The Rayside Balfour Canadians Jr. A hockey club is pleased to announce that they have finalized their coaching staff for the 2020-21 pending NOJHL season! Vagelli Sakellaris will take-over the Head Coaching reins while assistant coaches will be Bobby Chaumont and Jadran Beljo. Sakellaris, 40, was a member of the NOJHL West Division Championship team last season after coming onboard in the second-half of last season with the Canadians. Sakellaris served as an assistant coach with the Rayside Balfour Canadians for two seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18) and served as an assistant coach to David Clancy and the NOJHL’s Espanola Express during the 2018-19 season.
Sakellaris is joined by last year’s Assistant Coach Jadran Beljo. Beljo, 33, served as an assistant to Canadians Head Coach Dan Cuomo last season. Chaumont, 35, makes his coaching debut after a stellar OHL career with the Sudbury Wolves and an extensive 14-year professional hockey career with stops in Norway, France, England and Germany. Chaumont also played for teams in the ECHL and the CHL in the USA. Completing the Canadians new coaching staff is Eric Navarro who will serve as the team’s new Goalie Coach. Navarro is a draft selection of the Kitchener Rangers and back-stopped the Rayside Canadians to the RBC Cup finals in 2001. All four coaches are from Sudbury.
“We are extremely excited to announce our new coaching staff and build on the success that our team enjoyed last year” notes GM Jeff Forsyth. “Vagelli is very excited to be named a Head Coach for the first time in the NOJHL and I know he will do a great job for us. Having Jadran return from last year’s staff provides continuity and adding Bobby to our coaching staff with his extensive experience as a player will prove to be invaluable to our players. Eric will provide our goaltenders with the experience that he gained leading the Rayside Canadians to the CJHL championship.”
With no announcement as to when the 2020-21 NOJHL season will officially begin due to COVID restrictions, Rayside’s new coaching staff will take to the ice with their returning players, new recruits and young prospects on Monday, Sept 14th for day one of their Skill Development and Conditioning Camp. The Rayside camp will take place at the Walden Arena. The organization is hopeful that the NOJHL’s Return-to-Play Plan will be accepted by the OHF and the teams will be able to start regular season play in mid-October.