Rockets new look

The North Dundas Rockets back bench will have a diffeent look this season after naming Nik Paas as Head Coach on Tues., June 27. The club also named Doug “Torchy” Barnett as the Head of Player Development and Recruitment. Pictured here, from left, are Rod Sadler (GM), Barnett, Paas, Lenard McLean (Assistant Coach) and Kevin Byers (Co-owner).       Moore photo


WINCHESTER – The North Dundas Rockets’ General Manager Robyn Sadler had a meet the media day on Tues., June 27, at the 100 Club Park in Winchester. Sadler introduced Nic Paas as the new Head Coach of the Rockets and also named Doug Barnett as the Head of Player Development and Recruitment. On hand were the Rockets’ Co-owner Kevin Byers, Sadler, and Assistant Coach Lenard McLean.

Paas played hockey for the Winchester Hawks of the then EOJHL and also with the Smiths Falls Bears of the Central Canada Hockey League and already had a tenure with the Rockets for two years as an assistant coach. Paas says he is looking to build on what the team accomplished this spring.

Barnett also played in the EOJHL with the Kemptville 73s and has been a coach, mentor and board member with the North Grenville Minor Hockey Association. Barnett is well connected in the hockey world and Sadler was proud to welcome him on board.

Sadler mentioned, “We would like to thank James Kirkwood for guiding the ship the past two seasons and wish him all the best. James felt that his new career path would limit his ability to commit to coaching, unfortunately.

Nik Paas is a local Winchester resident who was a teammate of mine with the Hawks and one of my oldest friends. Drafted by the Junior A Smiths Falls Bears and a former Junior B MVP and captain with the Winchester Hawks when he played, Nik also spent a couple seasons as an assistant coach with the Rockets in the team’s early stages.

As General Manager, I am thrilled and relieved at the same time that Nik is willing to come back on board in this capacity. Losing James left a big hole for us to fill, and the list of candidates that I wanted to target as a replacement was short, Nik being at the top of that list. Nik has a great demeanour to be a coach in our league; he will bring character, knowledge and a degree of professionalism.  I feel that he and Lenard are going to be a great team this season.

We also hired Doug Barnett as our new Head of Player Development and Recruiting. Doug played Junior A hockey in Gloucester, and was captain of the Kemptville 73s Junior B hockey club as a player. As a coach, Doug spent time as a head coach with the 73’s and as the director of the Rideau St Lawrence AA Kings. Doug brings a wealth of experience with him and is well connected throughout the hockey community, a great asset to have and I am looking forward to working with him.

Brodie Barkley has also signed with us for the up coming campaign, a real nice addition to our back end, he will be one of the premier defensemen in this league, and another local kid on the roster for the 2017-18 season. We have a great nucleus returning. We would also like to announce our conditioning camp dates: Mon., Aug. 28, at 7-8:30 p.m., Tues., Aug. 29, at 7-8:30 p.m., and Wed., Aug. 30, at 7-8:30 p.m. – all at the Joel Steele Community Centre in Winchester.”