Kevyn Adams, MBA, who joined HARBORCENTER’s management team in October 2013, will oversee the operations and direction of the program which will boast a full-time staff of coaches that will lead and support skill-building programs for players and coaches to provide a slate of rigorous on-ice training programs.
Adams comes to HARBORCENTER from the Buffalo Sabres coaching staff, where he spent the last two years as an assistant coach with the team. Prior to that, Adams worked for two years as the Sabres’ player development coach, working with players on their individual skills through on-ice drills and off-ice video sessions. His coaching experience stems from an 11-year playing career in the NHL, during which he played for six clubs including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks. Originally drafted 25th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Adams helped lead the Hurricanes to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 2005-06.
Before his NHL career, Adams played collegiate hockey at Miami University (Ohio), where he graduated as the school’s third-highest scoring player in team history and was inducted into the RedHawks’ Hall of Fame in 2012. A native of Western New York, Adams played for several local teams including the Niagara Scenics (now Buffalo Junior Sabres) and the Wheatfield Blades.
MARTIN BIRON – Academy of Hockey Director of Goaltending
Martin Biron has been connected to Buffalo for almost 20 years. He was selected by the Sabres in the first round of the 1995 draft and made his debut that same season, at the age of 18. Biron went on to spend parts of nine seasons in blue and gold, and currently ranks fourth in franchise history with 300 games played. Biron posted a 134-115-37 record with the Sabres, with a 2.53 goals against average and .909 save percentage. In 2007, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers and led the team to the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals. Following his time in Philadelphia, Biron went on to join the Islanders and Rangers, retiring from the NHL on October 20th of last year, almost 19 years after playing his first NHL game. In all, Biron played in 508 NHL games and compiled a record of 230-191-80.
As the Academy of Hockey’s Director of Goaltending, Biron will work to create an innovative approach to coaching that position. He will help shape and implement all goaltending aspects of the Academy of Hockey. Biron will work to form programs, create specialized instruction plans and drills, and aid in The Academy’s advanced use of video. In addition, he will develop the Academy of Hockey’s goaltending philosophy, and formulate both in-season and offseason goaltending development programs.
CHARLIE MENDOLA – Assistant Director of Academy of Hockey
Charlie Mendola joins the Academy of Hockey Staff as the Assistant Director, reporting to Kevyn Adams, the Director of the Academy. As Assistant Director, Mendola’s responsibilities will include assisting in the creation, implementation, marketing and servicing of all Academy programing that will make HARBORCENTER a development destination for hockey players. A native of Western New York, Mendola played for the Niagara Scenics Jr. A (now Buffalo Jr. Sabres), before continuing his playing career at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Mendola continues to be active in WNY hockey as a youth hockey coach. He currently coaches multiple teams, and at times will also be utilized as an on-ice coach for Academy of Hockey programing.
Mendola comes to the Academy after 15 years in the Retail Banking field including multiple positions at HSBC Bank USA and First Niagara Bank. Most recently, he was the First Vice President and an Area Manager of Retail Banking at First Niagara Bank.
JEREMIAH CROWE – Academy of Hockey Development Coach
Jeremiah Crowe joins the Academy of Hockey coaching staff after spending the last three years coaching at the NCAA Division III level for Buffalo State. Prior to the 2013-2014 season, Crowe joined the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints as a scout and holds the responsibility of evaluating Midget AAA, Prep School, and Junior players in the Western New York Area.
Before entering coaching, Crowe played collegiately at Clarkson University where he was a member of the Division I hockey teams that won the 2006-2007 ECAC Championship, 2007-2008 ECAC Regular Season Title, and twice advanced to the NCAA tournament. A native of Western New York, Crowe grew up playing for multiple organizations in the area including the Bud Bakewell Bruins, Wheatfield Blades, Buffalo Regals, Buffalo Saints, and the Buffalo Junior Sabres. He also spent two years away playing junior in the North American Hockey League and received a Masters Degree in Sport Administration from Canisius College.
Crowe will work closely with Kevyn Adams and the rest of the coaching staff to implement elite level training and development programs for all positions and skill levels, as well as help lead coaching education programs to accelerate youth hockey player development.
JOHN DAIGNEAU – Academy of Hockey Development Coach
John Daigneau joins HARBORCENTER’s team as Development Coach for the Academy of Hockey. Daigneau spent the last four years as assistant coach at Canisius College, including the Griffs’ 2013 Atlantic Hockey championship and NCAA berth. He also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at the University School of Milwaukee, helping the team to the 2010 WIAA Boys State Championship, as well as assisting with multiple youth teams in the Milwaukee Winter Club Organization.
Prior to coaching, Daigneau was a standout goaltender at Harvard and helped lead the Crimson to four NCAA tournaments and two ECAC championships. As a senior, he earned ECAC Championship Most Outstanding Player accolades and was honored with the John Tudor Memorial Award as the team’s MVP. Daigneau also spent time with the Idaho Steelheads and Pensacola Ice Pilots of the ECHL and the Wichita Thunder of the CHL, winning a Kelly Cup Championship while with Idaho. Growing up in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Daigneau played youth hockey followed by two years in high school. He moved away from home to play in the USHL prior to his junior year of high school and spent three years playing for the Rochester Mustangs and the Chicago Steel. Daigneau earned a Master of Sport Administration degree from Canisius College in 2012.
