Thursday , 29 July 2021

TJ Millar returning as Pontiacs assistant coach

The deal is done.

TJ Millar will be returning as an assistant coach for the Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs 2019-20 season as the young coach was resigned last week.

Millar said it’s awesome he’s coming back to the Yaks.

“It’s a ton of weight is off my shoulders right now. I feel like I’m 10 pounds lighter,” said Millar.

Next season will be Millar’s second behind the bench for the Pontiacs.

Before working with the Pontiacs, Millar was an assistant coach with the Nipawin Hawks who won the SJHL championship in 2017-18.

“I had a really busy April with stuff going…and the contract thing is done now. So I got no stresses and nothing to worry about, just worrying about being ready to go in August,” said Millar.

The Pontiacs are coming off of a disappointing end to their best regular season in franchise history when the Spruce Grove Saints swept the Pontiacs in the second round.

Recruiting the next Bonnyville Pontiacs stars is the task for Millar and Head Coach and General Manager Rick Swan.

“We’re looking at our depth chart every day. We write it up and reflect on what we’re looking for and reflecting on what happened to us the season is you know, simple hockey players, puck moving D, and upgrading our top end a little bit just trying to add to our forward group,” said Millar.

Key contributors from last season like Grayson Constable, Luke Albert, Colby Muise, Matthew Monk, Sean Thomson, and Bobby Young have all graduated from the Yaks meaning there are big holes to fill for next season’s roster.

“We just want guys to play the right way guys who have high character and do things right. And like I said on the back end, obviously we need simple puck moving D, and we need a guy to compliment Easton Hesse,” said Millar.

The 18-year-old product from Beaumont was solid last season when backing up starter Colby Muise.

Hesse posted a 1.77 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 19 regular season appearances last season.

“Easton Hesse is going to be running with the reins and running with the crease all year this year. We need a guy to help supplement the load,” said Millar.

The Bonnyville Pontiacs 4th annual golf tournament was held over the weekend, which Millar send had a great turnout.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.