Las Vegas – The Orlando Solar Bears announced today, from the ECHL Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, the selection of NHL/AHL veteran Drake Berehowsky as the club’s first head coach. Berehowsky will be introduced in person at a press conference in Orlando on Wednesday, June 27 at Orlando City Hall.
The Solar Bears are the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild and the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.
"Drake possesses all of the traits we are looking for in our Head Coach," stated Bob Ohrablo, Chief Operating Officer/Managing Partner of the Solar Bears. "He was an aggressive, hard-nosed NHL defenseman with a long playing career, a successful assistant coach and a student of the game. Drake has certainly demonstrated a passion for winning."
Berehowsky will oversee the Solar Bears hockey operations and will be responsible for coaching the team, recruiting players, working with the Minnesota Wild/Houston Aeros and supporting the Solar Bears youth hockey initiatives.
Berehowsky played 549 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes. A tough and rugged defenseman, he accumulated 149 points (37g-112a) and 848 penalty minutes. He appeared in 22 NHL playoff games and served as Assistant Coach of the Peoria Rivermen (AHL, 2009-2012) and two major junior level teams – the Barrie Colts and Brampton Battalion (both of the Ontario Hockey League).
"I am proud to take the reigns in Orlando and look forward to building a winning organization," said Berehowsky. "The Solar Bears partners are committed to assembling a first class organization on and off the ice. We will recruit players that possess the skill and heart to win on the ice and that want to be involved in the community off the ice. I want players that aspire to win the ECHL’s Kelly Cup while in Orlando and the NHL’s Stanley Cup in the future."