It is with great pleasure that the Storm announce the promotion of Beaverlodge local Chris Schmidt to head coach for the 2024-2025 season.

Schmidt moves into the Head Coach position after spending three years with the team as the Storm’s Assistant Coach. Schmidt is also the Director of Hockey at the Academy with the Grande Prairie Public School Division. Prior to coming to the Storm, Schmidt served as the head coach for the GPAC U18AAA team in Grande Prairie for four seasons. He grew up in Beaverlodge, and played U15AAA in Grande Prairie before spending four years on the Seattle Thunderbirds roster in the WHL. Schmidt was drafted by the LA Kings in the 5th round of the 1994 NHL draft. After spending four years in Seattle, he went on to enjoy a successful 17-year professional hockey career. This included nine years in North America, where he played for the LA Kings in the 2002-03 season and represented the Canadian National Team during 1999-2000. He then spent another eight years playing in Germany, competing in two World Championships, as well as the 2010 Vancouver Olympics for Team Germany.

“We’re very happy to name Chris as the next head coach of the Storm. His dedication to and knowledge of the game is unwavering. He’s well known and respected in the community. He’s played the game at a high level, so he’s been through the ups and downs of the game as both a player and a coach. We have made some good strides these past few seasons and this is a big step in the right direction to take this organization where it needs to be,” says GM Mark Bomersback.  Schmidt added, “I am excited for the opportunity to be stepping into the role of head coach. It’s a great privilege to be able to work with these young, dedicated athletes who are working to advance their hockey careers. As a group, we hope to build a team that can proudly represent Grande Prairie and the entire Peace Country.”

Joining Schmidt behind the bench is returning Assistant Coach, Spirit River native Brandon Wells. Wells played AAA hockey in Grande Prairie before his Junior A career that led him to Melville, Spruce Grove, and Trail. Wells went on the play for four years at SUNY Plattsburgh in New York, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and Marketing with minors in Coaching and Business. Wells is in his third year with the Storm, first serving as goalie coach and last season as the Assistant Coach and goalie coach. Wells has done extensive work with the Junior Storm programming, coaching summer camps, winter and spring break programs, young goalies, and the Junior Storm 2011 Gold spring team. He also works with local goaltenders of all ages with the company he founded, Accel Goaltending Coaching and Training.

Rounding out the Hockey Operations team is Storm alum Jordan McTaggart, who will serve as the team Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning coach. McTaggart, a Grande Prairie born player, played U18AAA in Grande Prairie before playing on the Junior A Storm for three seasons. McTaggart then played for Red Deer College and University of Alberta- Augustana, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. From 2019-2022, he served as the Assistant Coach for the U18AAA team under head coach Chris Schmidt. McTaggart continued his studies in Australia, and recently returned home to the Peace Country with a Doctor of Physiotherapy degree from Bond University. McTaggart also owns and operates Tags Athletic Gym, where he provides strength and conditioning training for athletes.

“We are thrilled to have Chris and Brandon return this season and to welcome Jordan back to the Storm family. It’s especially exciting that all three coaches have a deep connection to our local system, having played here themselves. Their blend of expertise, skill, and coaching style significantly enhances our commitment to assembling an exceptional team that is active in our community” says Executive Director Nicole Menzies.