After just one season as Head Coach but a total of five seasons with the organization, Reid Hnatowich is packing up his hockey bag and is headed for an assistant coaching post with the Junior "A" Okotoks Oilers.
Hnatowich started as a scout with the Oilers two seasons ago and split last season between the Xtreme and the Oilers, a member of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He was their Skill Development Coach and Assistant Director of Hockey Development, taking care of the team's business operations. For the 2019-2020 season, the Oilers have asked Hnatowich to become an Assistant Coach and continue with the hockey development program.
Hnatowich is just 22 years of age, so getting an opportunity to be a coach in the Junior "A" ranks is a huge one. "I am very excited for the opportunity. I think, despite my age, I have put in a lot of work and I've worked hard for this. I think it can be beneficial toward the organization as well, even though I am a little bit younger."
While Hanatowich is eager to move into his new role, he says leaving an organization like the Xtreme, where he's spent five years, is bittersweet.
"You know that last game of the season was one of the most emotional times in my time here with the Airdrie Xtreme. That program, in terms of building my hockey career, has been outstanding. Life long memories. Happy to say that we were able to raise a banner in the five seasons that we've been a part of. I think the overall memories, lessons and positive relationships I've created through the Airdrie Xtreme are things that will be with me for the rest of my life. I can't thank the Airdrie Xtreme program enough for where it's got me."
Hnatowich says the search is on by the Xtreme to find his replacement soon.
"They're currently in the interview process and are managing applications right now. When you're leaving a program, you always want to kind of leave it in a better spot than when you came in. I think we have a really cool staff in place in terms of my assistant coaches as well as management staff who have really taken the reins on this interview and hiring process. We also have a really cool board of directors as well who are kind of heading this. I'm very confident that these guys are professionals and they'll find someone who's going to be able to take over an do a really good job."
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