BROOKS, AB (July 14, 2022) – The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) are thrilled to announce the hiring of former player and Captain Nick Prkusic to the position of Assistant Coach.
The 25-year-old Bandits alumnus played three seasons in Brooks (2014-17), dressing in 130 regular season games, scoring 118 points, in addition to 38 AJHL Playoff games, compiling 29 points (14G, 15A).
The Medicine Hat, AB product played in three AJHL Championship Finals, winning twice Championships (2016, 2017) and appeared in two Western Canada Cups, winning in 2017 in Penticton as the team’s Captain. He’s appeared in two National Junior A Championships (2016, 2017).
“I am thrilled to be back in the city of Brooks as a member of the Bandits coaching staff. Brooks was a special place to play and it’s surely going to be a great place to grow and develop as a coach. I can’t wait to get to work with our players, and I hope to use my playing experience in college to help give them some insight on what to expect,” said Prkusic.
“I’m also extremely grateful that Ryan and the Bandits organization are trusting me with the opportunity to begin my junior coaching career with one of the most high-end programs in the country. I look forward to getting to town and helping in any way I can to defend the AJHL and Centennial Cup titles.”
Following his Bandit career, Prkusic played NCAA Division I hockey at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania, where he Captained the team in his Junior and Senior years. He scored 81 points (30G, 51A) in 128 college games, and was named Atlantic Hockey Association West Division First All-Star Team, and AHA West Division Player of the Year following the 2020-21 season.
After his college career, Prkusic began his coaching career at Prairie Hockey Academy (CSSHL) in Caronport, SK, where he was named Head Coach of the U17 team.
“I’m extremely familiar with Nick after coaching him for 3 seasons so the interview process was quite easy. He stood out with his knowledge of the way we play and our daily expectations. His time in Brooks as a player will serve him and our players well as he experienced 3 AJHL Championship series, 2 Western Canada Cups and 2 National Championship Tournaments,” said Bandits Head Coach and GM, Ryan Papaioannou.
“He is a young coach that is passionate about the game and wants to further his own learning while guiding our players towards College Hockey. We feel like Nick’s playing experience in the NCAA is a phenomenal addition to our staff. The fact we now have two former players as Assistant Coaches is exciting for me as their development is now coming full circle. Nick will undoubtedly connect to our players in a meaningful way that will benefit our organization.”
Prkusic joins the Bandits Coaching Staff which includes Papaioannou, Asst. Coach Taylor Makin, Skills Coach Kevin Yellowaga and Goaltender Coach Keven Sajinovic.
2022-23 Bandits Season Tickets are on sale, with the Exhibition Season opening on August 31. The Regular Season Home Opener is September 16.