The Washington Little Capitals are pleased to announce the Head coaching staff for the 2016-17 hockey season.
Assistants to be named this week.
Brent Johnson: Goalie Coach- Brent Johnson returns to the Little Caps as our Goaltending Instructor. Johnson played 12 seasons in the NHL. Originally from Farmington, MI, Johnson played junior hockey for Owen Sound in the OHL before being drafted by St. Louis in 1995. Johnson began his NHL career in St. Louis before moving to Phoenix and then the Washington Capitals. Johnson finished his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012. Johnson hails from a hockey-rich family, his father Bob Johnson also played goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and his grandfather Sid Abel is in the NHL Hall of Fame. In addition to coaching the Little Caps, Johnson covers the Washington Capitals providing analysis for Comcast Sports Network
Travis Russell: Goalie Coach- Travis Russell returns to the Little Caps as our Goaltending Instructor. Travis is a native Vermonter that grew up playing for the Essex Youth Hockey Association and then played at Essex High School. Travis played his senior year of high school at The Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut. He was selected to represent USA Hockey twice for the US Under-17 (2000) and US Under-18 (2001) Teams in the Five Nations Cup in Europe. Travis went on to play four years of Division I hockey at the University of Vermont. Travis has coached with the Washington Little Capitals organization for the last five seasons.
The Washington Little Capitals are pleased to announce that Coach Lyon Messier will take the helm of the U18 team for the 2016-2017 Season. Following a successful season which saw his 2001 Bantam Major team reach the Semi-Finals of the AYHL tournament and play in the Southeast District Regional Tournament, Lyon is eager to return to the ice to drive and develop U18 talent in their path to reach their full potential, a skill he prides himself on as he has already helped several young players reach their dream of playing Division 1 College Hockey.
A Northern Virginia native and former Washington Little Capital himself, Lyon has played across the US and Canada in recent years. In 2008, after participating in the NY Rangers Main Camp, Lyon went to help the ECHL South Carolina Sting Rays in their successful campaign for the Kelly Cup. In recent years, Lyon has both played for and coached the NAHL Texas Tornados, including serving as Head Coach for the U 16-18 team in the 2010-11 season.
As he transitions to coaching the U18 team this season he wishes his former players all the best in the upcoming season and hopes to see them on the ice again in a few years as their U18 coach.
Brad Surdam Jr
The Washington Little Capitals are pleased to announce that Coach Brad Surdam Jr. will be coaching the 2000 U16 Midget National team for the 2016-2017 season. Coach Surdam is a long time native of the Northern Virginia area and has played for numerous organizations in the area, including the Washington Little Capitals, Junior Capitals, and Junior Nationals.
After playing on the Washington Junior Nationals in the 2006-2007 season, Brad continued playing at Lebanon Valley College (NCAA D-III) and also eventually with the Cape Cod Bluefins (FHL). Coach Surdam is excited for the ability to develop players to play at a higher level.
This will be Coach Surdam's fourth year in coaching with the Little Capitals, having previously coached at the Bantam Major and Midget U16 American levels. He is looking forward to building off of last years success, having won the NJPHL championship and making it to the AYHL championship game
returns for his eighth season with the Washington Little Capitals, and is exited to pilot the first WLC U15 National Team. The U15 concept is new this year, with USA Hockey and college and top junior coaches eager to see the 15-year-olds matched in pure birth-year competition.
Plocki is a Pittsburgh native who began coaching in 1991 as the State College Youth Ice Hockey Association Pee Wee Head Coach. He then moved on to coach at his high school alma mater and worked with the Pittsburgh Stars Tier-1 youth hockey program as a goaltending instructor. Plocki began coaching in the DC area in 2006 with the Kettler Capitals Iceplex youth program. He helped coach Kettler's Tier-1 Development Camps beginning in 2008 before joining the Little Caps 2009. In the past seven seasons, Plocki has helped win the Tier-1 Elite Hockey League Atlantic Division Title, 5 consecutive PVAHA titles, 2 consecutive S.E District Titles, and twice advanced to the USA Hockey National Championships. The 2015-16 U16 National squad finished third in its debut season in the North American Prospects Hockey League. Coach Plocki and Coach Hugo will bring their significant experience to the U15 division this coming season. Plocki is a USA Hockey Level-5 certified coach.
