KEVYN ADAMS – Vice President / Director of Academy of Hockey
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.
ADAM MAIR – Academy of Hockey Head Development Coach
Adam Mair made his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1999 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and went on to play parts of 12 seasons in the league. From 2002 to 2010, he was a hard hitting forward for the Sabres, and played a significant role in the team’s run to the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. Mair finished his NHL career in 2011, after 615 games and 114 points. In his seven seasons with the Sabres, Mair played 498 games, scored 105 points, and totaled 701 penalty minutes. He began his transition to coaching with Canisius College, and has spent the last two seasons as Canisius’ director of player development. The program won its first Atlantic Hockey Tournament last season, and very nearly upset top seed Quinnipiac in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
As a full time HARBORCENTER Academy of Hockey coach, Mair will be responsible for educating players and coaches both on and off the ice. He will lead clinics, provide specific on-ice instruction, and complement it with classroom teaching. Mair will be a big part of HARBORCENTER’s coaching outreach, which will provide resources to youth hockey programs across Western New York for the betterment of hockey in the region. Mair brings the benefit of having played for five Jack Adams Award winners, as NHL coach of the year (Lindy Ruff, Jacques Lemaire, Bruce Boudreau, Pat Quinn, and Dave Tippett).
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 Adam Mair 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 Couchaching 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.
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.