Coaches

Great Coaches make great players.

We’ve assembled the best coaches & training professionals in Fairfield County. They achieved success in their own careers and have demonstrated excellence in both teaching skating & hockey skills and in coaching competitive hockey teams.

Victor Baryshevtsev | Skills Development Coach | Pioneer of Russian hockey skating techniques, Victor was the Alternate on the 1988 USSR Olympic Team. Worked with numerous Olympic skaters and NHL players including NY Rangers draft picks and prospects.

Current NHL Skills Coach for: Max Pacioretty (Montreal Canadians), Sean Backman (Ontario Reign), Artem Anisimov (Chicago Blackhawks) and Matt Moulson (Buffalo Sabres).

Mike Backman | Hockey Director, CT Breakers & Twin RInks | 2006 | The only NHL experienced Hockey Director in Fairfield County. Mike was an All-Star in the Canadian Hockey League before joining the New York Rangers. He has been the Hockey Director at Twin Rinks for 20 years, and has coached elite level youth teams to state and regional championships, and many of his individual players have gone on to play at top New England Prep schools, Division 1 Colleges, and professionally.

Brett Farson | 2008 and 2010 | Played prep hockey at Philips Andover and then played at Amherst College. He has been coaching youth hockey for 12 years and is currently the head coach of Rye Country Day school and is the Hockey Director for the Greenwich Blues Hockey Association.

Kevin Erving | 2009 | Played his prep hockey at St Marks before going on to play club at St. Lawrence University. Has been coaching youth hockey – prep school for the past 5 years. Kevin specializes in skill development for young players.

John McCreary | 2007 | After a standout playing career at New Hartford High School in New Hartford, NY., John played Junior A with Lindsay Muskies. Was selected to play for Saint Lawrence University but due to Summer injury, he didn’t play. Having extensive coaching experience, John has coached all levels from youth hockey to Juniors and College with the Texas Brahmas, New Mexico Renegades, Central Wisconsin Saints, Wisconsin Wilderness, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida and the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Chris Gragnano | 2005 | He played high school at Christian Brothers Academy, where in his senior year he was named team captain. That year he was also named to the All-County and All-State teams. Upon graduation he went on to play hockey at Providence College. After some time with the Friars he went on to Vermont where he joined the Green Mountain Glades of the EJHL. Chris currently serves as the assistant coach at the Gunnery, coming off a New England Prep School Championship and runs Total Hockey Development.

Tucker Grose | 2004 | Currently the Assistant Hockey Director at Twin Rinks, Assistant Coach at King Low Heywood Thomas School, and Head Coach of the DYHA Peewee A. Tucker played his high school hockey for the Newtown Nighthawks where he was a standout forward and captain his senior season before moving on to Endicott College.

David Volfson | 2003 | Played with the Moscow Soviet Wings, and since 2008 he has coached for several local organizations and runs DV Hockey, which focuses on skill development, hockey fundamentals, and skating techniques, advanced stick handling and off ice athletic training.

Nick Petrecki | Midgets | First round NHL 2007 draft pick of the San Jose Sharks (28th overall), Nick played college hockey at Boston College where he won the NCAA National Championship in 2008. Having played over 300 games in the AHL with Worcester, Rochester, Hartford, and Chicago, Nick brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and experience to the Breakers program.

Girls Program

Kaleigh Fratkin | Girl’s | Hailing from Burnaby B.C., Canada, Kaleigh played her collegiate hockey at Boston University, where she captained the team in 2014. During her time as a Terrier, she was a three-time Hockey East Champion and made four NCAA and two Frozen Four appearances.  Kaleigh represented Team Canada from 2008-2015 in numerous competitions.

More recently, she captained the CT Whale (NWHL) last season, and now plays for the NY Riveters (NWHL)  where she appeared in her second consecutive all-star game this season.

Alexa Gruschow | Girl’s |  Played Division 1 hockey at Renssalear Polytechnic Institute (RPI). At RPI, Alexa was named to the ECAC all-rookie team during her freshman season, and also received the team’s rookie of the year award. During her season, she received the team’s MVP award, after finishing her career with 93 points in four seasons.

Currently, Alexa is playing for the NY Riveters of the NWHL.

Specialty Coaches

Jared Waimon | Goaltending Coach | Founder and Coach, ProCrease Goaltending. Jared is currently the goaltender coach for Trinity College and Quinnipiac University.  He has been with Trinity for seven seasons, during which time he helped the Bantams capture the 2015 Men’s D3 National Championship. At Trinity, he has coached two men All Americans, two women All Americans as well as a  Laura Hurd Award Winner (women’s D3 Player of the Year). At Quinnipiac University, a perennial D1 top ranked program, Jared works with Michael Garteig who received All ECAC accolades in 2014- 2015 and is a Hobey Baker Award candidate for the 2015 – 2016 season. Jared has served with USA Hockey as New England District Coach, Atlantic District Head Goaltender Coach, and East Regional Mentor for the Warren Strelow Goaltending Program. A product of New Milford Youth Hockey, Waimon played for Sacred Heart University and Stonehill College.

For more information, visit: www.ProCrease.com

Ben Prentiss | Off Ice Training Coach | Owner of Prentiss Hockey Performance, where he trains numerous NHL superstars and other elite athletes in their off seasons. His unique training system encompasses structural balance, speed and strength, power, agility, along with body composition and nutrition. His current NHL athletes are Jonathan Quick, Matt Moulson, Cam Atkinson, Max Pacioretty, James Van Riemsdyk, Nathan Gerbe, and others.

For more information, visit: www.prentisshockey.com

Dr. Jennifer Stewart | Sports Vision Training | Dr. Stewart is the Chief Vision Officer at Performance 20/20. Performance 20/20 is a sports performance vision training center where athletes of all sports and abilities can sharpen eye hand coordination, reaction times, focus, awareness, and tracking. They utilize the newest vision technology to evaluate and train athletes in all sports with a customized training plan. Dr. Stewart has worked with teams such as the Miami Dolphins, NY Knicks, and the Olympic Track and Field team.

For more information, visit: www.perform2020.com