Midget 16U AAA

The Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ 16U AAA team has announced its coaching staff for the 2016-17 season.

Jack Bowkus will return as head coach, with Barry Dreger and Robbert McDonald also back as assistants.

“I’m nothing but excited about the staff we have in place,” said Bowkus. “Both Barry and Robbert bring a lot of knowledge and enthusiasm to the rink, and our familiarity as a group is only going to benefit our players’ development, on and off the ice.”

One of the most experienced and respected youth hockey coaches in all of North America, Bowkus has been a fixture in the Southern California coaching circles for 20 years. Between the California Wave and Jr. Kings programs, he’s guided his teams to a number of California Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) state and Pacific District regional championships, along with a handful of trips to the USA Hockey National Championships, where his teams have finished runner-up three times.

Along the way, the Michigan native has helped mentor and develop countless Southern Californians who’ve moved on to play professional, NCAA and high-level junior hockey. A former skills development coach with the Dallas Stars for 11 years, Bowkus continues to work with NHL, NCAA and high-level junior players in the offseason.

Bowkus, who served as head coach of the United States Hockey League’s Indiana Ice during the 2005-06 season, played four years of Major Junior with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL) before embarking on a pro career that took him to the International Hockey League (IHL) and ECHL. He also played six seasons in Europe.

Dreger, who will also serve as the Jr. Kings' 18U AAA head coach this year, played three seasons of Major Junior in the WHL before embarking on an 11-year professional career in the American Hockey League, IHL and ECHL.

A Winnipeg native, Dreger, who joined the Jr. Kings’ staff last season, was also a successful coach in the American Collegiate Hockey Association with Kennesaw State University where he led the team to a national tournament appearance in 2012.

McDonald, from Burbank, has over 12 years of coaching experience in the Southern California hockey community.

Having coached at every youth level, McDonald guided his Valencia Express 2001 birth-year teams to a number of Southern California Amateur Hockey Association championships along with a CAHA state championship.

With the California Heat’s Pee Wee AA team in 2010-11, he helped lead the club to a CAHA state championship before going on to win a USA Hockey national title.