The New York Islanders are pleased to announce that Bob Thornton (Port Washington, N.Y.) has been named the Hockey Director of the Islanders Iceworks facility.
A Long Island native, and resident, Thornton currently serves as the Head Coach of the PAL Junior Islanders Midget 18U team and oversees player development and recruitment for the entire PAL midget program.
“This is an exciting opportunity to return to the facility my family helped build,” Thornton said. “I’m excited to provide a place for the top players on Long Island to train, develop and progress to the next stage of their playing careers.”
Following his own playing career, Thornton transitioned into coaching and has a long, proven track record of developing the top midget and junior-aged players in the tri-state area. Recent products of Thornton and staff’s coaching and training include 2014 San Jose Sharks draft pick Kevin Labanc (Staten Island, N.Y.), current Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (Natick, Mass.), current Division I players Zachary Aston-Reese (Staten Island, N.Y.), Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.) and T.J. Sarcona (West Islip, N.Y.), Boston College committed and potential 2015 draft pick Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.), Boston University committed and likely 2016 NHL draft pick Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) and current OHL player and potential 2015 NHL selection Jarrett Meyer (West Sayvile, N.Y.). This past season, Thornton, and his staff, worked with and developed OHL draft picks Kyle MacLean (Basking Ridge, N.J.), and Anthony DeMeo (Port Washington, N.Y.).
“We will make Islanders Iceworks the premier place for players on Long Island and in the tri-state area,” Thornton stated. “We seek to bring all levels of hockey to Iceworks on a consistent basis. Through our unique pairing of on-ice coaching with hockey-specific off-ice training, we will develop all aspects of the motivated player, in a way unmatched in the tri-state area.”
At Islanders Iceworks, Thornton will oversee the New York Islanders hockey school, camps and clinics and will run his Elite Hockey Group program out of the facility on a year-round basis.
“We are expecting to run on-ice clinics and off-ice training sessions throughout the calendar year,” Thornton added. “We intend to utilize the outstanding facilities at Iceworks, and our unique approach, to give back to Long Island hockey and produce high-end players.”
Thornton, who has a long-standing relationship with the United States National Team Development Program, the USHL and the OHL, has had multiple Division I placements and USHL and OHL Draft Picks, many involving players that call Long Island home.
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