Just four days into his new position with the Wolverines, Associate Coach and General Manager Josh Lee is settling in nicely with the club.
The Edmontonian spent two seasons as a player under Head Coach and General Manager Taylor Harnett, before taking his talents to the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) where he played four seasons between the Sherwood Park Crusaders and Fort McMurray Oil Barons. During his time in the AJHL, Lee played in 222 games, scoring 37 goals and 88 assists, adding 435 penalty minutes. In his third season with the Crusaders, Lee was named the captain, before being traded to Fort McMurray for his final year of junior.
After a short stint with the Ooks at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Lee rejoined his former coach at Edmonton’s South Side Athletic Club (SSAC). During Lee’s first year behind the bench in 2012-13 with Harnett, the pair coached the SSAC Bantam AAA Southgate Lions to a Western Canadian Bantam Championship. Following his second season with the SSAC Southgate Lions, both Lee and Harnett moved up to coach the SSAC Midget AAA Boston Pizza Athletics from 2014 to 2016.
Following their stint together at the SSAC program in Edmonton, Lee and Harnett made the move to coach the Leduc Midget AAA Oil Kings and helped the team to an appearance in the Mac’s AAA Tournament in Calgary. They weren’t done just yet, as the team made a run all the way to the National Midget AAA Championship (Telus Cup) in Prince George, British Columbia.
Lee arrived in Waywayseecappo on August 20, ready to hit the ground running on his new adventure with his old coach and colleague.
“This community is beautiful, the drive out was awesome,” Lee said of his arrival to the region. “The valley coming into Waywayseecappo surprised me, the people around are very welcoming, I feel at home for the short amount of days I’ve been here.”
With training camp just one week away, Lee shared one of his biggest takeaways that he hopes to instill into the young men who will play for the Wolverines this season.
“The biggest one is it’s not just what you do at the rink. I learned pretty quick that it’s also what you put in outside of the rink, how you carry yourself. You have to grow up quick moving away from home and it’s really important that you carry yourself as a young professional. Most of these guys are young adults, so it’s about taking care of yourself and doing the right things to prepare.”
And as players slowly make their way to the region, excitement continues to build as the club prepares for a milestone season in the MJHL.
“I’m looking forward to getting the guys in town, I’ve reached out to a couple of our veterans over the summer, had some good chats with them, they seem like fantastic kids. Taylor has done a great job of recruiting this summer, so get everyone in here and access what we have. The excitement is already around buzzing, so I’m just really looking forward to these guys getting to camp and seeing what we’re made of and implementing a winning culture,” Lee finished.
Wolverines training camp kicks off with registration on Thursday, August 30th inside the Waywayseecappo Arena Complex.