a winning attitude,” Garinger said.
“His strong work ethic and his ability to build relationships will be fundamental to the success of rebuilding our program,” he said as the Broncos prepare for the 2018-19 SJHL season.
The team selected 10 players from other SJHL teams, selected six players in the bantam draft, and held workouts for 80 prospects.
Oystrick played hockey professionally for 10 years, including 65 games in the NHL and 338 games in the AHL, before turning to coaching.
He was an assistant coach with the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL, an affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins, and the Elmira Jackals, an affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, before spending the 2017-18 season as head coach of the Colorado Academy high school.