Pacella named Director of Player Development & Advancement

The Los Angeles Jr. Kings (LAJK) have announced that former 16 AAA Head Coach Louis Pacella has taken the position of Director of Player Development & Advancement within the organization.

This new position will allow Louis to expand his reach in developing players in the Jr. Kings, while utilizing his extensive contacts to promote them to junior hockey programs and the NCAA.

With Pacella accepting this new executive position, longtime Jr. Kings head coach Jack Bowkus will oversee both the 18U AAA and 16U AAA Major teams this coming season, along with assistant coach Barry Dreger and a support coaching staff that includes Jeff Turcotte, Shawn Pitcher, Igor Nikulin, Jaroslav Modry and Robbert McDonald.

As the Jr. Kings' Director of Player Development & Advancement, Pacella will be responsible not only to oversee the development of players within the Jr. Kings, but also for the appropriate promotion and of their hockey careers in junior leagues such as the United States Hockey League (USHL), North American Hockey League (NAHL) and British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), and the NCAA.

"Coaching has been a part of my life since I was a teenager, and while I will miss all of the aspects that go into running a team, I am looking forward to the new challenges of overseeing the development path and advancement of our players," said Pacella. "I am also looking forward to less travel which will give me the ability to spend more time with my family, as well as my business."

Pacella, an attorney with his own practice, and his wife, Kim, have three boys ages seven, three and one.

"We are thrilled that the Jr. Kings organization was able to retain Louis in such an important role," stated Jr. Kings Club President Steve Yovetich. "This position was something we first discussed a year ago, and there is no better Coach than Louis to optimize this role. His passion and enthusiasm for developing and advancing players, as well as his extensive contacts throughout the hockey community, will continue to be an enormous asset to our organization. I'm confident there is no other youth hockey program that can match the commitment and resources the Jr. Kings have in place to develop and advance players."

As one of the most successful youth hockey coaches in Southern California for the past 17 seasons, Pacella has guided his Tier I teams to eight (8) consecutive USA Hockey National Championship appearances, winning medals five (5) times during that span. Pacella's 16 AAA teams have consistently been amongst the top finishers in the prestigious Tier 1 Elite Hockey League, including semi-final playoff appearances in each of the past two (2) seasons. Most notably, Pacella has assisted in the advancement of six (6) players to the U.S. National Team Development Program, and dozens of players in the USHL, WHL, NAHL and NCAA. Several of Louis' former players have been drafted into the NHL and are currently playing at various levels of professional hockey. During his tenure at the 16 AAA level, more than 30 players have received NCAA Division 1 scholarship offers.

In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Pacella has previously served as the Western Regional Scout for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, and is the architect of the annual College Hockey Experience, a showcase that features current NCAA coaches working directly with players from around the Western United States and Canada during games and on-ice practices.

With Bowkus and Dreger taking the main coaching reins of both the Jr. Kings' 18U AAA and 16U AAA Major groups, both teams will travel together to compete at Tier I Elite League events and two U.S. Premier Hockey League showcases this season, with no conflicts in practice schedules between the two teams.

Both teams will be supported by the balance of the Jr. Kings' coaching leadership through specialized weekly skill, system and unit sessions.

Bowkus guided the Jr. Kings' 18U AAA team to California Amateur Hockey Association state and Pacific District regional championships this past season, culminating in a berth to the USA Hockey National Championships.

A former head coach in the USHL and NAHL, Bowkus played four years of Major Junior in the Western Hockey League (WHL) before a minor-pro career in the International Hockey League (IHL) and ECHL.

Dreger played three seasons in the WHL before embarking on an 11-year professional career in the American Hockey League, ECHL and IHL.

Dreger was also a successful coach in the American Collegiate Hockey Association with Kennesaw State University.

The LAJK will be presenting their 2014-15 Tier I Midget program (18U AAA and 16U AAA Major and Minor Teams) tonight, Wednesday, June 4th at El Segundo's Toyota Sports Center complete with a Q & A session.

The 16U AAA (Major/Minor) parent presentation will start at 6:00 PM as the players will take the ice at 6:20 PM.

The 18U AAA parent presentation is set to begin at 7:30 PM as the players will take the ice at 7:45 PM.

For more information, please contact LAJK Executive Director, Mr. Kelly Sorensen, at kelly@jrkingshockey.com.