The Saanich Junior Braves have a new coach and general manager with strong ties to the team.
Brent Polischuk joins the Junior B club as its new head coach and general manager following last month’s departure of Sam Waterfield, who has joined the Coquitlam Express of the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).
Polischuk’s son played for the Braves in 2012-2013.
Co-owner Norm Kelly said Polischuk checked off a lot of boxes. “He’s an excellent evaluator of talent,” said Kelly, co-owner and vice-president of hockey operations. Kelly added that Polischuk also knows how to reach players and maximize their potential. “He’s a players’ coach.” Kelly added Polischuk enjoys an excellent reputation within the hockey community.
Polischuk joins the team after he held multiple roles with BC Hockey and Hockey Canada Program of Excellence, during which he developed a wide network of contacts.
“He’s going to bring some great people to our organization,” said Kelly.
Polischuk said he looks forward to working with the players. “I’m all about the players,” he said.
Junior B attracts a range of players, he said. While the younger ones are looking to further their hockey careers, the older ones are looking to hockey to further their post-playing careers. Polischuk said his goal is to help players achieve whichever goals they are pursuing.
Polischuk has already had discussions with players, and the team has scheduled some ice time this weekend. The team has scheduled its main camp for returning, affiliated and potential new players for late August, with the regular season starting on Sept. 6 with the Braves playing on the road against the Peninsula Panthers.
Polischuk takes over behind the bench of the Junior Braves who last year advanced to the second round of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) playoffs.
While Polischuk said he will have a better idea of his team after the training camp, he said the Junior Braves will play a modern, fast-paced game on both ends of the rink.
“We are not going to be sitting back,” said Polischuk.