Friday, March 31, 2017

Pedersen Has Scouting Flair:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Pedersen has scouting flair

Kevin Mitchell Fri Mar 31, 2017

His ultimate goal is to be a full-time NHL scout, but Kevin Pedersen knows he has to pay his dues. For now, he’s quite happy being an assistant coach with the Vernon Vipers.

And his dedication and love of the game has not gone unnoticed. B.C. Hockey has named Pedersen video coach for the Male U16 team that will compete at the 2017 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in Calgary and the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

“I was born to scout hockey,” said Pedersen, 31, who loves following soccer power Manchester City. “It’s not easy, but I have the talent to identify and evaluate and project talent. It’s something that has always excited me.”

A three handicap on the golf course, Pedersen played Junior B hockey in Port Coquitlam and began teaching skating lessons to tykes at Moody Park Arena as a teen. He soon began working at hockey schools.

He has been involved in Vancouver Vipers spring hockey as a a head coach for several years, taking high NHL drafts like Noah Juulsen, Matt Barzal and Dante Fabbro to tournaments like the Brick in Edmonton. He also coached a 14-year-old Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the Burnaby Winter Club Bruins.

“You’re learning how to coach good players so you aren’t intimidated by any player. I’ve learned a lot from guys like (Viper head coach and ex-pro Ferner) Mark. Being close to the players, I can connect with players of all ages. I talk to them about things away from the game. You can’t become best friends but I can develop relationships. You get to know the kids so you know what buttons to push, know what they’re going through.

“Mark and Matt Erhart (former Surrey Eagles D and head coach, now an assistant with the WHL Vancouver Giants) have taught me to how to communicate with players and how to be a leader, know what kids listen to. With Mark, he’s always polite, he has time for everybody and he’s approachable. The respect he has for the game and people in the game, from a guy who has the experience he has, is huge.”

Pedersen was an assistant coach with Atom (9-10-year-olds) at the Hollyburn Club in West Vancouver and progressed to the Burnaby Winter Club, back to Hollyburn and then the Major Midget Greater Vancouver Canadians. He was an assistant with the North Shore Winter Club, Western Canadian champions for two of his three years there. Viper centre Brett Stapley was with North Shore one season and Pedersen recruited the dynamo for the Vipers.

At 23, Pedersen began scouting for Ferner and the Vipers before being hired by the Everett Silvertips where Ferner landed between 2011-2013. Pedersen spent four seasons working for the WHL Tips.

“He’s so passionate about it,” said Ferner. “He knows all the kids and he goes to every damn tournament in the summer. He’s a bit of an encyclopedia about the kids who are eligible and even the kids who are not eligible.”

Ferner leans on Pedersen to break down NHL videos on powerplay systems while also running skills day in practice.

Steve O’Rourke will serve as head coach of Team B.C. along with assistant coaches, Jason Becker and Brian Pellerin. Kim Penner and Vernon’s Craig Carter will join the team as trainer and equipment manager. Matthew Davey is Team B.C.’s strength, conditioning and nutrition coach.

“We are very confident in the selection of these individuals to lead Team B.C. to successful showings at the Western Canada Challenge Cup and the Canada Winter Games,” commented B.C. Hockey Chief Executive Officer Barry Petrachenko. “They all bring a great mix of hockey knowledge, enthusiasm and experience to our program.”

B.C. Hockey Program of Excellence Coordinator Fred Zweep added: “We feel that naming this group for both the Western Canada Challenge Cup and Canada Winter Games will bring continuity to the lead up and at both of these very prestigious events.”

O’Rourke is an assistant coach of the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Prince George Cougars and helped lead Prince George to their first-ever B.C. Division title this past season.

“These guys have a lot of experience and I’m going to be able to learn a lot,” said Pedersen, who has held numerous positions with B.C. Hockey regional and provincial teams in the last decade. “I put in an application and I think my interview went well. For me, it’s a volunteer work. I take pride in the time I put in.”

Becker is currently in his first season assistant coach with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees after two seasons as a head coach with the Okanagan Hockey Academy. Pellerin is the associate coach of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, a position he has held since 2014.

Penner is the Merritt Centennials (BCHL) trainer, and Carter serves as the equipment manager of the B.C. Major Midget League’s (MML) Okanagan Rockets.

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