The Chilliwack Chiefs have hired Mackenzie Skapski as their new goaltending coach.
The Abbotsford product was drafted by the New York Rangers in the sixth round of the 2013 National Hockey League draft, and will always be able to say he made the big leagues and didn’t lose a game.
The 26-year-old stopper made two appearances for the Rangers in 2014-15, winning both with a microscopic .50 goals-against average and 97.8 save percentage.
He played in the American Hockey League with the Hartford Wolf Pack and the ECHL with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and Orlando Solar Bears. Skapski wrapped up his career in 2018-19, making 36 appearances with the Slovakian squad HKM Zvolen.
Skapski has already been working with the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds program, and serves as a goaltending consultant with the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks. He is partnered with Jeff Malcolm with Own Assertion Goaltending Consultants and specializes in individual consultation and video breakdown for goaltenders looking to take the next step in their development.
“This is a great step for our organization,” said Chiefs hockey boss Brian Maloney. “We did a lot of homework on Mackenzie prior to making this decision. He is a very well respected young coach with a bright future and an eagerness to continue to improve. Throughout the interview process he was extremely calculated, prepared, and well thought-out. He has a clear vision for what he can bring to goaltenders in the Chiefs organization and elsewhere in the community that aligns perfectly with the way we see things moving as an organization.”
There are plans in place for Skapski to offer weekly private sessions in Chilliwack, as well as two week long goaltender-specific camps next summer.
Skapski takes over from outgoing coach Grant Rollheiser, who is busy as a realtor and aspiring firefighter. Rollheiser will keep working with the Chilliwack Chiefs Hockey Academy and other goaltender specific programs.
“Grant is a great person, and an extremely well respected member of our community,” Maloney said. “This was not an easy decision, but probably the right one for both sides. Grant will stay on with us as much as his work schedule permits, and we look forward to continuing to work with him.”
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