Just in time for the start of its pre-season camp, the Campbell River Storm has shored up its support staff.
Jesse Hammill, who was an assistant coach with the Nanaimo Buccaneers last season, will join the Storm this season as an assistant coach, while Jordan Rauser, a former captain of the Storm will also join the Junior B team as an assistant coach. Rauser was also named director of hockey operations.
Head Coach and General Manager Lee Stone said that as soon as he heard Hammill was available, he reached out.
“We’ve always had a very good relationship while be coached down Island,” said Stone in a press release. “He will be a great resource for us on the bench for games and has already been a great asset to us in scouting and recruiting talent to the North Island.”
Hammill was happy to join a team that is setting itself up to vie for a Championship.
“I have been part of rebuilds for the most part in my coaching career and to join a team that is a contender year and year out was very appealing,” he said. “The Storm ‘family’ is a huge selling point and the way the program has been run for many years too. (The) opportunity for team success and to learn from an experienced coach was too good to pass up.”
Hammill’s most recent coaching gig was with the Nanaimo Buccaneers, who the Storm knocked out in six games during the first round of the 2020 VIJHL playoffs before it was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Rauser is using his new position to transition back into hockey at a competitive level. Fans may remember him from the 2015 Keystone Cup finals, when he scored the game-winning goal.
“I think on some level I always knew I would get involved in coaching one day,” he said. “After speaking with Lee Stone this summer, I realized this position would be a great way to transition back into the sport at a competitive level, with an organization I am very familiar with and has provided many opportunities for me in the past.”
Since playing with the Storm, Rauser went on to play hockey at a post-secondary level. He recently launched a personal training business in Campbell River and is looking to pass his knowledge on to the team’s players.
Hammill and Rauser join Stone on the bench as well as Gavin Rauser, who joined the team earlier this summer.
The coaches have already started work with the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s (VIJHL) northern-most team hosting its ID camp Aug. 14-16 at Strathcona Gardens.
An announcement on the start date of the VIJHL season is expected later this month.
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