Pee Wee AAA Major

The Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ Pee Wee Major 2004 team has announced its coaching staff for the 2016-17 season.

Shawn Pitcher will serve as head coach, with Igor Nikulin and Jaroslav Modry assisting.

A fixture in the Southern California coaching community since 1995, Shawn Pitcher has guided a number of his teams to promise on the local, regional and national stages.

Originally from Newfoundland, Pitcher spent 10 seasons coaching with the California Wave before joining the LA Hockey Club/LA Selects organization in 2007.

In 2005, he helped guide the Wave’s 16U AAA team to a silver-medal performance at the USA Hockey National Championships.

With the Selects, he led his Bantam AAA team to CAHA and Pacific District championships in 2009 and a berth to nationals where the club won a bronze medal. He also led the Selects’ Bantam AAA club to bronze at nationals in 2012.

Pitcher, who played junior hockey in Ontario and minor-pro in Florida, guided the Jr. Kings’ Bantam Major team to a state and regional title in 2013-14. With the LA Selects in 2011-12, he’s the only coach in California hockey history to win the Elite AAA division championship of the Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament.

Igor Nikulin has been an influential coaching force in Southern California since his arrival in 1996, leading Jr. Kings teams to three USA Hockey national championships, including the state’s first-ever Tier I title in 2000 at the Pee Wee level.

A native of Kiev, Ukraine, Nikulin began his local coaching career with the Burbank Golden Bears. Since 1998, he’s coached within the Jr. Kings and LA Hockey Club/LA Selects programs where he’s led his teams to a number of Southern California Amateur Hockey Association, California Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) and Pacific District championships.

Growing up, Nikulin played for the elite Hockey Club Sokil Kyiv in his hometown before joining a top league in Slovakia. After his playing days, he went on to earn bachelor’s degrees in teaching and coaching from the University of Physical Education and High Coaching School, respectively.

Nikulin, who’s led the prestigious California Brick tournament team the last 17 years, also guided California all-star teams to International B division championships at the famed Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament in 1997 and ‘99.

In short time, Jaroslav Modry has established himself as a highly effective and respected coach in the Southern California youth hockey circles.

A 15-year NHL veteran, Modry has channeled his experience, knowledge and passion for the sport to help maximize the developmental potential of all of his players, on and off the ice.

Following a lengthy and successful playing career that took him to the highest levels of the game, Modry worked as a volunteer assistant coach with NCAA Division I Rensselear Polytechnic Institute during the 2011-12 season. From 2011-13, he served as a head coach at the AAA level in the Troy Albany Titans Youth Hockey League.

This past season, Modry was Head Coach of the Jr. Kings’ 16U AAA Minor team and assisted on L.A.’s Bantam AAA Minor team.

Selected by the New Jersey Devils in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, the former defenseman dressed in over 750 games with New Jersey, the Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers.

He also won a Calder Cup championship with the American Hockey League’s Albany River Rats in 1995 and spent time in the IHL before returning home to play in his native Czech Republic.