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Protected: Junior Winterhawks Announce 2021-22 Coaching Staff

June 7, 2021 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Portland Winterhawks News Release

Portland, Ore. - The Winterhawks Junior Hockey program announced its coaching staff for the 2021-22 season this week, naming seven leaders to guide the organization.

Hockey Director Barry Smith will head the 12U and 14U clubs for the upcoming campaign. Smith served as an Assistant Coach for the Vancouver Canucks from 2002-08, a six-year span of his coaching journey that has also included being a head coach in the WHL (Kamloops, 2008-10), along with time in the AHL, ECHL and several European leagues.

Coach Smith has also coached internationally, serving as the head coach of the Dutch National Team in 2013 and working on the 2011 World Championship team for the United States. The U.S.-born 60-year-old has also proudly taught in his free time during summers at Okanagan Hockey School for more than 30 years.

Michael Forney will serve as the program's travel director and player development coach.

The former Atlanta Trashers draft pick has a strong history in junior hockey, including being the first overall selection in the 2008 United States Hockey League (USHL) draft. Forney's collegiate career was spent playing at the illustrious University of North Dakota and he will now oversee and assist the Junior Winterhawks travel and skills staff with the overall program plans.

Zach Franko joins the program for the first time as the 10U and skills coach. Franko spent the last three seasons playing professionally in the United States, Romania and Slovakia before coming to Portland, where he'll now assist in growing talent right here in Oregon. A WHL alumni himself, the 28-year-old was a star for the Kelowna Rockets from 2010-2014, totaling 220 points in 280 games in the league.

To round out the age-assigned teams, Cory Doiron will guide the 17U club. An integral part of the organization for the last four years, Dorion's prior background includes playing his youth hockey in Canada and coaching in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Max Richards becomes the organization's goalie coach, responsible for developing the netminders of all age groups. Coaching for over a dozen years, Richards experience includes having played for the Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins and volunteering with the YMCA Little Penguins.

Austen Potter, a Portland metro area native, will operate as the Junior Winterhawks Player & Goalie Development. Potter joined the staff at Winterhawks Skating Center in the fall of 2018 and is a level five USA Hockey coach.

Completing the staff is Nate Graham, who will oversee the organization's Strength & Conditioning. Bringing over ten years of experience in the field, Nate has worked with teams from middle school all the way through the professional ranks, including the Warner Pacific University men's basketball program.

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