Coaches

Coaches

The WBS Junior Knights have some of the top coaches in the country with college, junior or professional playing and coaching experience. In addition, the Knights offer seasonal guest instructors, as well as former Knights players returning from professional or college hockey to mentor a new generation of Knights. The Knights coaches are committed to providing each and every Knights player an opportunity to excel at the highest level of hockey, AND OUR TRACK RECORD IS UNMATCHED!

COACH ALEX VASKO

WBS Jr Knights 2008 AAA Coach And Director Of Hockey
Vasko is a native to Kiev, Ukraine and represents the former Soviet Union Hockey Training School. Coach Vasko started his professional playing career in Eastern Europe Hockey League in 1995. In 1999 Alex moved to the United States to continue his playing career in Gold Rush AWHL, Sioux City Musketeers USHL and Mohawk Valley UHL. Alex also participated in NHL Rookie Camps of Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning and in ECHL, UHL Training Camps.
In 2007, he moved to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area to begin his coaching career as a Head Coach with WBS Jr. Knights Youth Hockey Club. For five years in a row, Coach Vasko has been selected as AYHL All Star Game Coach. From the 2012 through 2014 hockey seasons, he led his team to a National Championship and in 2012 won the National Championship with his Bantam Major AAA Team.

COACH RAY GIROUX

WBS Jr Knights 2009 AAA Coach and Operations Manager
Giroux is a Canadian ice hockey defenceman that enjoyed 16 years in professional hockey including the National Hockey League (NHL) as well as with Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
During the 1997–98 season, Giroux captained the best team in Yale University history as they won their first ECAC regular season title. In addition to being a 1st-team All American, Giroux was named ECAC Player of the Year as well as the league’s best offensive defenceman and was one of ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate player.

COACH LARRY COURVILLE

WBS Jr Knights 2009 AAA Assistant Coach
Over the course of his career, Coach Courville spent years playing in the National Hockey League (NHL) as well as coaching professional hockey. Born in Timmins, Ontario, Courville was originally drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the fifth round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft and was a key component of Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 1995 World Junior Championships. Courville was the former head coach for the ECHL Reading Royals and serves as the assistant coach of the WBS Jr Knights 2009 team.

COACH RYAN SECOR

WBS Jr Knights 2008 AAA Assistant Coach and WBS Knights USPHL Elite Head Coach
Prior to joining the WBS Jr. Knights, Coach Ryan Secor spent two years as the Graduate Assistant for the Wilkes University Men’s Ice Hockey program. At his time at Wilkes University, they won a MAC Freedom Championship (2019-20), were a UCHC Finalist (2019-20), and were ranked as high as second in the
country in the Pairwise National Rankings. He coached a USCHO Rookie of the Year, Sid Watson Award Finalist, UCHC Player of the Year, and two All-Americans. Previously, Secor held the head coach position during the 2018-19 season at Siena College in Loudonville, NY where he was also an assistant coach in 2017-18.
Secor has worked as a skills instructor with North American Hockey Systems in Troy, N.Y. since 2006.
He also served as a player development coach with the Florida JR. Panthers in Coral Springs, Fla. in 2016-17, where he was the head coach for the 10U A team and assistant coach for the 12U AA 2017 State Champions.
Secor graduated from Siena College in 2016 with his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a minor in Business Administration. While at Siena, he was a member of the Men’s Club Hockey team and was an assistant captain during the 2015 -16 season.

COACH CODY MURPHY

WBS Knights USPHL Premier Head Coach
Murphy brings a wealth of experience to WBS both as a coach and former D1 / pro hockey player. In his first year coaching at the junior hockey level, Murphy was the Head Coach of the Elmira Jr. Enforcers of the USPHL Premier. Murphy led his team to a 35-15-2 regular season record and finished in 2nd
place. Elmira went on to lose in the quarterfinals of Nationals and entered the tournament as the #1 seed of a very competitive Mid-Atlantic Division. As a player, Murphy competed in the USHL for the Tri-City Storm and Cedar Rapids Roughriders before playing 4 years of NCAA Division 1 hockey at Miami University, where he earned a degree in sports leadership and management. The Highwood, Illinois native participated in the Washington Capitals training camp in 2015. He then went on to a successful pro hockey career, playing in Sweden’s top division for 4 seasons after a brief stint with the ECHL’s Reading Royals.

