St. Louis Selects name O'Kane, Watson as new 16U and 15U coaches
April 12, 2017
The St. Louis Selects of the North American Prospect Hockey League (NAPHL) are proud to announce Kyle O'Kane as the new 16U head coach and Joe Watson as the very first head coach for the new 15U team this upcoming 2017-18 season.
O'Kane is no stranger to the competitive hockey landscape. He played in the NAHL where he won two Robertson Cup national championships with the St. Louis Bandits. After juniors Kyle began his college career at Western Michigan University, winning a conference championship and graduating with a communications degree. His amateur career exposed him to great hockey influences like Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay Lighting), Jeff Blashill (Detroit Red Wings) and Former St. Louis Blues coach Andy Murray. Kyle then went on to play 3 years of professional hockey in ECHL/CHL.
Selects program Vice President and Director of Player Development JP Beilsten confirmed Okane's new role with the organization. “We’re very excited about having Kyle take the next step in our program. Kyle has played a big role in helping our club grow over the last few years and has been deeply rooted in the St. Louis Hockey community since He was a little kid."
In 2015, O’Kane was hired by the STL Selects to serve as an assistant coach where he demonstrated his ability to coach and manage a team at this level. However, his most important quality comes with the passion and dedication that he puts into his work and the members of our program every day. “He’s a great fit for our program and has learned from some of the best coaches in the game. Kyle's daily approach to the game correlates very well with our organization’s overall philosophy of player advancement”, said Beilsten.
“I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity I have with the Selects AAA Hockey Program”, said O’Kane. “The dynamics of St. Louis hockey have changed a lot since i was a player. Over the past few years I believe our program has made great strides. I know we have developed a great platform for young St. Louis hockey kids to get exposure at the junior and college level. I am looking forward to the challenge and helping build St. Louis hockey!”
Coach Watson began his coaching career back in 2014 and has been a head coach for the past two seasons at the Bantam Major level (CSDHL). This past season Watson guided his Chesterfield Falcons to a CSDHL regular season championship as well as a Missouri State Championship. The team was a USA Hockey National Tournament attendee, finishing 1-1-1 at the event.
Selects Program Vice President and Director of Player Development JP Beilsten is no stranger to Joe as he played Junior hockey with him back in 2000-2001. "I am very familiar with Joe and his success on and off the ice. We are thrilled to bring in another coach who has a great hockey mind and has a passion for the game".
Throughout Joe's career he has experienced the game at high levels including Tier 2 NAHL Junior Hockey and NCAA Division 3 hockey. “He’s a great fit for our midget program and his understanding of the player development to the game correlates very well with our organization’s process which is important to us”, said Beilsten.
Joe is very familiar with the family of NAHL leagues as he played in the Central States Hockey League (CSHL), now the NA3HL, along with the NAHL, where he played 75 games for the Springfield Spirit and the Toledo Ice Diggers. After juniors Joe continued his hockey career at Utica College of the ECAC-W (NCAA DIII) where he racked up 66 points 95 games.
The St. Louis Selects welcomes Watson into the NAPHL and are looking forward to the upcoming 2017-18 season at the 15u Level. “I’m very excited to be a part of the Selects AAA Hockey Program”, said Joe. “I have seen the success the Selects have had with the program over the last few years and I am anxious to help out and be a part of it. I feel the Selects have developed a great model for player advancement while supporting so many young St. Louis hockey players, which is important to me. "
"Joe has been a success in the St. Louis Hockey community since he was a player and now as a coach. We look forward to having him develop our youngest team into hockey players as well as young men", said Beilsten.