California Rubber

California’s and Nevada’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

Capistrano adds former NHLer Friesen to high school team’s coaching staff


The Capistrano Coyotes have announced that former NHL forward Jeff Friesen will be joining the high school program’s coaching staff.

Friesen has coached youth hockey for eight years, specializing in skill development, particularly shooting, after wrapping up a long career in professional hockey.

That really should come as no surprise given he scored 15 or more goals nine times during his NHL career and 22 or more five times. That came after a WHL career in which he tallied an astounding 120 goals in 165 games.

It’s no wonder the San Jose Sharks made him the 11th overall selection in the 1994 NHL Draft.

Friesen said the lessons he tries to impact on his youth teams from his playing career center on team building and what it takes to be successful as a group. No stranger to raising trophies, Friesen won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2003 and World Junior Championships with Team Canada in both 1994 and 1995. He also twice won the World Championship with Canada.

“Being coached by Daryl Sutter, who was by far the best coach I had, and playing for GM Lou Lamoriello in New Jersey had a huge impact on me,” said Friesen. “When you win a Cup, you see how they do it at the highest level. It gives you a glimpse into how great teams are built. I saw how Team Canada did it for those short tournaments, when coming together quickly is crucial.”

It all starts with a love of the game, for Friesen, who holds a Level 4 coaching certification from USA Hockey.

“Playing with heart, playing with creativity, those are my passions,” Friesen said. “I know the drills but I want the focus on the game. That creativity, combined with skill and playing hard defensively. I enjoy coaching like-minded kids who bring that passion for the game.”

Friesen has coached several high-level prospects from Southern California, including NCAA champion Annie Pankowski, current Jr. Ducks players James Hong and Christian Kim, as well as many of the top 2006 and 2007 birth years in the region.

Capistrano coaching director Jean Labbe added that Friesen will bring another level of expertise in the coaching of their student-athletes with his vast experience in the game.

“He will be strong contributor to our program, and we are excited to have him,” Labbe said.

Photo/James Teterenko

(August 16, 2021)

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