For the first time in their hockey history, the Prince George Spruce Kings have an international coach.
The BCHL team announced Monday they’ve hired Czech Republic native Lukas Lomicky as their associate coach.
Lomicky spent the past three seasons with the Revelstoke Grizzlies of the Kootenay International Hockey League, helping the Griz win the Cyclone Taylor Cup KIJHL title in 2019 as the associate coach. He was promoted to head coach this past season and guided the Grizzlies to a 39-6-1 record, second overall in the league.
“I’m really happy about it,” said Lomicky. “It is an honour to join a premier Junior A Franchise, the Prince George Spruce Kings. They have always run one of the best franchises in the BCHL and when I heard the opportunity, I knew I wanted the chance to join the organization. They have been able to move players and coaches to the next level time and time again, while also keeping a winning tradition.”
Kings general manager Mike Hawes and head coach Alex Evin know Grizzlies GM Ryan Parent who connected them to Lomicky.
“I spent the last three years in Revelstoke and it was a really good learning process for me,” Lomicky said. “It was a really good time in Revelstoke and Ryan taught me how to understand North American hockey, for sure.
“I believe I can help players develop because I like to learn new things and work the tendencies in hockey. I was a forward (in his playing days) and in Revelstoke I was teaching skating skills.”
Lomicky coached seven seasons in the Czech Republic, after his junior hockey career ended with a back injury. He achieved a physical education degree and a national coaching certification while coaching minor hockey teams and spent four seasons as a club coach for HC Karlovy and Sparta Praha HC before he came to Canada. As video coach for the Czech national team Lomicky won a bronze medal last year in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat.
“We had heard a lot of good things about Lukas from many people throughout the hockey world and after we had some discussions with him, we knew he would be a great fit for the organization,” said Hawes. “He will fit well within our values and expectations as an organization and will complement Alex (head coach Evin) well. I am very happy with the looks of our on-ice hockey staff moving forward and can’t wait to see where Alex, Lukas, Jason, and Nick can take our group.”
Lomicky, who turns 32 next Wednesday, is now living with a doctor friend in Whistler, teaching him English, and plans to move to Kelowna for the summer. He will be in Prince George in early August to prepare for training camp, which is expected to begin in early September.
“Lukas will undoubtedly be a strong contributor to our team,” said Evin. “His work ethic and core values align well with our organization.”
The Kings coaching staff also includes Jason Garneau, who rejoined the team a few weeks ago as assistant coach. Garneau will be on hand for team practices and home games, as well as some road games.
Nick Drazenovic will return for a second season as the Kings director of skill development. The former Prince George Cougars captain will attend practices weekly with the team to focus and skills and assist the other coaches with team strategies.