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A New Season Brings New Faces to the Boston Bruins Staff

The B's have added two scouts, an assistant coach in Providence, and three strength coaches

by Michael Tolvo @NHLBruins /

The start of the 2018-19 season brings a number of new faces to the Bruins organization, not only on the ice, but off it as well. The Bruins and P-Bruins have added a number of exceptional individuals, including Jeff Barrat (Amateur Scout), Jan Ludvig (Pro Scout), Ryan Mougenel (Assistant Coach, Providence), Kevin Neeld (Head Performance Coach), Ken Wittier (Assistant Performance Coach) and Tim Lebbossiere (Strength and Conditioning Coach, Providence).

Jan Ludvig, Scout

The Bruins are also adding Jan Ludvig to their scouting staff this season.

Ludvig got his start in hockey over 50 years ago.

"I played hockey until I was 18 years old in the Czech Republic," said Ludvig. "I played pro hockey since I was 16 years old [in the Czech Republic] and then I emigrated to Canada when I was 18 and arrived in Canada when I was 19 actually. I was in a refugee camp in Austria for one year and got to Canada when I was 19. Played half a season for the Kamloop Blazers…I ended up signing with the New Jersey Devils."

Ludvig made his NHL debut in 1982, and played in a total of 314 NHL games over a seven year career with the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres, recording 53 goals, 79 assists and 132 points. A few years after he retired, Ludvig rejoined the Devils in a scouting role, where he has acquired over 25 years of scouting experience.

"[New Jersey] gave me an amateur tryout in 1982 and after a few days they signed me. I played in New Jersey 5 years, played in the American League a little bit, got traded to Buffalo, played in Buffalo for a couple years… Between playing and scouting I was with the Devils 33 years. As a scout 27 years I worked for Lou Lamoriello."

Ludvig, who hails from Liberec, Czech Republic, joins a Bruins organization who he often played against as a member of the Devils.

"I'm very excited because the Bruins are one of the six orginal teams," said Ludvig. "I had the pleasure - which wasn't much of a pleasure sometimes - to play against them back in the day where they had those big tough teams. It was always a bit of a chore to play against the Bruins, especially at the old Garden."

"It was also an incredible honor because I followed the Bruins when I was a little kid. I had hockey cards glued on my schoolbooks in the Czech Republic dreaming about maybe playing in the NHL one day and I was always looking up to Bruins organization.

In his role, Ludvig will be tasked with a number of responsibilities.

"It's a combination of quite a few things," said Ludvig of his new position. "Pro scouting, amateur scouting and maybe some player development of the players playing in Europe or drafted players by the Bruins in Europe. I'll be looking for players who fell through the cracks, free agents and younger players who maybe are putting it together a little bit later."

Jeff Barratt, Amateur Scout

After 40-plus years working in hockey, Jeff Barrat is getting his first NHL position as an Amateur Scout for the Boston Bruins.

"I don't really have words to explain it," said Barrat. "I played all my life, and it took me 40 years to get to the National Hockey League. To be with an Original Six team, and I got a chance to meet the guys last week, a tremendous group. I couldn't be more excited for the year."

Barrat brings a wealth of experience, having coached and scouted in different leagues for a number of years.

"I started off about 20 years ago scouting for Cedar Rapids in the USHL," said Barrat. "I spent 17 years doing that. The last three years I've been coaching in the OHL, and I just came to the decision that I enjoyed scouting much more than I enjoyed coaching. I got this opportunity, and I couldn't be more thrilled with it."

The Quebec-native will stay primarily in North America scouting amateur leagues.

"My job is to cover the U.S. and some OHL," said Barratt. "I think being in the OHL the last three years I have some knowledge there and 17 years of experience in USHL. I think all that experience and having worked in both leagues will be tremendously helpful for me."

Ryan Mougenel, Assistant Coach, Providence

The Providence coaching staff is adding Ryan Mougenel to their staff. Mougenel brings experience at both the ECHL and AHL levels.

"I spent the four years in San Jose as an assistant coach with their American League team," said Mougenel. "I primarily looked after the defensemen and the penalty kill. Before that I was in Hershey, in the American League. Then I spent four years in Las Vegas in the East Coast League."

