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Northern Michigan University hockey team hires Nick Peruzzi as assistant coach

Nick Peruzzi

MARQUETTE — A few weeks after announcing its schedule for the first year back in the CCHA, the Northern Michigan University hockey team has added a coach to its staff.

On Friday, the Wildcats named Nick Peruzzi an assistant coach for the 2021-22 season. Peruzzi, 29, will serve under head coach Grant Potulny and alongside associate head coach Byron Pool.

For the past year and a half, Peruzzi was the associate head coach for the United States Hockey League’s Lincoln (Nebraska) Stars, where he worked with forwards and the power play units, as well as being part of the recruiting process.

Before joining the Stars, Peruzzi was an assistant coach and scouting director from 2017-20 for the USHL’s Youngstown (Ohio) Phantoms, where he also worked with the power play unit. He also previously served as a scout for the USHL’s Fargo (North Dakota) Force and helped coach the North American Hockey League’s Aston (now Jamestown, New York) Rebels.

Peruzzi, a native of downstate Rochester Hills, has also been a skills and development coach for TPH & Pro Impact in Detroit for the past five years. During that span, he helped train various AAA, Tier I and Tier II juniors as well as other NCAA and pro athletes with a focus mostly on individual skills and in-game transfer development.

“I am very excited to join the Northern Michigan University family and Wildcats’ staff, and thank Grant Potulny, Byron Pool and the rest of the hockey staff for providing me this opportunity,” Peruzzi said in an NMU press release. “I want to make a positive contribution to the program by making our players better, and I’m proud to be part of a college hockey program with a long-standing history of success, player development and tradition.

“I hope to use my past coaching experience in the USHL, NAHL and AAA to build upon the great program already established by Grant, Byron and the rest of the Northern Michigan hockey staff and university.”

Potulny, who played for the Lincoln Stars from 1998-2000, was also quoted in the release saying, “We are very excited to add Nick to our coaching staff. Throughout the interview process Nick displayed his knowledge and passion for the game. His energy, preparation and work ethic stood out when he was on campus.

“Nick is a Michigan native that comes from a family of coaches that is well schooled in the rich history of NMU hockey,” Potulny added. “His ties to the area should serve us well in the recruitment of future Wildcats from our home state.”

After making it to the WCHA championship game last season, the Wildcats will try to do the same this fall in the new CCHA. The season starts Oct. 8-9 with a home series against NCAA Division I newcomer St. Thomas of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.

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