Arizona Rubber

Arizona’s and New Mexico’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

DYHA has Wright stuff with longtime hockey skills coach

 
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JASON WRIGHT

Jason Wright is one of those people that doesn’t see his hockey job as actual work.

As the Desert Youth Hockey Association skills coach, Wright gets to be on the ice regularly with Jr. Sun Devils players, helping them round out their overall game.

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“I just love to teach,” Wright said. “I enjoy seeing kids start at one point and work hard at something to master it. The joy in their achievement really makes me happy.

“It is very important to me to be involved in hockey. It has been a passion of mine my whole life. I just don’t see my life without it. I think all the guys that have been coaching here in Arizona for a long time take pride in trying to help develop hockey players from here.”

Born in Thunder Bay, Ont., Wright grew up playing hockey and found he had a natural knack and love for the sport. He went on to play four years at NCAA Division I Michigan Tech University, tallying 18 goals and 100 points in 162 games for the Huskies, before turning pro. Wright then played more than 300 games in six professional seasons in the ECHL and overseas in the United Kingdom.

Prior to MTU, Wright played in the USHL for the Thunder Bay Flyers, winning the 1992 Centennial Cup. He was also selected to the all-star team at the national tournament.

He started teaching hockey at age 15 and has been coaching in the Valley for more than 20 years. As a resident of the Valley, he loves giving back to the sport that provided him with so many opportunities.

“I moved here after I finished playing in the minors,” said Wright. “My wife, Erika, and I met at Michigan Tech. She came from Arizona to play basketball at Tech. We wanted to live by family and Thunder Bay is too cold. Way too cold.

“Family and the lifestyle are what keep me here. I have a regular sales job that I really enjoy, too.”

In his skill sessions, Wright utilizes the Power Edge Pro system, something he calls a huge benefit to all who use it.

“I have been coaching and teaching here for more than 20 years and this system really works on many of the little things that I believe a player needs in today’s game,” said Wright, who started using Power Edge Pro this past spring. “We started in the spring with kids from many different levels (AA, AAA, junior, college) and we saw huge improvement in skills sets in a short period of time. We are now using it on our Monday night skills sessions along with our coaches integrating it into some of their practices.

“Our coaches are now saying they are seeing kids use the skills they are learning in games.”

Power Edge Pro is an on-ice player development system using propriety equipment and training patterns. The system focuses on reactive countering training, engaging multiple motor skills simultaneously to develop a player’s small-area game performance. All patterns are completed while maintaining puck control and are designed to provide five times as many repetitions as standard drill-based practices, leading to faster development of elite skills.

As for the future, might we once again see Wright behind a bench at higher levels of the game?

“I have coached in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League many times and I might coach AAA again depending on my job schedule,” said Wright. “I do have some aspirations to coach at a higher level, but it isn’t in the cards right now in my life.”

— Matt Mackinder

(Oct. 22, 2019)