Orlando Solar Bears announced today that they have named Rivermen assistant
coach Drake Berehowsky as
the first head coach in ECHL team history. Berehowsky
will oversee the Solar Bears hockey operations and will also be responsible for
recruiting players, working with the Minnesota Wild/Houston Aeros (Orlando’s
NHL/AHL affiliates), and supporting the Solar Bears youth hockey initiatives.
Berehowsky, 40, was
with Peoria for three seasons and worked under Davis Payne, Rick Wamsley and
Jared Bednar. He joined the Rivermen on Aug. 11, 2009 after having previously
served in the same role for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey
League. Working primarily with the
defense and penalty killing units, the Rivermen posted a 119-96-7-14 record.
“Drake possesses all of the traits we are looking for
in our head coach,” stated Bob Ohrablo, Chief Operating Officer/Managing
Partner of the Solar Bears. “He was an aggressive, hard-nosed NHL defenseman
with a long playing career, a successful assistant coach and a student of the
game. Drake has certainly demonstrated a passion for winning.”
In 16 professional
seasons as a player, the former first round pick accumulated 549 regular season
games in the National Hockey League scattered between six different teams. Taken 10th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs
in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, he was a force for two seasons on the North Bay
Centennials blue line and was named a First-Team All-Star and the CHL
Defenceman-of-the-Year in 1992. After
scoring 27 points in 28 games for the AHL’s St. John’s Maple Leafs, Berehowsky
was recalled midway through the 1992-1993 season by the Maple Leafs.
1995, Toronto shipped him to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He spent some time in the minors with
Cleveland (IHL), San Antonio (IHL), Carolina (AHL), and Hamilton (AHL) until
joining the Edmonton Oilers in 1997-98. In
1998, Berehowsky was claimed by the
Nashville Predators in the expansion draft.
In 1999-2000, he set career highs with 12 goals and 32 points. At the 2001 trade deadline, the Predators
dealt him to the Vancouver Canucks where he spent the early part of the 2001-02
season before joining the Phoenix Coyotes midway through the year.
of two seasons with the Coyotes, Berehowsky signed with the Penguins in the
summer of 2003, his second stint with the club.
Upon his arrival, Berehowsky went on to register 21 points (5-16-21) in
47 games before being acquired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second half of
the season. He played briefly in Sweden
and Germany before retiring following the 2005-06 season.