Coach Walsten signs contract extension

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New coach Kurt Walsten is a native of Kenora and played pro hockey in North America and Sweden for 15 years before settling into coaching junior hockey in Canada. Photos by Chris Marchand

The Dryden GM Ice Dogs have re-signed Head Coach and General Manager, Kurt Walsten, to a five-year contract extension seeing him behind the Dryden GM Ice Dogs’ bench until the 2022/23 season.

Since making his appearance as Head Coach, the Dryden GM Ice Dogs have made it to the SIJHL finals fouryears in a row, winning back-to-back Bill Salonen Cup championships in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons.

“In Kurt’s 4 years with the Dryden GM Ice Dogs, he has raised the bar significantly for what we expect out of a coach; he has been in the finals each season he’s been here, he’s steered us to back to back championships, Kurt is fiercely loyal to the team and to Dryden, and determined to improve year after year which is evident by his stellar player recruitment and almost every 20-year old player who has played here during his tenure have gone on to post-secondary scholarships.

“Kurt has been and will continue to be everything we can ask for in a head coach, and this new contract is our commitment to him for all he has done, and all he will do for the team in the future,” said Dryden GM Ice Dogs President Mike Sveinson.

Kurt has been and will continue to be everything we can ask for in a head coach, and this new contract is our commitment to him for all he has done, and all he will do for the team in the future

Player signings have also kept the organization busy most notably the re-signing of hometown players, Graham Oliphant and Trey Palermo, along with a commitment from Dylan Winsor of the Kenora AAA Midget Thistles program.

Winsor hails from Ear Falls and has been drafted by the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. Welcome back to the Dog Pound, Graham and Trey.

Welcome to the Dog Pound, Dylan.

I’m looking forward to building a new championship team

“I’m looking forward to building a new championship team. Very excited to meet my new teammates and can’t to get things started”, second year veteran, Graham Oliphant. “I’m happy to re-sign with the team as it’s my last year of junior hockey and the last time I can put on a Dryden GM Ice Dogs’ jersey. I couldn’t be happier to finish it all off in my hometown. I’m looking forward to another season of Ice Dogs’ hockey and hopefully coming home with ring #3”, two time Bill Salonen Cup Champion, and third year Ice Dogs’ veteran, Trey Palermo.

The Dryden GM Ice Dogs season opener will be at home on Friday, September 21st, 2018 as they host the Fort Frances Lakers at the Dog Pound.

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