Mougenel noted the Bruins style of play and the impressive coaching staff as reasons he was excited to join the organization."

"I think the biggest thing is the way the Bruins play," said Mougenel. "The coaching staff here has done an amazing job of integrating players into the lineup and being a part of that process is pretty exciting to see the work they put in and then these guys go up and get acclimated to the NHL I think is pretty special.

"They're a premier club when it comes to developing. That's what my background is in, developing, and I'm excited about that.

The Toronto-native has spent time in Boston over the last 10 years, and is thrilled to be in the area full-time.

"I love the city of Boston. I've got strong roots here. I married into a [family] from Boston, so that's a big part…This has been my home away from home for the last 10, 11 years."

Mougenel played in the OHL, IHL and AHL before getting into coaching.

"I played in Kitchener in the OHL," said Mougenel. "Then I played in Cleveland in the IHL, a year with Team Canada and Rochester, kind of bounced around the American League. I got into coaching fairly young and had some great teachers along the way, [Edmonton Oilers Head Coach] Todd McClellan and [San Jose Sharks Head Coach] Peter DeBoer have been big influences."

The 42-year-old discussed how much he enjoys coaching at the AHL level.

"I love coaching," said Mougenel. "I love the American League level. I'm a big fan of it, being able to work with those guys kind of closely has been kind of a dream job."

Kevin Neeld, Head Performance Coach

Kevin Neeld was hired by the Bruins after spending two years with the San Jose Sharks as the assistant strength coach. Prior to his time in San Jose, Neeld spent seven years running a private sports training facility. The University of Delaware graduate has also spent five years working with the USA Hockey Women's National Team.

"It's been great," said Neeld of his first few weeks with the Bruins. "I think it's a great team, a great organization, great group of players, great staff, so just looking forward to hitting the ground running in the first year here."

The Pennsylvania-native is looking forward to getting the season underway.

"Every day's been a little bit different," said Neeld. "Every week's been a little bit different, but it's good to get camp started. Like I said, just getting closer to the season, and I know everybody's excited for that."

Fellow new hire Mougenel spent time with Neeld in San Jose, and is excited for him as well.

"I knew Kevin [Neeld] fairly well," said Mougenel. "It's great to see him on board. He's really good at what he does, so I'm really excited to see him here."

Neeld is looking forward to working closely alongside the Bruins athletes.

"One of our main goals is to really bring a comprehensive approach," said Neeld. "As far as using some of the testing information to individualized training to make sure that guys are doing exactly what they need to do build on their strengths but at the same time make sure that any physical weaknesses aren't limiting them on the ice."

Ken Whittier, Assistant Performance Coach

Joining Neeld as a performance coach is Ken Wittier. The Waltham-native spent the past six years working for Mike Boyle's Strength and Conditioning, where he worked with clients of all ages and abilities. There, Whittier connected with Bruins skills coach Kim Brandvold.

"I did train a handful of hockey players during my time at Boyle's," said Whittier. "After training the hockey guys at Boyle's and Kim Brandvold, who's the skills coach for the Bruins, him and I would collaborate. I would train them in the weight room and he would train them on the ice. Then there was an opportunity here and he put my name in and the rest is history."

Growing up just a few miles from Boston, Whittier is excited to work with a team he grew up supporting.

"It's hard to put into words," said Whittier. "I think it's pretty surreal…I've watched and followed this team since I was a kid so I'm very humbled to work here…Everyone has been a class act and I'm very humbled and excited to be here."

Tim Lebbossiere, Strength And Conditioning Coach, Providence

The P-Bruins are also adding Tim Lebbossiere to the staff. The Massachussetts-native joins the team after spending time at Lindenwood University and Quinnipiac University prior to that.

"Super excited," said Lebbossiere of joining the organization. "I'm a local guy, so it's a team I grew up watching, and it's great to come back home and work with some players that I always watched growing up."

Being in Providence, he will have an opportunity to work with a number of players who played in the NCAA.

"I'm excited to work with some of the guys in Providence on their development because [development] is a big part of the college scene," said Lebbossiere. "To see that hopefully through Providence and to see those guys have success and go up through the Boston system will be great."

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