Drayton Valley, AB – The Drayton Valley Thunder Hockey Club is pleased to announce the hiring of Joey Bouchard as the organization's new General Manager. Bouchard has been a General Manager and Coach for the past 12 years in the AJHL (Olds Grizzlys, Whitecourt Wolverines), BCHL (Merritt Centennials), QMJHL (Shawinigan Cataractes) and U Sports (U of A Golden Bears).
Joey is best known around AJHL circles as the Coach and General Manager of the Whitecourt Wolverines (2012-2016) when the team first joined the AJHL. He was instrumental in building a winning culture and a hockey program of excellence that still exists today. Under the guidance of Bouchard, the Wolverines made it to the post-season every year and for a rebuilding team had an amazing record of 123-82-25. In the team’s inaugural season he led the club to the AJHL’s North Division Final.
In his final season with the Wolverines Bouchard recorded 90 points and 42 wins. CJHL National Rankings, ranked the team 8th overall in Canada.
“We are off to a rough start in the early part of the season,” said Monte Waronek, President of the Thunder, “We remain totally committed to building something new and exciting. A team that is exhilarating to watch, and has a chance of winning every time they step on the ice. We are committed to make this team something that our community, fans and supporters will be very proud of. We know this is a process and we must be patient, however, bringing in someone of Joey’s character, work ethic, professionalism and proven track record is a major leap forward to achieving our goal.”
Bouchard has three university degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts degree in French & Physical Education (Augustana), a Bachelor of Education degree (The Kings University), graduate level course work at the University of Alberta, and a Masters Degree in Education and Coaching Leadership (University of Victoria). Joey is currently an instructor at The Kings University and Archbishop Jordan High School.
Known for coaching a high energy, tough, offensive style of hockey, Bouchard showed his range as a coach during the 2015-2016 season as his team was ranked one of the best defensive teams in the AJHL and 2nd in penalty kill efficiency.
While he brought results on the ice, his success off the ice may have been even greater. He has helped 32 players receive scholarships to schools at the NCAA Division I, CIS and ACAC level while moving 22 more players onto careers at the Major Junior level. He has also advanced numerous players onto NHL tryouts.
“I am honored to serve as the General Manager of the Thunder and excited to join a very committed and dynamic ownership group. My brother played here for four seasons, and won an AJHL championship, so I have seen first hand the commitment of the fans and community to the Thunder. We are not just going to build a winning team but we are committed to building a winning culture and program that will continue to attract the best players year after year. I am looking forward to this opportunity!”