Hockey Operations

COACHING STAFF:

Head Coach: Jon Vaillancourt 

Coach Jon Vaillancourt is originally from La Valle, Wisconsin and spent the last two seasons as the Head Coach and General Manager for the Coulee Region Chill in the NA3HL. In Vaillancourt’s inaugural season with the Coulee Region Chill (then La Crosse Freeze), the team posted a record of 34-12-1, claiming the Central Division Championship Title, with six players moving on to the NAHL. This past season, the Coulee Region Chill captured the regular-season Central Division Championship with a program record of 36-9-2.

Prior to coaching, Vaillancourt played four years at Framingham State University NCAA D3 and was as named one of the captains his senior year. After college, he joined the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL before transitioning into coaching. Prior to joining the Coulee Region Chill, Jon spent four years as an Assistant Coach with the Hampton Roads Whalers. During this time, Vaillancourt also served as a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Skills Development Coach in the ECHL with the Norfolk Admirals.

jvaillancourt@wildernesshockey.com


Assistant Coach: Brendan Phelps 

Coach Phelps was born in San Jose, California and moved to Colorado at a young age where he grew up playing hockey.  He eventually played for the Rocky Mountain Roughriders AAA program in Westminster, Colorado. Coach Phelps advanced to the next step of junior hockey, playing one year for the Flin Flon Bombers in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The next year later he transitioned to the Topeka Roadrunners in the North American Hockey League. It was then he knew he wanted to be a coach and began his career.

Coach Phelps began his career in the same organization in which he started by coaching for the Northern Colorado youth program.  The last four years, Coach Phelps has been an integral part of the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders U15-U18 teams serving in various capacities.  Coach Phelps has helped many players advance to junior and collegiate hockey. Coach Phelps has also served as the US Scout for the Flin Flon Bombers in the SJHL. 

In 2014, Coach Phelps founded STPHockey with the goal of skill development to maximize the potential of each player.  STPHockey has grown from a grass-roots level of small group lessons to now helping develop some of Colorado’s most elite hockey players. Current NHL draft picks, division 1 college players, and junior players from across North America rely upon STPHockey to improve throughout the year.  STPHockey focuses on developing the skating, stickhandling, and shooting skills necessary for players to ensure they make an impact at the next level.

bphelps@wildernesshockey.com | 970-214-1017


Assistant Coach: Joe Allen

Coach Joe Allen joins the Wilderness staff for the 2020-21 season. Allen is originally from Brownstown, MI and has spent the last 4 seasons as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations at Eastern Michigan University. Prior to taking over as Head Coach at EMU, Allen served as an assistant for 1 season with the Eagles; he also served as an assistant for a variety of youth teams at the U8 to U16 levels. While coaching at various levels he also served as a scout for a number of junior programs.  Prior to coaching, Allen played at Eastern Michigan University. Before college, he played his junior hockey with the Helena Bighorns organization (NAHL/NA3HL ) and the Hampton Roads Whalers where he and Coach Vaillancourt were teammates. Allen looks to bring another set of tools to the staff and ultimately to help guide the program and players to new heights.

 


 

Media Broadcaster: Marty Hill

 

Marty has been a fixture with the Wilderness since its debut season in Cloquet in 2012-13.  

As the online play-by-play voice on hockeytv.com, he has seen the team celebrate championships in two different leagues, interviewed numerous players and coaches on the YouTube and CAT-7 program Into the Wilderness, and called hundreds of goals both home and away.  Marty’s broadcasting work also includes radio play-by-play for local area high school football, baseball, softball and hockey.  

A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Marty has lived in Cloquet since 2003 and has a 16-year old son. He encourages interaction during his broadcasts, so if you would like to contact Marty, he is available at wildernesshockey@yahoo.com or through Twitter @MartyHill_MN.  

                                                    You can watch all Wilderness games on hockeytv.com


Head of Player Personnel : 

Kevin Smalley

ksmalley@wildernesshockey.com | 218-391-2567


SCOUTING STAFF:

Head Scout: 

Sean Fish | Minnesota

sfish011@hotmail.com | 763-607-2567


Kevin Smalley | Minnesota
ksmalley@wildernesshockey.com | 218-391-1050

Jeff Hannan | Central States

jdhannan14@gmail.com | 724-986-4256


Tim Coleman | Illinois


Aran Ward | New England
aranward89@gmail.com | 978-877-9745