SAGINAW, Mich. – Saginaw Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill announced Wednesday the hiring of Brandon Naurato and Sean Perkins from Total Package Hockey as Skill Development Coaches.


“By adding Brandon and Sean as our new skill coaches, it continues the reconstruction of the Saginaw Spirit program. Having the opportunity to meet both of these individuals this past season, it is easy to see why they have become the premier instructors and teachers of skill development in Michigan.”


Naurato, 31, brings a wealth of knowledge to the forefront including a familiarity with the state of Michigan. A Livonia, Michigan native, Naurato played his NCAA college hockey at the University of Michigan where he won a CCHA Championship in 2008. Naurato’s pro career spanned 180 games between Stockton (ECHL), Toledo (ECHL), Port Huron (IHL), Fort Wayne (CHL), and Dayton (CHL). Naurato is the Director of Hockey Operations in the Detroit branch of Total Package Hockey, which opened its doors in 2012.


Perkins, 29, grew up 90 minutes away from Saginaw in Commerce Township. The Detroit Compuware graduate played 130 junior games between the USHL, NAHL, and BCHL. Perkins also logged a lot of miles during his pro career, spanning five seasons. Perkins spent parts of three seasons in the ECHL with Cincinnati, Greenville, and Idaho. Parts of two seasons in Edinburgh (United Kingdom), a season in Demark, 10 games in Vimmerby, Sweden, and one season in the Central Hockey League with Missouri and Allen. Like head coach Spencer Carbery, Sean Perkins is also an ECHL Kelly Cup Champion, winning his with the Cincinnati Cyclones in 2008.


“Brandon and Sean work tirelessly on their trade.” said Drinkill. “They are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to help players reach their highest potential. Our players should be very excited to work with TPH throughout the season. I want to officially welcome Brandon, Sean, and Total Package Hockey to the Spirit family, as we start a new era of Saginaw Spirit hockey.”


Total Package Hockey is one of the largest hockey service providers in the country, providing programs to over 4,000 players and supporting more than 200 coaches, administrators, and volunteers each year. They manage and support youth and adult hockey programs from Detroit to Atlanta. TPH specializes in skill-based player development from grassroots and outreach programs that introduce the game to elite programs with a track record of moving players to junior and college hockey.


“We are honored and excited to be a part of the Saginaw Spirit Staff.” said Naurato. “It is our goal to help support the coaching staff and ownership group to develop future professionals through on-ice development and off-ice mentoring. Thank you to Dick Garber, Craig Goslin, and Dave Drinkill for the opportunity and their innovative approach to player development.”


Spirit head coach Spencer Carbery also touted the talents of TPH: “Brandon and Sean will be extremely valuable additions to our hockey operations staff. They possess the ability to help our players develop their skills and continue to improve. This addition will not only be great for our current players, but for our future players as well.”


To find out more information on Total Package Hockey, visit their website at

The Shreveport Mudbugs, proud members of the North American League, have announced that Francis Anzalone has been hired as the team’s associate head coach ahead of its first season in the NAHL.


A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Anzalone has spent seven seasons working in the NAHL and USHL and brings a wealth of knowledge and league experience to the Shreveport coaching staff.


“I feel very fortunate to be joining the Shreveport Mudbugs,” Anzalone said. “The vision of the organization, the quality of the people involved and the passionate fan base makes this a very intriguing opportunity.”


Mudbugs general manager Scott Muscutt said the addition of Anzalone bolsters a Shreveport franchise whose culture is built around character and passion for hockey and community.


“The Mudbugs are extremely excited to have Francis join our club,” Muscutt said. “He brings extensive NAHL experience and his energy, work ethic, attention to detail and passion for the game makes him a pro. He brings a long history and ability to develop and advance players to college hockey. He also not only possesses character, but has always demanded it from his players.”


The 28-year-old most recently served as head coach of the NAHL’s Aberdeen Wings.  In Anzalone’s three seasons with the Wings, fifteen players advanced to the Division I level.  In addition, five of the six goaltenders Anzalone coached made Division I commitments, including future UND Fighting Hawk Peter Thome, who was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the sixth round of the NHL draft last month.


