ORLANDO – Jared Staal is back in professional hockey.
The former Thunder Bay NHLer has been hired as an assistant coach under Drake Berehowsky with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears, the team announced on Thursday.
“My family and I would like to thank Drake Berehowsky and [Solar Bears president] Chris Heller for the opportunity to join such a respected organization like the Orlando Solar Bears,” Staal said in a release. “I am looking forward to working with and learning from Drake, and can’t wait for the season to begin.”
Staal, who played two games with the Carolina Hurricanes, spent the past season as an assistant at Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Edmonton campus.
Berehowsky, who played parts of 13 seasons in the National Hockey League, said he was pleased to have Staal join his coaching staff.
“During the interview process, he demonstrated to me that he is someone who has a passion for teaching today’s modern hockey player, and he will be an asset to our hockey operations staff,” said Berehowsky, also the Solar Bears general manager.
Staal, 28, retired after spending the 2016-17 season with the Edinburgh Capitals of Great Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League.
The youngest of four hockey-playing brothers from Thunder Bay, Staal was a second-round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2008.
The Solar Bears are affiliated with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.