Hockey Operations

Mark Burgess

President & CEO

A name that is synonymous with Junior hockey in Northern Ontario, is Mark Burgess. Bringing a wealth of junior experience, Mark purchased the Rayside Balfour Canadians in 2019 setting the standard for Junior A hockey. For 30 years, the Burgess family owned and operated the Sudbury Wolves up until 2016. Mark has a deep hockey heritage, being active at all levels and looks to continue to build another JR A. championship team.

Blaine Smith

Managing Partner

With ties deep-seated into junior hockey, Blaine Smith is as versatile as they come. Serving over 31 years in Junior hockey, Blaine has worked in a multitude of roles with the Sudbury Wolves. Starting off as director of hockey operations, he then transitioned into general manager. Finalizing his time with the wolves, was his 11 year role as President. Responsible for the successful rebranding of the Sudbury Cubs, Blaine has been able to provide experience and hockey knowledge from the highest level.

Jeff Forsyth


General Manager

Hailing from Sudbury Ontario, Jeff Forsyth has been a trailblazer since entering the league. Jeff has brought a winning pedigree with him that dates back to 2010, winning the NOHA Championship four times, and OHF Championship once with the Nickel Capital Wolves. Working as a scout with the OHL for over three years, Jeff brings a keen eye and dedication to the development of junior players. Joining the Rayside Balfour Canadians in 2019, he set the bar with 40 wins and captured the West Division Title.

Alain Gagnon

Assistant GM

Splits his time between Scout and Assistant coach with the Laurentian Voyageurs from 2018-2021. The Kapuskasing native, brings a brilliant hockey mind that helps develop and facilitate hockey operations. Committed to life-long learning, Alain is passionate about developing, and maximizing player and team potential.

Coaching Staff

Vagelli Sakellaris

Head Coach

Head Coach Vagelli Sakellaris is an NOJHL Alumnus, playing 3 seasons split between the Elliot lake Ice, Rayside Balfour Sabre-Cats, and Sudbury Northern Wolves. Vagelli brings a very special aspect to coaching. Being relatable through personal experiences as a player, Vagelli has always been well received as a coach. Starting his career in 2007-2008 he has honed his experience throughout the GMHL, CAHS, NOJHL.

Dave Clancy

Associate Coach

Bringing a wealth of experience, Dave Clancy has over 20 years of coaching. Spending three seasons with the Laurentian Voyageurs (Usports) as an assistant coach, Dave has served as a scout for the Sudbury Wolves (OHL) and Head coach in the NOJHL. Bringing a winning pedigree to the Cubs Dave has experienced two NOJHL championships in 2006 as an assistant with the Sudbury Northern Wolves and 2008 as head coach for the Sudbury Jr. Wolves. All of Dave’s hard work paid dividends, when he was named NOJHL coach of the year in 2019.

Kerry MacLennan

Assistant Coach

A true staple in the hockey community, Kerry has spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Laurentian University Voyageurs (Usports). Kerry brings with him experience, knowledge and the ability to bring new strategies and in-game adjustments to help develop and shape players.

Eric Navarro

Goaltending coach

Drafted in the 6th round of the 1998 OHL draft by the Kitchener Rangers. After his playing career, Eric spent three seasons scouting for the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL. Eric has a passion for building confidence, teaching preparation, and positive mindset in young goaltenders.

Trainers

Chris Seguin

Head Trainer

Sudbury native, Chris Seguin began his career in 2016. Chris’s dedication to the game of hockey and player safety has seen him rise through the ranks. Working as the trainer for Team NOHA, Rayside Balfour Canadians (NOJHL), Espanola Express (NOJHL), and the Sudbury Cubs (NOJHL).

Everett Bona

Trainer & Equipment Manager

A Sudbury local, Everett Bona started his career in 2019 with the Rayside Balfour Canadians (NOJHL). A student of the game, he has participated in a variety of roles over his tenure. Everett’s passion and commitment for the team has effectively drawn attention to the new brand, and successfully added beneficial partnerships for the 2021-2022 year.

Jeff Panamick

Assistant Trainer

Manitoulin Island’s own Jeff Panamick, started his career with the Espanola Express in 2018. His hard work and dedication to the game of hockey has made him a true asset.

Dr. Todd Plexman

Team Dentist

Todd was born and raised here in Sudbury, he attended St. Charles College and graduated in 1984. In 1988, Dr. Plexman graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Science degree. He then moved to Winnipeg and attended the University of Manitoba, where he graduated in 1992 with a Doctor of Dental Medicine. In 2017, Dr. Plexman was awarded a Fellowship in the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

Kim Lafreniere

Physiotherapist

As a Certified Athletic Therapist, Kim is equipped with in-depth knowledge, education and training in the areas of the human musculoskeletal system, exercise physiology, biomechanics, and basic emergency care. She treats a wide range of patients, from kids with concussions, to seniors recovering from hip replacement surgery. Kim uses various manual therapies, modalities, exercise prescription, bracing and taping. Her goal is to provide her patients with exceptional care and education in the prevention, assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries.

 

Dan Despatie

Sudbury Police Liaison Officer

No stranger to junior hockey, Dan Depastie spent two seasons in the NOJHL amassing 197 points in just 82 games. Playing two seasons in the NOJHL, Dan played for the Nickel City Cubs & Espanola Eagles. Dan serves as the team’s Liaison Officer. He facilitates access to support services and communicates clear and concise information. The liaison officer is a critical role in team education and success.

Carrington Ryan

Team Mental Health

Carrington Ryan earned her Bachelor of Social Work at Laurentian University. Carrington is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Carrington began her career working with individuals with developmental disabilities, and assisting individuals with varying disabilities obtain, and retain employment and independence. By developing thorough assessments and individual care plans, Carrington has the experience necessary to assist individuals with acquired brain injuries, trauma, and developmental disorders. Carrington has experience working with all age groups. In her role as case manager, Carrington provides counselling to support both individuals and their families facing complex injuries, mental health and pain disorders. Carrington believes that healing is a collaborative endeavour that requires a holistic approach. Carrington is bilingual and offers services in English and French to the Greater Sudbury Area. Carrington is currently completing her Masters of Social Work at Laurentian University.