CJHL coach’s perspective: Mark Jooris, Burlington Cougars (OJHL)

Photo credit: Michelle Malvaso/OJHL Images

CALGARY, Alta. –
Set to celebrate a birthday tomorrow, Mark Jooris has experienced a lot as a player, coach and manager in the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

Currently the head coach and general manager of the Burlington Cougars (OJHL), Jooris has stood behind the bench with teams in the Ontario Junior Hockey League for close to a decade.

This would be his sixth season at the helm of the Cougars and he also held similar posts with the Oakville Blades and the then Markham Waxers.

His efforts with Burlington helped him earn OJHL Coach of the Year honours back in 2015-16.

Last season he guided the Cougars to a solid 34-12-3-5 record.

With this, the ninth CJHL Coach’s Perspective, Jooris gives his thoughts and insights on practicing and competing in the CJHL.

BIO: Jooris played in the CJHL with his hometown Burlington Cougars side before earning an NCAA Division I scholarship to RPI. … With the Engineers, he led his team in scoring in his senior year and amassed 183 points in total in 114 games. … Following his collegiate career, he starred in Europe and also suited up for the Canadian National Team in 1988-89. … Among his accomplishments overseas, he led the DEL, the top pro league in Germany, in offensive numbers back in 1996-97. … Following a stint in Swizterland, Jooris returned home to both play and coach senior hockey with the Dundas Real McCoys before stepping behind the bench in the OJHL in 2009.

FAVOURITE PRACTICE DRILL: My favourite drill would have to be the Flames Continuous 3v2.

It starts with a three-on-two down low with an offensive group of three ready to break out of the zone.

They can also help the defence if the attacking forwards come up to high.

Meanwhile, the defence that are defending try to get the puck to the waiting forwards, who are in their D-zone positions.

Once that happens, they attack down the ice three-on-two and it then just continues back and forth.

This drill has game situations and there are a lot of reps up and down the ice, which helps conditioning. Also, there is not a lot of standing around between reps.

ADVICE ON PLAYING IN THE CJHL: Be patient. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t go your way on your first try.

Understand that not everyone has the same role on a team, but one is not more or less important than the other.

You should also take your practice and off-ice habits very seriously.

One of my favourite analogies: If you have a brick wall and your fourth and fifth lines and your fifth and sixth defencemen are on the bottom of the wall, if you start to remove the bricks, your wall will crumble. Embrace your role.

NEXT UP: Billy McGuigan, Head Coach/Ass’t GM: Summerside Western Capitals (MHL)

LINK to each of the CJHL coach’s perspective segments.

Photo credit: Michelle Malvaso/OJHL Images

With files from Jim Mason, Director of Communications (OJHL)