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The Official Site of the New York Islanders

Coaches

ALEXIS MOED

Alexis grew up playing boys hockey on Long Island before moving to the top ranked Connecticut Polar Bears girls program to win a Tier 1 National Championship alongside 4 future Olympians. In addition to the Polar Bears Alexis played prep school boys hockey before going on to play NCAA Division 1 hockey for Boston College where she earned the Athletics Director Award and Hockey East All Academic honors. After college hockey, Alexis joined the Long Island Gulls coaching staff for 6 years before co developing the Sand Sharks Girls Hockey program and participating in the 2009 Olympic tryout. Alexis served as a Director of Hockey for 3 years before joining Twin Rinks as their Hockey Director.

As a coach, Alexis focuses on proper skating technique and strong skill development. She coaches many of the youth and adult clinics at Twin Rinks and is available for private lessons.

 

TOMMY MITCHELL

Tom is a Long Island native who grew up a passionate hockey fan and player, and later turned coach in the late 1980's. Joining his father on the bench as an Assistant Coach for the Long Island Gulls mite team in 1989, Tom's coaching career was just beginning. For years to come, Tom continued to pour his heart and soul into teams, sharing his passion with several organizations including Kellenberg High School, East Williston Middle School, Long Island Selects, Long Island Leafs, and the Jr. Islanders.

 

DAN "GRAZ" GRAZIANO

For the last 15 years Coach Dan Graziano has been playing hockey with a passion. Growing up on Long Island (from Farmingdale) and being an Islanders fan, "Graz" had plenty of inspiration to learn the game. His favorite player growing up was former Islanders great Mike Bossy. Graz' years of playing the game naturally translated into a career as an instructor. Since 1999 Dan has been teaching at Islanders Iceworks. His ability to relate to the younger skaters makes his classes fun while still being extremly educational. Throughout his years as an instructor Coach Graz has gained a plethora of knowledge by working with many former NHL coaches and players. Graz stresses that his students first and foremost become great skaters because then everything else will fall into place. Dan coaches both group classes as well as private lessons. 

 

BOB THORNTON

Bob serves as 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.

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.).

Bob brings his Elite Hockey Group to Twin Rinks to continue to develop high end player. Bob also serves as a coach in many of the youth clinics and is available for private lessons.

 

VINNY MESSINA

With 40 years under his belt playing the game of hockey, Vinny Messina is one of the senior instructors at Islanders Iceworks. The Long Island native (from Massapequa) has always had a passion for hockey; in fact it's in his bloodline. Vinny's uncle, Sal "Red Light" Messina, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005. Although his favorite all time player is Bobby Orr, Vinny has always tried to model his game after former Islander captain Denis Potvin. One highlight of his hockey career was captaining his High School hockey team to the County Championship. He also spent time as the head coach of Stony Brook University's Men's Hockey team before he gave up collegiate coaching to dedicate his knowledge of the game towards instructing children. Coach Messina has been teaching the game hockey for over 20 years. He joins Twin Rinks as a youth and adult hockey clinic coach. Vinny is available for private lessons.