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Grimm, Cafrelli goalie coach tandem boosting Jr. Sharks

 

jr_sharksIt’s one thing to have a youth hockey organization bring aboard top-notch goalie coaches.

It’s another to have those coaches be graduates of that program and do their part to give back to the organization that gave them that extra push as youths.

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Nick Cafrelli and Geoff Grimm are San Jose Jr. Sharks alums who joined the association for the current 2017-18 season in goalie coach capacities – Cafrelli with the AAA teams and Grimm with the AA, A and B teams. Cafrelli will help out Grimm as well.

The pair has revolutionized the Jr. Sharks goalie program, which now has a goalie coach for 90 percent of its AA, A and B practices and almost 100 percent for the AAA teams.

“The Jr. Sharks are excited to bring these two goalie coaches to our staff,” said Jr. Sharks development coordinator and 16U AAA coach Mike Janda. “Nick and Geoff fill a void the Jr. Sharks have had for many years. I had the opportunity to coach Geoff my first season in San Jose and Nick comes to the Jr. Sharks after a NCAA Division III experience and brings a wealth of knowledge to our goalies.”

Cafrelli and Grimm took similar paths home to the Jr. Sharks.

“I knew Nick Gialdini, who was a coach for the Jr. Sharks from 2008 until last year,” said Cafrelli. “He’s now the video coach for the San Jose Barracuda. Nick is one of my best friends and I knew him since middle school. I had been living in Boston for the past seven years and I had wanted to come back home. Nick had told me that the Jr. Sharks needed a goaltending coach and I knew it was a perfect fit for me.”

Cafrelli worked for a number of hockey schools, including Stop It, All American Goaltending and Goaltending Development Services before coming back to San Jose.

“I moved back to San Jose after I finished my own hockey career and was still in contact with the local hockey community,” said Grimm. “I heard from a friend that the San Jose travel programs needed more assistance with goalie training. I was excited about this opportunity and got in touch with (Jr. Sharks director) Curtis Brown last summer. My goalie coaching career took off from there.”

Both coaches hope their knowledge and strategies can boost the Jr. Sharks netminders into elite players.

“I want to grow competitive goalies at every level,” said Cafrelli. “I strive to help my goaltenders become backbones of the team and teammates the other players can rely on. San Jose, from what I have heard in the past has produced some ‘good’ goaltenders, but I would like to bring that term to ‘great.’”

“I coach all ages and all levels of men and women goaltenders,” added Grimm. “I hope to accomplish certain aspects while coaching my goalies. I want them to be competitive, while maintaining their love for the sport. If they are competitive, they will continue to have a desire and drive to accomplish their own goals. I would also like my goalies to leave practice with the knowledge of how to improve their technique and form. I want to watch them develop their skills and reach their potential.”

As for reflecting back on their youth, each sees their Jr. Sharks time as one of pure enjoyment.

“Coming back to this organization brings me back to my winningest year of my competitive career,” Cafrelli said. “My 18U AA team had made it to nationals and it was one of my favorite years I ever had playing. I hope to bring the same experience to the players playing now.”

“I played for three years in the Tier I Elite Hockey League for the Jr. Sharks and over the course of those years, the organization really helped me understand how to improve in every aspect as a goaltender,” added Grimm. “Coming back to the organization is a real honor because I am able to pass down the knowledge I learned throughout my career to my goalies and watch them grow. I hope to give back what I received, and more.”

— Matt Mackinder

(Nov. 30, 2017)