Prior to his time in Aberdeen, Anzalone spent four seasons with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, working as a scout before being promoted to assistant coach.  Alongside Shreveport head coach Karlis Zirnis, Anzalone believes his time spent in the top two junior leagues in the country will benefit the Mudbugs on and off the ice.


“I want to take all of my experiences and all of the knowledge I’ve gained and use it to help the organization and the players,” Anzalone said. “I want to help accelerate the process of fostering the right culture and help build a great program that the fans in Shreveport will be proud of and the right people in the hockey world will connect with.”


Behind the Shreveport bench, Anzalone and Zirnis will continue a hockey relationship they’ve had since 2008 when the new associate head coach worked at the bantam AAA level. Anzalone and Zirnis met at the Elite Edge Hockey Showcase in Nashville, which has further fostered the partnership between TPH and the Mudbugs.


Additionally, Anzalone’s father, Frank, was a longtime professional and collegiate coach and has worked in the same circles as Muscutt.  The elder Anzalone is presently the NCAA Scout for the NHL’s Calgary Flames.


In Shreveport’s first season in the NAHL, Anzalone hopes to make an impact on the Mudbugs players and community.

“I love to teach and I love to make an impact on the players, not only as athletes but also as people,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to support and grow the vision of the Mudbugs and help each individual player be the best that he can be on and off the ice.”

07/14/2016, 12:00pm MDT


USA Hockey today announced the 20-man roster for the U.S. Under-17 Select Team that will compete at the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament at the Dr Pepper StarCenter Arena Frisco from Aug. 9-13 in Frisco, Texas.


All 20 players participated in USA Hockey’s Boys Select 16 Player Development Camp, which took place July 8-14 in Williamsville, New York.

The roster features 12 forwards, including Ryan Savage (Scottsdale, Ariz.) who led the Boys Select 16 Player Development Camp with 10 points, including five goals, in five games. The six-player defensive unit includes Christian Krygier (Novi, Mich.) and Brady Smith (Palatine, Ill.), who combined for eight points during the camp. Drew Deridder (Fenton, Mich.) and Isaiah Saville (Anchorage, Ala.) were selected as the U.S. Under-17 Select Team goaltenders.

Team USA won the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament last year in Arosa, Switzerland. It marked the sixth championship in eight tries for Team USA, which also claimed top honors in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2008.

For Team USA’s complete roster, click here.

For complete Under-17 Five Nations Tournament coverage, click here.

NOTES: In addition to the United States, the 2016 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament will also include teams from Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany … Cory Laylin (St. Michael, Minn.) will serve as head coach of the 2016 U.S. Under-17 Select Team, while Matt Millar (Los Angeles, Calif.), Scott Paluch (Bowling Green, Ohio) and Alex Todd (Angola, Ind.) will serve as assistant coaches … The 20 players on the Team USA roster represent 10 different states. Minnesota and Michigan lead the way with five players apiece, while Illinois has three … Ann Arbor, Michigan, was the last U.S. city to host the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament (2011). Team USA won the event, with players from 11 different states, going 4-0-0-0 … The Dr Pepper StarCenter Arena Frisco, host site for the 2016 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament, serves as the practice facility for the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars … The annual USA Hockey Select 16 Player Development Camp provides top young players with elite instruction, as well as the opportunity to compete at the national level against other players in their age group.


Date Opponent Time (CST)
Tues., Aug. 9 Switzerland 3:30 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 10 Slovakia 7:15 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 12 Czech Republic 7:15 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 13 Germany 7:15 p.m.

Before moving on to the USHL in the fall, Andrew Sinard got a taste of what the next level is like at the Nashville Predators summer development camp from June 28 to July 2.

The former TPH Thunder 18U standout earned an invite to the camp after a strong AAA season that saw him notch 12 points in 30 games as a defenseman.

“It was awesome,” the Brentwood, Tenn., native said. “I think I got a lot better just by being surrounded by all that talent and the people who work in the Predators organization.”

Overseeing Nashville’s camp was Director of Player Development Scott Nichol, who led the players through a variety of events including testing, video sessions and nutrition education. Sinard said it was a great opportunity to get an inside look at an NHL organization.

