YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Phantoms have announced the hiring of John Wroblewski (Roh-Bless-Key) as the organization’s new Head Coach. Wroblewski spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Rochester (NY) Americans in the American Hockey League (AHL), the top affiliate club of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.
“The Youngstown Phantoms are a perfect fit for me. The ownership group is strong, intelligent, and determined. We have a general manager that finds talent, sticks to an identity, and does business the right way. The most significant attraction of coaching in the USHL is the opportunity to work with a group for an entire season. The USHL is at the top of its food chain, and doesn’t get picked over from a higher level during the season. I will challenge these young men on a daily basis to grow as individuals, hockey players, and teammates. Last but not least, the Mahoning Valley is an area on the rise. Ashley and I fully intend on immersing ourselves in the community and calling it our home,” said Wroblewski.
“We had a number of quality candidates for this position, but John proved to us through the interview process that he was the best man to lead this club moving forward. We’re excited that we get to bring Youngstown an outstanding young coach that has had success and experience at high levels. All of our student-athletes aspire to get to the next level, be it college or pro hockey, and John has been there as either a coach or player. I’m excited to work with someone that I feel shares a strong passion, energy, and commitment to developing players and winning, and will be an incredible coach, teacher, mentor, and role model for our players. We are thrilled to welcome John to our staff and family here in Youngstown and look forward to continued success and winning a Clark Cup championship,” said Phantoms General Manager Jason Koehler.
Prior to his time in Rochester, Wroblewski spent three seasons in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) as both a Head and Assistant Coach. His time as an ECHL Assistant was in Wheeling (WV) for the Nailers (Pittsburgh Penguins Affiliate). He then earned a Head Coaching position with the Gwinnett (GA) Gladiators, where he had two successful seasons and was named co-recipient of the 2011-12 ECHL Coach of the Year award. During his time in Gwinnett, the club advanced to the playoffs both seasons, won two Southeast Division titles, and had the Eastern Division’s best winning percentage in those two seasons.
“John brings a wealth of experience not only as a coach but also as a player in our league, at the Division One college level and at the Professional level”, said Phantoms CEO Troy Loney. “He’s a winner and on behalf of Bruce Zoldan and Aafke Loney, I’m pleased to welcome John and his soon to be wife Ashley to the Phantoms family.”
Wroblewski began his coaching career as an Assistant Coach with the USA National Team Development Program (NTDP) located in Ann Arbor, MI. With USA, John worked with some of the top American coaches to advance to the NHL the last few seasons – John Hynes (current Head Coach of the New Jersey Devils) and Ron Rolston (former Head Coach of the Buffalo Sabres and current Springfield
Falcons Head Coach in the AHL for the Phoenix Coyotes). He also worked with college coaching legend and Yale bench boss Tim Taylor prior to his passing while in Ann Arbor with the NTDP.
Wroblewski’s time as a player includes being a part of the USA NTDP, followed by four seasons at Notre Dame University, where he served as a team captain. Following his college playing career, John played pro hockey in the ECHL for four seasons with the Fresno (CA) Falcons.
Wroblewski hails from Neenah, Wisconsin and will be officially introduced to the media and Youngstown community at a later date.
COURTESY: YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS