The Drayton Valley Thunder are pleased to announce the returning of General Manager and Head Coach Corey Bricknell.
The Thunder have also hired two new coaches, Joey McEwan and Kabe Bleay. McEwan will assume the roles of Assistant Coach and Assistant General Manager. While former Thunder player Kabe Bleay will re join the team as an Assistant Coach.
Bleay is a Calgary, Alberta, native and a five year AJHL veteran. He spent the better part of his career in a Thunder Jersey, where he was honored to be both an Assistant Captain and Team Captain his final year with the Thunder. After junior, he spent a season playing for the SAIT Trojans men’s hockey team. While playing at SAIT, he started coaching local minor hockey teams finding his new passion behind the bench. Over the past four years Kabe has been teaching skill development with high level athletes of various ages along side one of the best AJHL’s skills coaches.
Kabe is excited to be back home in the great community of Drayton Valley, as Assistant Coach under the leadership of Corey Bricknell and Joey McEwan. He looks forward to helping the next generation of Thunder players be successful.
McEwan played three seasons in the CJHL playing both in the BCHL and MJHL with the Merritt Centennials and the OCN Blizzard. He then went on to play NCAA Hockey for Marian University before transferring to Arizona State where he was a part of the number one ranked college program in the country. In his senior year, he started coaching at Arizona State where he was a Graduate Coach with the team while earning his degree in Business Communication.
After University, he started coaching with the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy, where he coached U15 and U18 AAA teams. McEwan has also worked with B.C. Hockey, managing their Program of Excellence while assisting with their High Performance coaching program. Through this position, he also managed Team British Columbia in the 2018 Canada Winter Games.
Bricknell was Drafted 60th overall to the Newmarket Royals of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). His OHL career was split between the Royals and Niagara Falls Thunder. Following his Canadian career, he had a very successful professional career playing for many years in the East Coast and United Hockey League in the United States. In 2000, he retired from playing and stepped right into a coaching career. He has coached at every junior level also coached professionally in Hungary. Corey has first-hand knowledge of what scouts at the next levels are looking for. In 2021-2022 Bricknell coached the Cold Lake Aeros and won the Champions Cup and Coach of the year of the CAJHL.
The three coaches are excited to be heading up to Drayton Valley this weekend for the upcoming team golf tournament on June 10th and have already started preparations for Main Camp which starts on August 19th.