Over the next 12 weeks, we’ll get to know the coaches from across the MJHL.
Dave Anthony asked all the coaches 12 questions and they shared their hockey history, how they got into coaching and a whole lot more.
We always hear their names, now let’s get to know the men behind the bench.
Hudson Friesen – Head Coach, Selkirk Steelers
DA: What’s your hockey background? Did you play?
HF: I grew up playing hockey in Springfield (Oakbank, Hazelridge) where I played my minor hockey through bantam. I played my Midget hockey with the Eastman Selects before playing my junior career with the Selkirk Steelers, where I played for 3 seasons. From the MJHL, I received a scholarship to the University of Alaska Anchorage where I played for 2 seasons from 2013-2015. After multiple hip surgeries following the 2015 season, I returned home and took a year off playing before joining the University of Manitoba for the 2016-17 season. After deciding to retire following this season, I had the opportunity to join the Steeler coaching staff in 2017-18 and have been with the organization since.
DA: How did you get into coaching?
HF: After my last season of playing I realized that I couldn’t keep playing with the injuries that I was dealing with but I still had a desire to stay involved in the game in some capacity. I wanted to give back and to help other players in their journey and when the opportunity presented itself, it was a no brainer for me.
DA: What do you remember feeling standing on the bench as a head coach for the first time?
HF: It was definitely an exciting feeling, especially this season just being able to get back to hockey and put all the other noise from the outside world aside. It was a great feeling, I was happy for our players too, knowing how hard they worked to get to that point and what they had to sacrifice to play this season was a rewarding moment,
DA: What is your favorite or least favorite practice drill to run?
HF: I’m not sure I have a favourite or a least favourite drill, there are definitely some drills that I enjoy running for certain situations depending on our focus. I enjoy drills that involve pace and compete. Any of my least favourite drills don’t usually make it into our practice plans
DA: Is there a trade you’ve made or player recruitment/signing that stands out to you as being one of the best moves you’ve ever made?
HF: Our organization has brought in many quality players and individuals since I’ve been with the club, whether it’s through draft, listing, signing or trading. Hard to pick one name with all of the talent that we’ve seen over the years.
DA: Who from your past (either playing with or being coached by) would you say had a great influence or impact on you as a coach today?
HF: I think I take bits and pieces from all of the experiences I’ve had in the game, every coach that I played for has impacted me in some way, whether it’s positive or negative, and I believe they all taught me something and helped shape me into the coach I am today.
DA: Which former player stands out as one of your favorites to coach or to have around the rink every day?
HF: I’ve had the privilege of coaching many players that are also outstanding individuals and that are great people. Picking one name is very difficult out of all the players. I’ve had some great leaders like Ryan Gardiner and Ryan Sokoloski, to name a few, who were always smiling and were a pleasure to coach,
DA: If you could coach an NHL team, which team would it be and why?
HF: I would have to go with Chicago, I grew up being a Blackhawks fan and seeing them win three cups was great. They have a rich history of success and there is so much history at the United Center as well, it would be a surreal experience.
DA: In a post-game interview, which question do you like answering the least?
HF: Post game interviews don’t come around very often so I can’t say there is a particular question that I dislike, but any question after a loss usually stings a bit.
DA: Why do you like coaching for the organization you do?
HF: Having grown up near Selkirk, coming to games as a kid and being an alumni of the program, it definitely feels like home. It’s a great town with a great facility and everyone that is involved with the team is passionate about the Steelers.
DA: What do you like about the town/city you coach for?
HF: Selkirk is a great city, it’s definitely a hockey town and people are passionate about the game. There is a sense of community in Selkirk and it has the feel of a small town which I like.
DA: Who’s a current player on your team you feel deserves more attention from fans around the league?
HF: I think we have a few guys that could deserve more attention, but one player in particular who plays the game the right way and who is a rising star is defenseman Jordan Macfarlane. He is a heart and soul player that puts the work in and is good in all aspects of the game. Very well rounded. He’s an exciting young player that we’re fortunate to have on our team.