Daigneau will work with the rest of the Academy coaching staff to implement elite level training and development programs for all positions and skill levels, as well as provide additional goalie-specific support to Marty Biron.
MIKE ANSELL – Academy of Hockey Development Skating Coach
Mike Ansell joins HARBORCENTER’s Academy of Hockey staff as a Development Skating Coach. Ansell spent the past 7 years as ColdRush Hockey Skills Director, working as a power skating and skills coach with multiple professional players and many NCAA athletes. He started his coaching career with the AA Ashburn Xtreme before moving on to the AAA DC Capitals organization, where he served for two years as the head coach for the U16 DC Caps. In 2012, Ansell became head coach and Director of Player Development for the Washington Little Capitals, Northern Virginia’s Tier 1-AAA youth hockey program.
Ansell is a homegrown hockey player from Northern Virginia and played his youth hockey locally for the Reston Raiders and Broad Run High School, earning All-Met honors his senior year. He then left for Ontario to play in the OPJHL for the Couchiching Terries and the Hunstville Wildcats. Ansell finished his junior career with the Fort Erie Metors before moving on to play college hockey at the NCAA Division III level for Buffalo State where he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Health and Wellness.
SHELLEY LOONEY – Academy of Hockey Development Coach
Shelley Looney joins the Academy of Hockey staff as a Development Coach. Shelley will work closely with Head Development Coach Adam Mair and the rest of the coaching staff to implement and deliver elite level training and development programs for all positions and skill levels. Additionally, Shelley will help lead coaching education programs to accelerate youth hockey player development.
Shelly brings a wide array of experience as both a player and coach at both the national and international levels. Shelley moved to Buffalo in 2014 to join the Buffalo Bisons as the organization’s Hockey Director. Prior to that, she spent eight years with the New Jersey Colonials as Girls’ and Women’s Hockey Director. In that role, Shelley oversaw a program that increased its enrollment by nearly 400 percent and sent 60 players into collegiate programs, including three USA Hockey national team members and one Olympian. Shelley’s coaching experience includes assistant coaching roles with the University of Vermont women’s varsity team, the USA Hockey National Development Program’s U17 boys’ team and the USA U18 Women’s hockey team. Shelley was recently appointed USA Hockey Athlete Director, serving on several USA Hockey boards and committees
As a hockey player, Shelley brings significant international experience to the Academy staff. She played in 151 international games as a member of the United States Women’s National Team from 1992 to 2005, and scored 61 goals with 136 points. A two-time Olympian, Shelley scored the clinching goal in Team USA’s 1998 gold medal win over Canada and also won silver in 2002.
PATRICK OLIVETO – Academy of Hockey Development Coach
Patrick Oliveto joins the Academy of Hockey from the Niagara University Men’s Ice Hockey program where he served as Assistant Coach for the last four (4) seasons.
Oliveto is a native of Rochester, N.Y., who played Junior A hockey for the Buffalo Lightning. From there, he proceeded to play NCAA Division 1 College hockey at Niagara University from 2003-2007. During that time, Oliveto was a member of the 2004 NCAA Tournament team while earning CHA All-Rookie team honors. Additionally, he was a member of consecutive CHA regular season championship teams during his Junior and Senior seasons, and served as team captain his final season. Oliveto, who was a three-time CHA All-Academic team selection, was named Niagara’s male student-athlete of the year in 2007.
Following graduation, Oliveto spent two seasons in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) with the Mississippi Sea Wolves, before heading back to Western New York as an assistant coach with the Buffalo State Bengals. With the Bengals, Oliveto was in charge of recruiting, while assisting with practices, video sessions and scouting. Oliveto aided in reshaping the Buffalo State team, finishing in third place of the State University of New York Athletic Conference at the conclusion of the 2010 – 2011 season.
As Oliveto transitions to the Academy of Hockey, he will work closely with Kevyn Adams and the rest of the coaching staff to implement elite level training and development programs for all positions and skill levels. Addiditonally, with his strong background in scouting and video analysis, he will have responsibilities to structure coaching education programs, accelerating player and coach development.
Oliveto is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Finance with expected completion in later 2015.
OLGA KHMYLEV – Academy of Hockey Program Manager
Olga Khmylev has been a member of the Sabres family for years and years. Her father Yuri played for the Sabres from 1992 to 1996 and has worked in the scouting department for over a decade.
Khmylev went to Boston College on a full scholarship for tennis and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and East European Studies. She worked for the Sabres as a public relations intern during the 2011 World Juniors, and has since then worked for the IIHF as a results manager at the 2012 and 2013 World Junior Championships in Calgary and Ufa, respectively. Khmylev also attended the Game Officials Education Program at the 2014 IIHF Hockey Development Camp at the Sport Institute of Finland in Vierumaki, Finland. Last year, she worked as a hockey and football sideline reporter for Time Warner Cable. Khmylev was also the host/reporter for the Canisius College hockey team and assisted them with their multimedia production. Most recently she worked in production at the hockey venues for NBC at the Sochi Olympics.
As the Academy of Hockey’s Program Manger, Khmylev will be reporting to Kevyn Adams and assisting the entire Academy coaching staff in the behind-the-scenes logistics of all of their development programing and will be the liaison between the Academy and participant families.