COACH NICK ZAINO

WBS Jr Knights 2010 AAA Coach
Coach Zaino began his playing career at the age of twelve years old in the DVHL for the Pocono Pirates. At 15 years old, Zaino went on to play junior hockey. During his five year career in junior A hockey, Zaino led multiple teams in scoring in the AJHL (Binghamton Senators), EJHL (CD Selects), BCHL (WestSide Warriors) and OJHL (Collingwood Blues). Zaino went on to play NCAA Division III hockey for Fitch burg State University in Massachusetts winning a championship title in his freshman year. Following his sophomore year, Zaino received the “most improved player” award and was invited to participate in the main camp for the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL affiliate of Pittsburgh Penguins). Zaino finished his  career in minor professional hockey before focusing on his career as an architect. Coach Zaino was the assistant coach for the WBS Jr Knights 2010 AYHL team last season and we welcome him as the head coach for the 2021-2022 season.

COACH PAT BARONE

WBS Jr Knights 2010 AAA Assistant Coach
Coach Barone started his ice hockey journey at 10 years old playing in-house league at the Ice Box in Pittston, PA. By age 14, Barone was the starting goaltender for Pittston Area High School Ice Hockey and played all four years of high school. In addition to high school hockey, Barone played travel
hockey for the Wilkes-Barre Junior Pens U16 and U18 teams. He went on to play ACHA Division 2 hockey while attending Eastern Kentucky University and was the first goaltender to record a shutout in school history. Coach Barone finished with a Masters Degree in Safety, Security and Emergency Man agement and will be the assistant coach of the WBS Jr Knights 2010 AYHL team.

COACH JASON ZALESKI

WBS Jr Knights U14 Coach
Coach Zaleski played his youth career with the WBS Jr Knights out of Revolution Ice Centre before moving on to play junior hockey with the WBS Knights Atlantic Junior Hockey League (AtJHL) . In his 2012 season with the Knights, Zaleski’s team won the AJHL championship and Zaleski led the team with 62 points in the season.
Zaleski then moved on to play junior hockey with Trenton Golden hawks OJHL (Canada) and then continued to play college hockey at Buffalo State SUNY Division 3 NCAA. Zaleski won rookie of the year and led the team in points. Zaleski transferred to the University of Arizona Wildcats where he led the Wildcats in points and went on to win the Cactus Cup.
Zaleski was the assistant coach of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Wilkes-Barre Miners junior hockey team and has been involved with coaching both on-ice and off-ice as well as running skills camps and clinics for both youth and junior hockey for the past 10 years.

COACH CHRISTOPHER LAGANIERE

WBS Junior Knights Mite Director
Laganiere, the son of Binghamton Hall of Famer and former NHLer Pierre Laganiere, comes from a significant hockey pedigree and offers an immeasurable experience to our program.
Laganiere played in the Central Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) for the Brockville Braces, Pembroke Lumber Kings and the Hawsbury Hawks. During his time with the organization, Laganiere won 3 championships, was awarded the MVP Fred Page Cup award and was a 2 time Royal Bank Cup participant.
Laganiere attended SUNY Oswego where he was selected as the 2011 Oswego State Outstanding Male Athlete and was 1st team All-SUNYAC 2009-2010. He was a 2 time Division 3 Frozen Four participant and was inducted into the Oswego State 100 point club. Laganiere went on to become the head coach of the Binghamton Junior Senators NA3HL (2016-2018).