“Being out there with a lot of extremely high skilled guys, I think it helped me get familiar with that level of hockey,” Sinard said. “I learned what it takes to get there and what I need to work on over the next couple of years as I develop.”

Sinard credits his TPH coaches, most notably Ron Gay, for helping him develop as a defenseman over the past couple of seasons.

“They definitely taught me to work hard and realize that it doesn’t matter what path you come from, you can still make it if you want it enough,” the 6-foot-6 defenseman said. “Ron Gay helped me realize that and helped me go from a AAA player to playing in the USHL next year.”

Gay said he’s not surprised at how far Sinard has come despite beginning his hockey career at a relatively late age.

“He’s listened to everything we’ve said and he’s been like a sponge, taking everything in,” said Gay, who works with numerous professional, college and junior hockey players throughout the country. “He’s a great athlete to begin with and with all the training we’ve done with his footwork and weight lifting – along with that size and coordination – there’s only an upside with him.”

Fresh off of the Predators development camp and a great final year in AAA, Sinard will be playing for the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders this coming season, the same team that drafted him in the league’s 2016 entry draft.

He’s committed to Miami University and wants current and future TPH players to know that it’s possible to have a successful hockey career no matter where they are from.

“I’d tell them if you work harder than everyone else, you’re going to get better than everyone else,” Sinard said. “To really excel and get to the next level, it’s not easy, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Total Package Hockey is one of the largest hockey service providers in the country, offering youth and adult programs from Detroit to Atlanta. TPH provides programs, which are staffed by highly qualified elite hockey coaches and professionals, to more than 4,000 players each year. With programs in 18 total U.S. cities, including teams in the NA3HL and T1EHL, TPH specializes in skill-based player development and has a track record of moving players to junior, college and professional hockey.

Growing up in Raleigh, N.C., Josh Wilkins often had to travel to play hockey.

This year was a little different. The former TPH Thunder U16 captain didn’t have to go very far to participate in last week’s Carolina Hurricanes development camp.

It was a rare opportunity for the skilled forward to play in front of his mom, dad and other family members.

“I got to pay in front of them for the first time in a couple of years, so it was a cool opportunity and experience,” the 19-year-old said. “Especially to be in my hometown, it was great to get invited.”

The four-day camp was a chance for Wilkins to learn more about what it takes to make it at the next level.

“The Hurricanes teach you how to be a pro everyday,” Wilkins said. “They taught a lot about nutrition, how to handle things mentally and how to act like a good hockey player.”

Before jumping into the NAHL and USHL, Wilkins starred on the TPH Thunder and the TPH Thunder Midget Minor OHL Cup team. Wilkins scored 21 goals and added 15 assists in 34 games with the Thunder in 2013-14 and played exceptionally well at the 2012-13 OHL Cup, notching seven points in six games.

“When Josh came to TPH, he was physically mature, had an outstanding skill set and to his credit was open to learning more,” TPH President and Managing Partner Nathan Bowen said. “He bought into our culture and understood that academic performance would lead to athletic opportunities down the road. We’re so happy and proud of him for taking the next step and attending Providence when he’s ready. He’s an exceptional young man who loves the game and competes every day on and off the ice.”

He also featured prominently on the USA team that took home the bronze medal at the 2015-16 World Junior A Challenge, tallying four points in five games.

“TPH really helped me get exposure,” Wilkins said. “I got drafted to the USHL from the Thunder and I learned a lot from my coaches there. Nathan Bowen puts together a lot of good teams with the Thunder.”

Wilkins said his development as a player really took off playing for the TPH team.

“They get you in the gym and gave us a lot of good hockey workouts,” the 2014 draft pick of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers said. “When we practiced, we practiced hard. I really got a lot of individual work in.

“They also made sure I was taken care of in school and helped make sure my teachers and counselors knew what I was doing and what my situation was.”

As Wilkins’ career takes off – he’ll either play at Providence or back at Sioux City this coming season – he fondly remembers his time playing with TPH.

“There have been a lot of guys who have come out of TPH before me and I think each group looks up to the next group,” he said. “That shows the character of TPH.”

