General Manager and Head Coach Kelvin Cech announced the hiring of Ethan Maertens-Poole as the team’s first ever assistant coach in the spring of 2022. Ethan comes to the Niverville following a season as an associate coach with the Golden Rockets of the KIJHL. He currently calls Edmonton, Alberta home, though he was born in Peace River Alberta and spent time growing up in several places, notable of which was a 14-month stay in Bangledesh.
“I have grown into a coach who preaches being present when you are at the rink and don’t miss out on an opportunity to enjoy getting better at something you love doing,” Ethan said. “That approach is definitely shaped by my time living in Bangladesh where you really got to witness firsthand how much of a luxury and privilege it is just to be able to be out on the ice and doing something you are passionate about. Growing up in a third world country where you had to earn everything you got and even then, most people were living in poverty made me appreciate just how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing, and that message is something I look forward to instilling into our players in Niverville.”
In addition to his time in Bangladesh, Ethan spent most of his minor hockey days in Edmonton before moving into junior hockey between the pipes with the Olds Grizzlys of the AJHL. He turned to coaching immediately after his playing days were complete.
“I have three takeaways from being a goalie in my playing days,” Ethan said. “First, you have to be engaged for a full game, which is unique to both being a coach and a goalie. As a coach my job is to follow the flow of the game and look for tells to help me decipher quality hockey plays. Next, understanding deceptive tendencies from shooters that helped them be successful. Whether it was against myself or to buy themselves time I was someone who looked at what was going on and quickly was able to decide whether they were going to succeed or not. And finally being on a bench for games when I was a backup, I really got to witness the demeanour of coaches that I enjoyed playing for the most, and that is something I have really learned from. I try and emulate the ones I saw success from.”
On the bench with the Nighthawks, Ethan will primarily be responsible for the team’s defence as well as the penalty kill.
“I believe I thrive on the tactical side of the game, but I also love building relationships with players,” he said.
This is a new opportunity for most of the Nighthawks’ staff, and it’s an opportunity Ethan is eager to capitalize on.
“My goal is to become a career coach, and I’m excited to be part of such a well put-together staff lead by someone I look up to in Kelvin. My better half and I, Mea, have already received a warm welcome from the community so we can’t wait to get to town and officially become members of Niverville.”