The Tri-City Americans have been known for breeding goaltenders — Olaf Kolzig, Brian Boucher, and Jason Labarbera all spent time in Tri-City. These days, Eric Comrie is moving up the ranks in the Winnipeg Jets organization. The only female goalie to ever play at the professional level, Shannon Szabados, is a former Tri-City American goalie. There’s also that one guy who just became the highest paid NHL goalie ever. What was his name? Oh yeah, Carey Price, who is also a former American.
Is there something in the water in Tri-City that helps these major Jjunior goalies move on to the next level?
But there is something to be said about the quality of goaltending coaches that the Americans are able to keep bringing on board. The team formally announced they have continued that tradition by hiring Eli Wilson as the goaltending coach for the upcoming season. Wilson replaced Rejean Beauchemin and will have the continued services of Jerry Price, Carey Price’s father, as a goaltending consultant for the team.
You may not know Wilson by name, but chances are you have heard of a few of the goalies he has worked with; Carey Price, Ray Emery, Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask, Brian Elliott, Jason LaBarbera, and Devan Dubnyk are all current and former NHL goaltenders that Wilson has had a hand in developing. Goaltenders have found success with him at every level, including a four-year stint with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers. During his time there, Medicine Hat won two Chynoweth Cups with the goalies being named playoff MVP’s both times. He has served as the goaltending coach for both the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks.
In 2004, he started the largest goaltending school in Western Canada. The list of successes in his career could go on for awhile.
Wilson’s resume is impressive, and his experience and ability to develop young talent make him a great addition to the Tri-City Americans’ coaching staff.