Hounds’ name Bannister New Head Coach

Photo courtesy of OHL Images

Soo Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Raftis announced this evening that DREW BANNISTER has been named the team’s new Head Coach.
He becomes the 19th Head Coach in Greyhounds team history.

“Two things that have always stood out about Drew Bannister both in his playing career and coaching career thus far, is his unmatched work ethic and passion for the game. These were two major focusses in our search as those are skills that cannot be taught. One thing is for certain today’s athlete is ever changing. Drew’s strong communication skills made him the right fit for what we were looking for” began Hounds GM Kyle Raftis.

“Most recently, Drew worked with Hockey Canada and ultimately won Gold as Head Coach with  Team Ontario in the Canada Winter Games. Drew has a very progressive approach which is evident through his time with Hockey Canada combined with his experience with Owen Sound ultimately proving his readiness for a Head Coaching position in the OHL” continued Raftis.

The 41-year old Bannister joins the Hounds after spending the past three seasons (2012-13 to 2014-15) as an Assistant Coach with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack.  

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity that Kyle, the board members, and the whole Greyhound organization have given me.  I look forward to starting the job and building new relationships with the players and personnel, within the organization” stated Bannister.

“I want to thank the Owen Sound Attack organization, especially Dale DeGray and Greg Ireland for the opportunity they gave me to grow as a person and coach under them.  I’m looking forward to starting my coaching career in the same place I started my Junior Hockey playing career and where I have so many great memories” concluded the Hounds’ new Head Coach.

Bannister, a defenseman, spent his junior career with the Hounds for four seasons, where he won two consecutive OHL Championships and appeared in three consecutive Memorial Cups before culminating in the National Championship in 1993.

Professionally, Drew was selected in the 2nd Round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning and would go on to play 164 NHL games grabbing 5 goals and 25 assists before playing  in various league’s overseas before retirement in 2011-12.
In total he played 18 years in the professional hockey ranks in North America and Europe.

“We are very excited to add Drew into the Soo Greyhound Hockey Program” concluded Raftis.

The Soo Greyhounds are looking forward to a formal press conference with the Soo Greyhounds newly appointed Head Coach and hockey operations staff in the near future.

D.O.B. – April 9, 1974 (41 years old)
Hometown – Belleville, ON

Coaching/Management Achievements and Awards
• Won Gold Medal as Head Coach with Team Ontario at 2015 Under 16 Canada Winter Games
• Three-year Assistant Coach with Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
• Team Ontario U17 Assistant Coach (2014)

Player Accolades
• League titles in Germany (2008) and Finland (2003)
• Calder Cup Championship (2000) with the Hartford Wolf Pack
• Won a World Junior Championship with Team Canada (1994)
• Chosen to Memorial Cup All-Star Team (1992-93 and 1991-92)
• Drafted 2nd Round (26th overall) in 1992 NHL Entry Draft by Tampa Bay

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