The Toronto Junior Habs recognizes the importance of having a superior coaching line-up. Our coaches stay on top of all the current and emerging development and skills training to ensure our players are getting cutting-edge training.
Our coaches have a range of experience playing in the NHL, CHL, USHL, OHL, multiple European Leagues, East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), and Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). Their coaching skills have been refined throughout extensive careers working with players at all levels of skill and ability. They have coached players that have gone on to play professionally and in [enter other leagues].
After a lengthy minor hockey career with the AAA Vaughan Kings of the GTHL, Jim moved on to play Tier 2 Jr. A for both the Markham Waxers and the Vaughan Vipers. He completed his playing career with the Queens Golden Gaels and began coaching in 1999. Since then he has had many successful coaching positions from minor hockey to the national level.
As a hockey trainer, Jim opened Vital Hockey Skills in 1996 after having completed extensive on- and off-ice training with a Ukrainian National Under-14 team. As Jim explains “the techniques changed my skating and playing ability so dramatically that it was impossible to not want to pass them on!”
Since then, Vital Hockey Skills has developed into a hockey school on the cutting edge of innovation and player development. Jim takes an experiential approach to player development. “Coaching is more than just dropping pylons and keeping kids moving just to put on a show. That’s the art of it, but there is a science behind it, and it involves the complete player.”
Jim obtained an Honours Degree in Kinesiology, which has allowed him to apply principles of Physiology, Biomechanics and Sport Psychology to an already solid skill curriculum. This has given Vital Hockey Skills an edge that most programs don’t have.
As a hockey trainer, Jim is continuously researching the latest hockey development methodologies and works extensively with minor hockey to professional players in the Toronto – Vaughan area and beyond. “Learning is contagious, you can never stop. Kids can sense when you have a real passion for improving… it’s Vital!”
– Head Coach, Minor Hockey (2000-present)
– Head Coach, National Men’s Deaf Olympic Team (2008-2009)
– Head Coach, Provincial Deaf Hockey Team (2007-2008, 2009-2010)
– Assistant Coach, York University Yeomen (2001–2004)
– Assistant Coach, Vaughan Vipers (2000-2001)
After dominating a minor hockey career in the GTHL with the Toronto Marlboros, Daniel was drafted 6th overall to the USHL. Having been offered a full scholarship to Northeastern University, Daniel decided on a career in the OHL, playing four years for the London Knights with teammates such as John Tavares, Nazem Kadri, John Carlson, and Michael Del Zotto. After his OHL career, Daniel attended Western University where he obtained a degree in business management and organizational studies. His playing time at Western saw him capturing the CIS scoring title.
After his university career, Daniel attended two San Jose Sharks NHL training camps, playing in seven exhibition games before playing pro-hockey in the European leagues for Sweden, Austria, and France. Many of Daniel’s former teammates will attest to his above average speed, footwork, puck control, and play-making abilities.
Daniel has ported these skills into a coaching career as both an on-ice skill development specialist, as well as behind the bench as Head Coach of the 2018 gold-medal Maccabi games team and various minor hockey and AAA bench positions.
Bryan Cameron played six years as captain of the Toronto Marlboros in the GTHL before being drafted to the OHL’s Belleville Bulls, and then to the NHL’s LA Kings. To date, Bryan has played professionally for nine years in Canada, USA, and Europe. He has spent his off-time training many of the junior organizations in the places he has played such as the Belleville Jr. Bulls, Barrie Jr. Colts, and Alaska Jr. Aces. He has also trained junior and pro-players/teams in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Utah, Arizona, Poland, Germany, and Scotland.
Justin Marco’s playing career has consisted of five seasons with the Toronto Red Wings and one season with the Toronto Nationals. In the summer of 2013, Justin played for Team Canada in the Maccabi Games, where they took home the gold medal. Shortly after that, he continued his career with the Toronto Colts U21 program where they won an Ontario Championship and Justin was named team MVP. In recent years, Justin has transitioned to coaching, working with multiple AAA programs, including coaching the Avenue Road Ducks and Toronto Aeros Minor Hockey Organizations. Justin was recently Head Instructor at PK Subban’s Charity Development Camp.
Andrew Darrigo has worked in the hockey development industry for more than 10 years and has played six seasons of professional hockey.
While playing in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) he was recognized as one of the ECHL’s “Best of the Best” in his rookie pro season with the Brampton Beast. He also played five seasons of Junior Hockey in Canada. In 2011-12, he successfully won the Sutherland Cup Champion. At the age of 16, Andrew was named MVP at the 2008-09 Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League All-Star game. He is well known as a defensive specialist.
David Friedmann grew up playing his entire minor hockey career in Toronto with the Toronto Junior Canadiens organization. In his Minor Midget season, Friedmann totalled 71 assists and 88 points in only 68 games played. The following season he joined the Ontario Junior Hockey League Junior Canadiens where he continued his success over a three-year career.
During his time playing for the Jr A Canadiens, Friedmann attended two NHL Development Camps (LA Kings and New Jersey Devils), represented Canada on multiple occasions on the world stage, and ultimately landed himself a full scholarship at Robert Morris University (RMU), a Division 1 hockey program in Pittsburgh. While at RMU, Friedmann played in 144 career games and totalled 103 points, eclipsing the 100-point feat. His best season came in his senior year in 2015-16, when he broke out for 42 points on 12 goals and 30 assists. After his university career, Friedmann played parts of two seasons in the ECHL, as well as playing professionally overseas in Slovakia, Norway, and Denmark. David is currently still playing professionally in Denmark for the Frederikshavn Whitehawks.