The Washington Little Capitals are pleased to announce that Coach Tom Morrissey will be returning for a 4th season to coach the 2002 Bantam Major team for the 2016-2017 Season. Tom began his hockey career playing youth hockey in Upstate New York for the Skaneateles Youth Hockey program. There, he played for the Skaneateles High School team, helping lead them to consecutive Sectional Championships and the New York State Division 1 Championship in 1983. Following his high school successes he brought his talents to Elmira College where he was named team MVP for the 1986-87 season and Captain in the 1987-88 season; leading the team to an ECAC Championship and NCAA Division III runner-up. Tom went on to spend one season playing in the Netherlands. While there Tom also began his career as a youth coach in the city of Leeuwarden.
Tom’s philosophy is simple: Play intelligent, disciplined, hardworking hockey as a team and you have an opportunity to be successful. This philosophy has lead him and his players to successful seasons including an NHL Youth Cup Championship and most recently his 2015-2016 2002 Bantam Minor team reached the Semi Finals of the AYHL Tournament in West Chester, PA.
The Washington Little Capitals are please to announce Coach Simon Roberts will take the helm of the 2003 Bantam Minor Team for the 2016-17 season. Coach Roberts returns to the Little Caps having previously coached the WLC Bantam Major Team before moving on to Reston Hockey Club in 2008. Simon brings a wealth of coaching and player development experience to our club, having served as Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Boston University and Harvard University, filled that same role at Player Development Camps for the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals, and his current role as an Assistant Coach at USA Hockey Southeast District Player Development Festivals.
Simon’s playing experience is equally diverse. Simon grew up playing youth and varsity hockey in Boston, played junior hockey throughout New England, played NCAA D-III hockey for Bethel College, and played for the IIHF Australian National Team.
“Simon has key insight into what college, junior, and even professional coaches expect and look for in their players,” said Hockey Director Dan Jablonic, “he is a great addition to our talented coaching staff.”
Coach Roberts brings with him a passion for helping players develop the right habits and fundamentals they will need to advance their hockey careers. Players he coached have moved on to play in for NCAA, ACHA, EHL, WHL, USHL, and NAHL programs.
Simon lives in Reston with his wife Mary. Welcome Coach Roberts!
The Washington Little Capitals are pleased to announce Coach Flip Collins will be returning for his second season with the organization, coaching the 2004 Peewee Major team for the 2016-2017 season. Flip joined the WLC Coaching Staff last season, following four successful years with the Ashburn Xtreme. Collins guided their U16 AA #2 teams to the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association state championship games in 2012 and 2015. All four of his teams reached the Capital Beltway Hockey League postseasons.
Extending his love of the sport beyond the Little Caps, Collins is also entering his fourth year as head coach at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia where his teams have been a perennial presence at the Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League playoffs, headlined by an appearance in the 2015 league championship.
The Washington Little Capitals are pleased to announce Coach Nick Carso will take the helm of the 2005 Pee-Wee Minor Team for the 2016-17 season. Coach Carso will be coaching Pee-Wee Minor having previously coached the WLC Bantam Major/Minor Teams for the past five seasons which included Five trips to the USA Hockey Southeastern District tournament. Nick has experience coaching at all levels within Washington Little Capitals previously coaching the WLC Junior team which included the 2004 AJHL Championship. Nick is Level 4 coach within USA Hockey and has participated in the USA Hockey Development camps for the U16 age group.
As a player Nick played for WLC from squirt through Juniors, participated in USA Hockey Nationals as a midget and a junior player, and won the MJHL Junior B Championship in 1996 with the Jr Capitals. After Little Caps, Carso went to Westminster Prep School and NCAA Division I UMASS-Lowell in Hockey East. He also participated as a player in the USA Hockey Select camps in Lake Placid.
Nick has coached players of all levels and will be focusing on the necessary skill development at the Pee Wee level this upcoming year. Players he coached have moved on to play in for NCAA Division I and III, ACHA, USHL, and NAHL programs, including the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), ECHL, and other professional leagues.
Additional Coaches Bios coming soon. Check back for the exciting news!