Your 2020 / 2021 Junior A Valley Wildcats Coaching Staff
Brandon Benedict – Head Coach & General Manager
Brandon is entering his first season as the Head Coach and General Manager of the Wildcats organization in 2019-20.
He played his entire major junior career with the Halifax Mooseheads followed by a four-year university career with the Acadia Axemen. His pro career saw him make stops in Texas, Denmark, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Nottingham England. His love for the game was evident at every level Brandon played, and he looks forward to bringing that love for the game, along with his reputation as a digger and a hard-working mentality to his new position. His experience as an assistant coach with the Belfast Giants of the EIHL will certainly be an asset for the Avondale NS native.
Mike Couch – Assistant Coach
Mike Couch is entering his first season as a Wildcats Assistant Coach.
A player for the Halifax Mooseheads, Couch spent four years in the QMJHL with Halifax and Rouyn-Noranda. He also played AUS hockey with St. Thomas, as well as several years of professional hockey in the US, making stops in the ECHL and CHL. Couch also crossed the ocean to play in Europe, where he joined a team in Italy. Back in Canada, Couch has been building his coaching experience with Bedford Minor Hockey and Bishop’s College prior to joining the Wildcats.
Nick Croft – Assistant Coach
Nick Croft is no stranger to the Maritime Hockey League.
The Newfoundland native played four years with the Miramichi Timberwolves, for whom he was a first round draft pick. Croft would also go on to play AUS hockey with the Dalhousie Tigers, playing three years in Usports. Croft has combined his passions of teaching and hockey, spending several years instructing students at Newbridge Academy, and coaching with the Newbridge Major Bantam program.
Evan Mosher – Goalie Coach
Mosher, who backstopped the Acadia University Axemen to an Atlantic University Sport (AUS) title in 2014, will work with the Wildcats’ junior, midget and bantam goaltenders.
The Conception Bay South, Newfoundland native played parts of five seasons with the P.E.I. Rocket of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 2006-11. However, Mosher is mostly remembered by Valley-area hockey fans from his goaltending days with Acadia, where he played three seasons and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) degree. Upon graduation, he spent four years playing professionally in the ECHL (Quad City Mallards), France and the last two seasons in Denmark, where he was teammates of newly-named Wildcats assistant coach Brian Birkhoff. Mosher also played under Wildcats head coach Travis Young, when the latter served as Acadia assistant coach.
In addition to playing major junior, university and pro hockey, Mosher has spent the last 12 summers instructing young goalies at summer hockey schools in Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.
Now residing in Halifax, Evan enjoys fishing, golfing and spending time with family.
Carl Howard – Athletic Therapist/Equipment Manager
Born in Calgary Alberta, Carl moved to Nova Scotia at a young age, and is now a permanent resident of the Annapolis Valley.
Carl started his career as a primary care paramedic back in 2003. He now holds a diploma in Advanced Care Paramedicine, in which he has worked ground ambulance, air ambulance, industrial paramedicine, and as an Emergency Department paramedic.
Carl lives in Aylesford with his wife Cindy, and 2 children Caleb and Chloe. Carl has been an equipment manager and coach for minor baseball, minor hockey and soccer in the valley for the past 5 years.
Sam Foster – Director of Player Personnel
Born in Halifax, raised in Antigonish and back living in the capital, Sam joined the Wildcats last season and is tasked with drafting and recruiting players for the Wildcats.
Sam has seemingly been around the MHL forever but estimates he’s spent 30 years in scouting and player development, the bulk of that time spent with the now defunct Antigonish Bulldogs. He’s also served in a scouting capacity with the Campbellton Tigers and Truro Bearcats, in addition to a stint in the QMJHL.
An ironworker in his day job, Sam and his partner Felicia have two sons Michael and Matthew.