BRANTFORD’S JOSLIN NAMED OJHL COACH OF THE YEAR

April 2, 2024, Mississauga, ON – …. Mark Joslin of the Brantford 99ers is the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Coach of the Year, the league announced today.

Joslin took over as head coach and assistant general manager of the 99ers in May of 2023 and transitioned the franchise through an instant rebuild.

Obviously, it’s overwhelming  to be selected by your peers in the OJ, so you know I’m extremely honored,” Joslin told the OJHL. “When I met with Willa Wang and her ownership group (a year ago) and they offered me the job in Brantford, I said  that it was going to be a challenge. 

“They won five games last year (2022-23) and I remember her asking me if we can make the playoffs in Year 1. I said ‘probably not, it’s a marathon not a sprint. But we’ll give it everything we’ve got’.”

The 99ers’ record went from 5-46-1-2 in 2022-23 to 26-26-0-4 this season. They went from cellar dwellers in the then 22-team league to the postseason this spring.

“It’s a two-man award,” Josln said, pointing to Associate Coach Mike Daley, the other half of the hockey operations department in Brantford. “We both need a plaque.”

“We knew that we had to change the personnel and the culture. Mike and I worked really hard at adding the right players during the year and at the trade deadline.

Joslin and Daley inherited three returning players. They had two players billeted this season.

Joslin was named OJHL Executive of the Year in 2018 during his four-year run as GM of the Toronto Patriots. Daley was associate coach and assistant GM. Current Soo Greyhounds coach John Dean was head coach of the Patriots who won the regular season championship that season.

Joslin praised the OJHL for support during his time in the league, specifically Commissioner Marty Savoy and Vice-President of Hockey Chris Vanstone.

He also thanked his wife, Cathy, and son, Brett, for their support.

Joslin commuted from Richmond Hill to Brantford this season. A typical practice day lasted eight-hours, including the 250-km round-trip commute.

“It was definitely challenging and tiresome at times,” he said. “But obviously it paid off. We’ve got three or four guys getting scholarship offers. We made the playoffs. We ended up .500. We turned it around in Brantford. I’m very grateful for all of that.”

Joslin has been involved at elite levels of the game for over 20 years, much of it in the OJHL. He was head coach of the The Toronto Six professional women’s team before joining the 99ers

Joslin has also coached with the OJHL’s North York Rangers, Aurora Tigers, Pickering Panthers and Stouffville Spirit.

“I can stay home and still coach a high level of hockey in this league,” Joslin said. “I don’t have to relocate and wouldn’t want to at this stage in my career. 

“To watch kids move on from this to the OHL, NCAA or U SPORTS and keep in touch with those guys….  It’s the same as a coach at the AHL level watching his guys get the call to their first NHL game. That’s what I love about this league.” 

Joslin will be honoured along with the other OJHL award recipients at a ceremony during the OJHL Nutrafarms Championship Series in late April. 

The OJHL is announcing its 2023-24 award winners throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs.

TOMORROW: General Manager of the Year

About the OJHL – “League of Choice”

The Ontario Junior Hockey League is the largest Junior ‘A’ league operating under the auspices of the Canadian Junior Hockey League with 24 member clubs. A proud member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League and Ontario Hockey Association, the OJHL was originally named the Ontario Provincial Junior ‘A’ Hockey League and it was formed out of the Central Junior ‘B’ Hockey League in 1993-94. With a long and storied history of developing players for the next level, including U SPORTS, the NCAA, CHL, minor pro ranks and the NHL, the OJHL has had more than 45 NCAA Division I scholarships already this season.

For more information on the Ontario Junior Hockey League, follow us on Instagram (@OJHLOfficial), X (@OJHLOfficial) and Facebook (OJHLOfficial) and visit www.ojhl.ca

Verified by MonsterInsights