The Metropolitan Riveters announced on Thursday that former New Jersey Devils defenseman, Randy Velischek has been named head coach replacing Chad Wiseman behind the bench.
Velischek patrolled the blue line for the Devils, Minnesota North Stars and Quebec Nordiques during his playing career within the National Hockey League. Wiseman, who preceded Velischek behind the bench, served in the role since Day One. Wiseman was hired by the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League in August.
Velischek, a native of Montreal, Quebec, was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as one of the top collegiate players during his career at Providence College. In 509 regular season games, he scored 21 goals and 76 assists. After retiring from the NHL, Velischek spent 11 seasons in the radio booth for the Devils as well as serving as the head coach for the boys’ hockey team at Morristown-Beard School.
He also has served as the hockey director at Twin Oaks Ice Rink in Morristown, New Jersey. The new bench boss for the defending Isobel Cup Champions also runs the RJV Hockey School. Velischek was part of the roster for the 1987-1988 Devils team that clinched the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance on the final day of the regular season, making it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Velischek said, “I’m honored to coach these outstanding, dedicated, inspiring hockey players. I’m well aware of the program Chad started, and the successful and positive culture he created. It’s my responsibility to continue the Riveters’ tradition and help every one of these gifted athletes maximize their potential. I’m very proud to be a part of it.”
Velischek will be joined behind the bench by assistant coach and New Jersey native, Kate Whitman Annis. She played for Deerfield Academy in Deefield, Massachusetts and then for Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut. During her time at Wesleyan, she helped lead the team to championships in three out of four seasons.
Annis has spent over 10 years coaching hockey at various levels of the game. For the past three seasons, she has coached the Girls’ Varsity Ice Hockey Team, at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. She is also the daughter of former New Jersey Governor, Christine Todd Whitman.
In More Riveters News:
On Tuesday the team announced that forward and former United States Olympian, Erika Lawler re-signed for the 2018-2019 NWHL season. Lawler was a three-time National Collegiate Athletic Association Champion at the University of Wisconsin. Last season, she returned to the game and helped the Riveters capture the Isobel Cup.
During the 2018 Winter Olympics, she served as a studio analyst during intermission, pre-game and post-game of NBC’s hockey coverage. In 14 regular season games, she scored one goal and seven assists for the Riveters.
Last week the Riveters also signed Glen Rock, New Jersey native Alexa Aramburu. The 23-year-old returns home to the Garden State after playing professionally for one season with the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.
Prior to skating for the Furies, Aramburu played collegiately with SUNY Oswego. In 105 NCAA games, she put up 29 goals and 32 assists. She was the 30th overall selection in the 2017 CWHL Draft.
The Riveters will take on Lulea Hockey from Lulea Sweden in the 2018 Champions Cup at Princeton University’s, Hobey Baker Rink on Saturday September 29 at 1:00 PM. They will then open the 2018-2019 NWHL season on the road in St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday October 6 and Sunday October 7 before returning home to raise their Isobel Cup Banner.
The home opener will take place on Saturday October 20 at 2:00 PM at the Prudential Center as they host the Minnesota Whitecaps. Season tickets and single game seats are now on sale at www.nwhl.zone/tickets.