Abbotsford, B.C. - Abbotsford Canucks General Manager Ryan Johnson announced today that Trent Cull will return as Head Coach of the Vancouver Canucks AHL affiliate. Cull will work with Associate Coach Gary Agnew, Assistant Coach Jeff Ulmer, Goaltending Coach Curtis Sanford, and Video Coach Ian Beckenstein.
Additionally, Johnson confirmed that Roman Kaszczij will continue in his role as Head Athletic Trainer and Nathan Williams as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach. Ramandeep 'Chico' Dhanjal will be join the team as Head Equipment Manager along with Shingo Sasaki as Assistant Equipment Manager.
"We're excited to have finalized the majority of our coaching and training staff decisions that will help provide the foundation for a strong, competitive team," said Ryan Johnson, General Manager, Abbotsford Canucks. "We were able to retain staff that have been instrumental in the development of our players in recent years while also bringing in some new perspectives to lead us to success this season."
Trent Cull begins his fifth year with the Canucks organization and will become the first Head Coach of the Abbotsford Canucks in the 2021.22 season. Cull, 47, joined the Canucks' AHL affiliate on June 18, 2017, after having significant coaching and playing experience in the league. Prior to joining the Canucks organization, he served as Assistant Coach of the Syracuse Crunch for four seasons, his second stint with the team after serving in the same role from 2006-10. In 2017 Cull led the Crunch to an Eastern Conference Championship and a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup Final.
Cull was also Head Coach of the OHL's Sudbury Wolves for three seasons (2010 to 2013) compiling a 94-88-11-11 record, and Assistant Coach of the OHL's Guelph Storm for two seasons prior to joining the Syracuse Crunch.
Gary Agnew also enters his fifth season with the Canucks organization and first with Abbotsford, after serving as an Associate Coach of the Utica Comets for the past four seasons. He has over 30 years of experience coaching at the NHL, AHL and junior levels. He worked as an Assistant Coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2014 to 2016 and prior to that Assistant Coach with St. Louis from 2012 to 2014.
A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Agnew was a Columbus Blue Jackets Assistant Coach for four seasons from 2006-10, helping the Blue Jackets make their first-ever playoff appearance in 2008.09. He also served a brief stint as interim Head Coach for Columbus. Prior to joining the Blue Jackets, Agnew was Head Coach of Columbus' AHL affiliate in Syracuse for six years. During his tenure in Syracuse, Agnew established a franchise record by winning 200 games, as well as the team's first division title in 2001.02.
Jeff Ulmer joins the Canucks organization from the Arizona Coyotes, where he previously served two seasons as Coordinator, Skill Development and Assistant Director of Special Projects. He initially joined the Coyotes organization in 2018.19 following a 19-year professional playing career that spanned several leagues across Europe and North America and included more than 1,000 games.
Ulmer, 44, played 21 games (3-0-3) at the NHL level for the New York Rangers during the 2000.01 season before spending parts of four seasons in the American Hockey League, collecting 122 points (50-72-122) and 186 penalty minutes in 258 games split between Hartford, Grand Rapids, Binghamton, and Hershey. A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, he also represented Team Canada on multiple occasions.
Curtis Sanford enters his fifth season with the team as Goaltending Coach. In his role, Sanford assists with the development of goaltending prospects both at the AHL and junior levels. He began his coaching career as a coach with the Owen Sound Jr. Attack in 2015.16 and with the Grey Bruce Highlanders AAA in 2016.17.
Sanford completed his 15-year professional career after the 2014.15 season in the KHL with the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv. The Owen Sound, Ontario native competed in 144 career NHL games, 35 of which were with the Canucks from 2007-2009. In addition, Sanford appeared in 251 career AHL games as well as an appearance in the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic. He was also named to the 2010.11 AHL Second All-Star Team and possessed the best goals against average in the AHL with a 1.93 GAA.
Ian Beckenstein joins the Abbotsford Canucks from the AHL's Laval Rocket where he spent the past four seasons as a Hockey Operations Assistant while also working as a Video Coach in Quebec Midget AAA with the Lac St. Louis Lions since 2012. On the international stage, Beckenstein served as a Video Coordinator at the 2015 and 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships, in addition to the 2016 and 2017 IIHF World Championships.
Roman Kaszcij enters his third season with the Canucks organization and first with Abbotsford, as Head Athletic Therapist. He was initially named to the position with the Utica Comets prior to the 2019.20 season, with previous experience from the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings and OHL's Hamilton Bulldogs.
Nathan Williams also begins his third year with the organization as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, after assuming the same role with the Utica Comets since 2019.20. Prior to joining the Comets, Williams made stops at Lake Superior State University, Miami University (Ohio), and as an intern with the St. Louis Blues.
Ramandeep 'Chico' Dhanjal enters his first season as Abbotsford's Head Equipment Manager after spending the last 13 seasons and more than 800 games as Equipment Manager of the Western Hockey League's Prince George Cougars.
Shingo Sasaki joins the club from the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, where he has served as Equipment Manager since the start of the 2013.14 season. That same year he was selected to work the CIBC Canada Russia Series as Equipment Manager of Team WHL.
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