Total Package Hockey is one of the largest hockey service providers in the country, offering youth and adult programs from Detroit to Atlanta. TPH provides programs, which are staffed by highly qualified elite hockey coaches and professionals, to more than 4,000 players each year. With programs in 18 total U.S. cities, including teams in the NA3HL and T1EHL, TPH specializes in skill-based player development and has a track record of moving players to junior, college and professional hockey.

As a kid, the Washington Capitals got Jay Williams interested in hockey.

Years later, the former TPH Thunder player got to wear his favorite team’s jersey as an invitee at the Capitals’ development camp two weeks ago.

“It was such an awesome experience,” Williams said. “Being able to go to the camp for the team I grew up cheering for at the rink I grew up playing at was unbelievable.”

The rink – Kettler Capitals Iceplex – is located only 15 minutes from Williams’ home town of McLean, Va., creating for a memorable week with the Caps.

At the camp, the goaltender learned what it takes to make it as a pro hockey player and went through various on-ice and off-ice events.

“Being on the ice with all these talented and bright young players and to have the opportunity to work with the Caps’ coaching staff was pretty special,” Williams said. “It was such a cool opportunity.”

Williams is coming off of an outstanding career at Miami University, where he played in 87 games and posted a goals against average of 2.37 and save percentage of .909. He finished his career with a 46-29-4 record and established himself as one of the top goalies in the entire country.

Prior to Miami, Williams tallied great numbers in the USHL with the Waterloo Black Hawks and Sioux Falls Stampede and was an integral part of the TPH Thunder 16U and TPH OHL Cup teams.

“TPH was so helpful for me with preparation and leaning how to take care of your body,” Williams said. “They helped me great ready to perform consistently at a high level. The coaches at TPH know what it takes to get to the next level.”

Nathan Bowen, TPH president and managing partner and Williams’ former coach, said the Thunder were fortunate to have him.

“It was obvious to us that he would play at a high level in junior hockey, Division I college hockey and professionally,” Bowen said. “He had the athletic ability to play at those levels, but what separated him from his peers was his level of compete and mental maturity as a young goaltender. He lives a hockey lifestyle, is committed to training and improving and was mature beyond his years.”

Williams, who was named to the 2016 NCHC All-Academic team with a 3.38 GPA, said playing with TPH helped him reach the goals he set growing up.

“Learning from my TPH coaches and playing in the tournaments we played in gave me every opportunity to perform well,” he said. “Playing for TPH, you’re going to get seen and get opportunities to move on and climb the ladder.”

Currently an NHL free agent, Williams is evaluating his options and hopes to sign a professional contract this summer. The 6-foot-2 goalie said he’s honored to be considered a role model for younger TPH players who are hoping to advance their hockey careers.

“I remember when I was younger and the kids you looked up to made it and had the opportunity to move on and play in college or professionally,” he said. “That was your inspiration and your motivation to continue to work hard. It’s excited to be in the position to have kids look up to you and have them know that the opportunity is there for them as well if they work hard.”

Total Package Hockey is one of the largest hockey service providers in the country, offering youth and adult programs from Detroit to Atlanta. TPH provides programs, which are staffed by highly qualified elite hockey coaches and professionals, to more than 4,000 players each year. With programs in 18 total U.S. cities, including teams in the NA3HL and T1EHL, TPH specializes in skill-based player development and has a track record of moving players to junior, college and professional hockey.

JULY 28, 2016

OSHAWA, ON – The Oshawa Generals announced today that Latvian forward Renars Krastenbergs has committed to the club.

Krastenbergs was selected by the Generals during second round (77th overall) of the 2016 CHL Import Draft. Kratsenbergs represented Latvia last year at the 2016 Under-18 World Championship. He led the team in points during the tournament scoring twice while adding six assists in eight games. He spent last season with the TPH Thunder AAA where he scored nine goals and nine assists in 30 games.

“This is another exciting addition to the Generals from this  draft class,” said Vice President and General Manager Roger Hunt. “After watching Renars at the Under-18 World Championship we know he will bring added skill to our line-up and compliment the current players we have in our locker room.”

Kratsenbergs will look to impress scouts next season as he is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.

For more information, please visit