Yachmenev joins Voodoos coaching staff

The Powassan Voodoos have added an experienced assistant coach to join Peter Goulet behind the bench this off-season.

Former NHLer Vitali Yachmenev has been hired as an assistant coach, the club announced on Friday.

Yachmenev replaces Josh Dale who has joined the North Bay U18 AAA Trappers as that team’s new head coach.

As a player, Yachmenev put up more than 200 points in two seasons of junior hockey in North Bay and helped the North Bay Centennials capture an OHL championship in 1994.

Yachmenev went on to play eight seasons in the NHL for the Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators before finishing off his playing career in the KHL.

Yachmenev also brings with him seven years of coaching experience from the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia and spent a portion of a season as an associate coach with the Powassan Voodoos in 2018.

Peter Goulet, Voodoos head coach, says he is excited to learn from his new colleague behind the Voodoos bench.

“We are getting a guy who played the game, he was a top OHL player, he was a top NHL player, played on a line with Wayne Gretzky and all his coaching experience in the KHL in Russia and helping the U18 Trappers and back with the Voodoos in the past,” said Goulet about Yachmenev.

“Having his knowledge of the game and what he knows and the contacts that he knows will be great for our players and I look forward to the experience working with Vitali.”

Yachmenev is very familiar with the Voodoos organization. Not only did he help as an assistant coach for a portion of the 2017-18 season, he also had his son Tomas play 3 seasons with the Voodoos.

The 49-year-old returned behind the bench last season where he helped as an associate coach with the North Bay U18 AAA Trappers.

“Last year was fun for me, something new, I had not worked with kids before but I have been with the Voodoos before so I am looking forward giving my experience and knowledge to the players and help them progress and take the next step,” he said.

Yachmenev is also looking forward to learning from Goulet as well.

You always learn as a coach and that learning never really stops,” said Yachmenev.

“Coaching is always a learning process but I think my experience and playing at different levels, the OHL here and the NHL and then playing overseas. I have played the North American and European style of hockey, try to give that knowledge to the kids and improve their skills so I can help them take the next step.

Yachmenev will join the Voodoos for their summer prospects camp July 6 and 7 at Pete Palangio arena in North Bay.