CJHL coach’s perspective: Paul Dyck, Steinbach Pistons (MJHL)

Photo credit: Scott Stroh/Hockey Night in Manitoba

CALGARY, Alta. –
No stranger to the Canadian Junior Hockey League, Paul Dyck has had tremendous success as head coach and general manager of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Steinbach Pistons.

After joining the Pistons back in 2010, he was appointed interim head coach in December of 2011 before officially taking reign of the club as bench boss and GM in the summer of 2012.

An alumnus of the CJHL in his Jr. A playing days with the Dauphin Kings (MJHL), Dyck is a two-time league coach of the year award honouree and was also a finalist for CJHL top coach laurels in 2017.

He guided Steinbach to MJHL championships in 2013 and 2018, along with an ANAVET Cup crown in 2018 and a berth in the national Jr. A championship that same season.

Since officially becoming the team’s head coach in 2012, he has led his squad to an impressive record of 340-111-15-21 through 487 regular season games played, boasting an equally solid .735 winning percentage.

Here’s a look as some of Dyck’s other accomplishments as well as his favourite practice drill and advice he has for those looking to play in the CJHL, in this latest coach’s perspective.

BIO: The Steinbach, Man., product was a selection of the Pittsburgh Penguin in the 1991 NHL Draft, he played 15 years professionally, winning an IHL championship with the Houston Aeros in 1999 and a DEL German League crown in 2003 as a member of the Krefeld Penguins. … Helped Canada West win gold, as an assistant coach, at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge. … Guided Team West to victory in the 2015 CJHL Prospects Game. Holds the MJHL record for fastest to win 250 games as a coach, doing so in just 376 outings.

FAVOURITE PRACTICE DRILL: One of my favourite drills is a two-vs.-two, below the dots, with two coaches that can be used as shooters several feet above the hash marks.

We typically do this drill at the start of practice on the day before a game.

It is intended to set the tone for that session as the expectation is to see a very high level of compete; winning of puck battles in a confined space and getting to the front of the net, once a coach receives the puck.

This drill has become a favourite for the players as well, due to its competitive nature; with the intensity from it carrying into the next drill.

ADVICE ON PLAYING IN THE CJHL: A player entering the CJHL should look for a team where he is going to have an opportunity to play and develop.

I would suggest that the player look for the best fit for him and not be focused on a specific league or location.

There are numerous excellent options for a player and I would be thorough in looking into the options if I was a player today.

The internet can be a great resource for information on programs in the CJHL and gives the player the ability to research the teams he is interested in.

NEXT UP: Laurie Barron, head coach & general manager Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners (MHL)

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

Photo credit: Scott Stroh/Hockey Night in Manitoba

With files from Steinbach Piston/MJHL