Kerry Huffman is on his way back to the Flyers. The former NHL defenseman is rejoining the organization through their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Huffman will step into the role of assistant coach for the team, working with the organization’s defensemen.
“I'm very grateful," said Huffman. I'm honored by the opportunity; I've known Ron Hextall for a long time. I'm excited to get to work, especially with the talent coming up through the Flyers organization.”
Huffman’s resume with the Wilke-Barre/Scranton dates back three years. In that time he’s served as a head coach at the U16 level, assistant coach at the U18 and NAHL levels, general manager and director of player development. Prior to coming aboard he served as a volunteer consultant.
“The Knights are a great organization with a lot of really good people," said Huffman. "Louis DeNaples is an owner who puts the players' needs first. Tom Kowal is a coach and a friend that I've learned from. We've learned a lot from each other. You're lucky when you work with people like that."
Throughout his tenure, Huffman's penchant for setting a high standard on and off the ice is reflected in the number of Knights advancing to higher levels of hockey. This past season a total of ten rostered players made commitments to play at the collegiate level.
“It's great to see players move on to higher levels" Huffman said when pressed on the most rewarding part of his job. "When they're able to take their careers to the next level, that's what makes you proud."
Perhaps the best witness to Huffman's impact is Tom Kowal, head coach of the Knights and Huffman's successor as GM.
"Coaching with Huff the past three years has been a really enlightening, knowledge-broadening experience," said Kowal. "This organization is where it is because of his influence. I wish him the best of luck. I'm gonna miss him."
Huffman's legacy won't end with his promotion. The roster the Knights field in 2016-2017 will consist largely of players he and Kowal recruited, drafted and traded for over the past 12 months.
"I believe the Knights will be a contender this season," he said. "With the incoming draft class, the players that are returning and TK at the helm, they're capable of being a force."