For Immediate Release: August 25, 2017

The RHA Nationals and the Hockey RINK Corp. are excited to announce the Midget Prep coaching staff for the 2017/18 season.

Once again Rob Smith will serve as head coach of the Midget Prep Nationals, returning for his second season. Joining Rob on his staff will be returning assistant coach Ian Duval, and newcomer Brian Loney.

Rob Smith, Head Coach

Born in Steinbach, Rob started his hockey career spending three years playing Major Junior Hockey for the Calgary Hitmen and Brampton Battalion.  From there, Rob played four full seasons with the University of Manitoba Bisons.  His final two years with the Bisons he was named Captain of the team.  After his University career he played professional hockey in Germany and in North America.  Shifting his focus from playing to coaching, Rob started coaching in the Winnipeg AAA system.  After one year he joined the Steinbach Pistons of the MJHL as an Assistant Coach/Assistant GM. Rob has also been heavily involved with the U-16 Team Manitoba program.  He also won a bronze medal at the 2015 Canada Games. 

Ian Duval, Assistant Coach

This Manitoba born and raised native comes from a deep hockey background, which includes 5 years in the WHL with NHL camp invites to Tampa Bay and Columbus. At 21 he committed to playing at the University of Manitoba with the Bisons for 5 seasons. Following his University career he played in the ECHL with the Wichita Thunder for one season where injuries cut his playing career short. This is when he transitioned into player development with our staff at The Rink Training Centre since 2016. For the inaugural year of our RHA program Ian had the opportunity to be an assistant coach with our Midget team. He is extremely excited to continue to build from last season and to provide experience and growth for our players as well as our program. 

Brian Loney, Assistant Coach

Brian returns home after a 13-year playing career, including the NHL, AHL and Europe. His development path included both NCAA (Ohio State University) where after his freshman season was selected 110th overall in the 1992 draft by Vancouver Canucks. He joined the WHL's Red Deer Rebels in their inaugural season before turning pro at the end of the season. Brian has coached in various minor hockey associations across the country. More notably he’s been involved in creating Hockey Development Programs for different minor hockey associations. He is excited to join the RINK Hockey Academy Midget program to help further develop young hockey players. 

Rink Hockey Academy is a proud member of the CSSHL, a league recognized as the nations’ leader in education based hockey.

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