COACH MJ MAERKL

WBS Jr Knights U10 Coach
Coach Merkle grew up playing youth hockey under the 1993 birth year with the AAA Binghamton Senators. Maerkl went on to play NJCAA hockey at Broome CC prior to joining the Wilkes-Barre Miners in the Northern States Hockey League (NSHL). In 2013, Maerkl was awarded the Top Defenseman in the NSHL. Maerkl furthered his career at the NCAA Division III collegiate level playing hockey for Morrisville State University. After college, Maerkl went on to play professional hockey for the Danville Dashers (Illinois) in the FHL. The Federal Prospects Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league with teams in the midwestern, southern, and northeastern United States. During Maerkl’s final season, the Danville Dashers won their first Commissioner’s Cup. Maerkl has been involved with coaching both on-ice and off-ice as well as running skills camps and clinics for the past 10 years.

COACH SEAN DOLAN

WBS Jr Knights U12 Coach
Coach Dolan played seven seasons for the Great Neck Bruins where he was the captain for five of those seasons and then went on to play for Holy Cross High School in Flushing, New York, where the team won three City Championships in his four-year journey. Dolan continued his career with East Strouds burg University, a D3 team in the ACHA. Dolan was the Assistant Coach for the East Stroudsburg University Ice Hockey Team and was the Director of Game Day Operations for the WBS Knights NAHL and EHL teams.

COACH CRAIG HOROWITZ

WBS Jr Knights Power Skating Coach
Coach Craig has lived the skating life for over 40 years, with 19 years of professional skating experience. Craig has spent the past 14 years coaching hockey players and figure skaters from young children through adults, developing a program to build strong foundations and advanced capabilities
in the skills needed to succeed in both sports.
He has coached multiple Division 1 college players, Jr A players and AHL players and had 17 years as principal skater with “Disney on Ice” including 12 of those years as competitive figure skater. Horow itz has 10+ years coaching experience both amateurs and professionals and provides self-designed hockey/figure skating ice programs to improve balance, speed, and endurance with a speciality in power skating.

COACH CHRIS CORDARO

WBS Jr Knights Strength & Conditioning Coach
In addition to his role as the Strength & Conditioning coach for the WBS Knights teams, Coach Chris operates Balance Ultimate Fitness and has been a personal trainer and strength & conditioning coach for over 20 years. Chris oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. He uses the most up-to-date, effective training procedures to outline the best and safest way to get results. Chris’s off-season training program has been recommended by coaches, advisors and agents.

COACH PIERSON GOALTENDING GROUP

WBS Jr Knights Goaltending Program Director
PPG has over 8 instructors for their goalie clinics during the season. Additionally, Mr. Pierson serves as a member of USA Hockey’s Instructor Staff where he provides coaching tools and resources to coaches throughout the Atlantic District to develop goaltenders throughout the United States. PPG will run bi-weekly goaltending clinics for the entire WBS Jr Knights organization.

COACH ANDREI SVISTUNOV

WBS Jr Knights Goaltending Coach
Coach Svistunov is the goaltender coach of the WBS Knights. As a native of Moscow, Russia, Svistunov played hockey for the WBS Knights prior to joining the Buffalo State Bengals. Svistunov racked up an impressive 92% and 80% save percentage in the net for the WBS Knights and Bengals respectively.

COACH KEVIN FARRY

WBS Jr Knights 2012 AAA Coach

COACH BRANDON VAN SCOY

WBS Jr Knights Skills Coach

COACH KEVIN TROUTMAN

WBS Jr Knights Mites Coach

COACH RANDY HILL

WBS Jr Knights Mites Coach

COACH DAVE BARTAL

WBS Jr Knights U10 Assistant Coach

COACH BRANDAN DRAGAN

Mites Coach

COACH DAVE MOOERS

WBS Jr Knights Mites Coach

COACH ANDY MCDONALD

WBS Jr Knights U12 Assistant Coach