WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce that Mitch Giguere has been named the team's new Assistant Coach.
Giguere, 37, has held a wide variety of roles in hockey over the past decade, as he has served as a coach, general manager, scout, and team consultant. Mitch began his coaching journey in 2008 when his playing career ended, and has since advanced to coach in prestigious leagues such as the Kontinental Hockey League, the Québec Major Junior Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, and the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. One of his greatest accomplishments came in 2021-22, when he returned to North America with Longueuil Collège-Français and won the Napa Cup as a QJHL Champion. Giguere also earned a certified Canadian Sport Institute Advanced Coaching Diploma, which took two years of studying to achieve.
"I am very excited to have Mitch on our staff this season," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He has an excellent and diverse background in the hockey world, thanks to the people he's worked with, as well as the places and leagues he's worked in. He will bring a new perspective to our team, and I am looking forward to working with him on a personal and professional level."
In addition to the team successes he has enjoyed, the Montréal, Québec native has also played a large role in developing players, and seeing those players reach the highest levels of professional hockey. One of the most recent players Mitch coached was Pittsburgh Penguins 2022 first round draft pick Owen Pickering, when Pickering was an Elite 15 at RINK Hockey Academy, with fellow NHL draft picks Daimon Gardner and Josh Filmon. Giguere has also had the opportunity to coach current Penguin Sam Poulin, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard of the Montréal Canadiens, and Edmonton Oilers prospect Olivier Rodrigue. Hockey Québec is another organization that Mitch has been heavily involved with, and that led to him working with Stanley Cup Champion Samuel Girard and Los Angeles Kings forward Pierre-Luc Dubois.
"I love the history that Wheeling has, and the chemistry that the Nailers have with Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton makes the organization feel like a big family," Giguere said. "Derek and I connected immediately, and I am excited to come here to learn a lot from him, while we help ourselves grow as individuals, while leading a talented team on the ice to a long playoff run. The organization also has strong family values, which is wonderful, as my wife and children will be a big part of this experience with me."
Mitch and his wife Audrey are moving to Wheeling with their four children - daughters Maxim (15), Alexe (13), and Leoni (7), and son Louis (6).
Mitch Giguere and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.