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

Coach Alex Vasko - WBS Junior Knights Head Coach and Hockey Director

Coach Alex Vasko is the WBS Jr Knights head coach as well as the hockey director for the organization. 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 Vasko has coached and trained NHL player Ivan Provorov – Philadelphia Flyers (NHL Draft 2015, 1st Round, 7th Overall), Denis Smirnov – Colorado Avalanche (NHL Draft 2017, 6th Round, 156th Overall), CJ Yakimowicz – St. Louis Blues (NHL Draft 2014, 6th Round, 172nd Overall), Nikita Pavlychev – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Draft 2015, 7th Round, 197th Overall) and Dmitri Zaitsev – Washington Capitals (NHL Draft 2016, 7th Round, 207th Overall). In addition to the six NHL draft picks, Coach Vasko has developed players currently committed by the Big 10 and other Division 1 Colleges: Denis Smirnov, Nikita Pavlychev, Paul DeNaples and Jacob Goldowski – Penn State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten; Eugene Fadyeyev – Ohio State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten.

Coach Ray Giroux - WBS Junior Knights Coach and Operations Manager

Coach Ray Giroux is the operations manager of the WBS Jr Knights program as well as the 2009 AYHL head coach. Giroux is a Canadian ice hockey defenceman that played in the National Hockey League (NHL) as well as with Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
Giroux, who shoots left, played collegiately at Yale University. During the 1997–98 season, he captained the best team in school history as Yale won their first ECAC regular season title (Yale has since won another regular season title in the 2008-09 season) and advanced to the NCAA tournament after only having been picked to finish in 10th place at the beginning of the season. 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 Giroux spent time in many NHL organizations before leaving the US to play overseas. He has played in the AHL for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and in the NHL for both the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils. Playing for AK Bars, Coach Giroux became Russian champion (2005/06) and IIHF European Champions Cup winner (2007). Giroux made his Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) debut playing with SKA Saint Petersburg during the inaugural 2008–09 KHL season and played for five seasons. He participated in the 2009 Kontinental Hockey League All-Star Game.
Coach-Ray-Giroux
Chirs Cordaro

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 Christopher Laganiere – WBS Junior Knights Mite Director

Coach Chris 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). During Laganiere’s leadership at the Senators, in 2016-17, the team had an impressive record of 45-1-1, 91 points and was 1st in Northeast Division. In 2017, the Senators won the Northeast Division and lost in the Silver Cup semi-finals to Granite City.

In addition to coaching at the Junior A level, Chris had the opportunity to play for a number of great coaches including:

  • Pierre Laganiere – prolific scorer with Broome Dusters, former New York Ranger draft pick
  • Sheldon Keefe – current Toronto Marlies (AHL) Head Coach, 2018 Calder Cup winning Head Coach
  • Eric Veilleux – current Moncton Wildcats (QMHJL) Head Coach, former AHL Head Coach
  • Ed Gosek-current Oswego State (NCAA Div 3) Head Coach, 2007 National Championship winning Head Coach.