The Island Wild, led by HUB General Manager Brett Hopwo, are pleased to announce their coaching staff for their U18 program, which will begin play in the Junior Prospects Hockey League this September.
Mike Stutzel has been appointed Head Coach of the Island Wild U18 program. As a player, Stutzel went through the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), playing for the Powell River Paper Kings and the Prince George Spruce Kings. After a successful junior career, Stutzel went on to play NCAA Division 1 Hockey at Northern Michigan University.
The Victoria, British Columbia native continued his passion of playing hockey and played nine National Hockey League games with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2003-04. He then played in the American Hockey League (Springfield and Utah), the ECHL (Idaho) and made a couple stops in Europe (Finland and Scotland) before returning home to play Senior Men’s Hockey with the Fort St. John Flyers.
Prior to joining the Wild, Mike was an Assistant Coach with the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy and most recently the Head Coach of the South Island Royals U18 AAA team. He has a strong commitment to player development on and off the ice, having lived and breathed the hockey journey. Stutzel understands and embraces the value and importance of relationships with players, parents, and staff that is needed to be successful.
Joining Stutzel behind the bench will be former NHL’er Clayton Stoner, who has been named Assistant Coach. Stoner recently retired after having spent 10 years in the National Hockey League after being drafted by the Minnesota Wild (3rd round, 79th overall) in 2004.
The Port McNeill, British Columbia native played most of his career with the Wild prior to stints with the Anaheim Ducks and the Vegas Golden Knights, where injury forced him to retire in 2017-18. Prior to his pro career, Clayton played in the BCHL for the Powell River Paper Kings and in the Western Hockey League with the Tri City Americans.
After retiring from playing, Clayton has found a passion for coaching and giving back to the roots of the game by helping develop youth players. He has recently relocated to Victoria with his family, where he has joined our program as an Assistant Coach.
Rounding out his U18 staff, Hopwo has named Brad Cook Skills Coach. Brad has been coaching all levels for nearly 30 years throughout North America.
The Detroit, Michigan native played junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with the Detroit Jr. Red Wings and was also a member of the Vernon Vipers who captured the Royal Bank Cup in 1995-96. Following his Junior career, Brad went on to play over 600 games of professional hockey, with most of his career being played in North America and a brief stint in Germany in 2004-05.
Since retiring from playing in 2006, Brad has worked as Head Coach/General Manager and assistant coach in the BCHL and the VIJHL. Brad has also been an integral part of developing young talent in Victoria for the past 14 years as Head Hockey Instructor at the Spectrum High School Hockey Academy, and most recently Head Skills Coach / Associate Coach with BC Hockey Programs of Excellence. Brad is currently the Western Canada Scout for the KO Sports Agency firm.