YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown Phantoms are proud to announce the hiring and addition of new Assistant Coach Nick Peruzzi. Peruzzi will join Head Coach Brad Patterson and fellow Assistant Coach Jeff Potter on the bench for the upcoming 2017-2018 United States Hockey League (USHL) season.
Peruzzi comes to the Phantoms from the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where he spent last season with the Philadelphia (Aston) Rebels based in eastern Pennsylvania.
“We are excited to add Nick to our staff. He has a great reputation for working with and developing young players. I saw firsthand the impressive work he did at the AAA level building up the Oakland Grizzlies organization the last few seasons and then make a strong transition to the junior level by helping take the Aston Rebels to the next level in the NAHL,” said General Manager Jason Koehler. “We had a “Peruzzi player” last season in former forward Coale Norris (now at Ferris State) and Coale raved about his time with Coach Peruzzi in the past and once we had Nick around our staff for his interview, we knew this would be a great fit and relationship for all parties moving forward.”
Nick Peruzzi, a Rochester Hills, Michigan native served as Assistant Coach, Video Coach, and Recruiting Coordinator during the 2016-2017 season with the Rebels last season. Peruzzi also served as the team skills and development instructor providing players with individual video instruction and on ice skills sessions. He played a key role in the advancement of players, including helping twelve Rebels players earn NCAA Division I scholarships. Peruzzi contributed to a very successful season for the Rebels wherein the team won its first NAHL Regular Season Championship, clinched the NAHL East Division Championship, and had its first appearance in the Robertson Cup Championship.
“I look forward to joining the Phantoms’ staff, making our players better, and coaching in the USHL. My visit and interview with the hockey staff was very positive and I think we share a lot of the same views on teaching and motivating players - I can’t wait to get started here.” said Peruzzi.
Prior to joining the Aston Rebels at the junior hockey level, Peruzzi served as Associate Head Coach of the U18 Oakland Junior Grizzlies AAA program (2014-2016) and assistant coach of the U16 AAA program (2013-2014). During his three years with the Grizzlies, Peruzzi helped develop and promote over twenty five players to the USHL, NAHL, and NCAA Division I programs. Additionally, he was part of a coaching staff that helped turn the U18 team into a Top-10 Nationally ranked program. During the 2015-2016 campaign, Peruzzi led the U18 Grizzlies to their first appearance at the USA Hockey National Championship, including a final four appearance where they captured a Bronze Medal.
As well as coaching, Peruzzi previously scouted for the USHL's Fargo Force. He worked as a skills and player development instructor for Pro Impact Hockey, 5 Star Hockey, and Suburban Hockey Schools. Prior to coaching and instructing, he played for the now defunct St. Louis Bandits in the NAHL and played AAA hockey for the Detroit Compuware and Detroit Honeybaked programs.
Nick has also worked in the finance industry and graduated with Honors from Walsh College of Accountancy and Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance.
“I hope to use my past coaching experience in junior and AAA hockey to help build upon the great program already established by Brad [Patterson], Jeff [Potter], Jason [Koehler], and our ownership. I’m excited and eager for the start of training camp, and thank the Phantoms’ ownership as well as Jason, Brad, and Jeff for the opportunity to join the hockey staff in Youngstown,” Peruzzi added.
“Adding Nick to our staff is a welcome addition and a great benefit to our players and program,” said Phantoms’ Head Coach Brad Patterson. “Nick’s experience coaching, recruiting, and building successful programs at the NAHL and AAA levels will certainly be something that we will pull from this year as well his intensity and energy…..it’s always good to get some new blood in the organization and on the staff.”