“The Swift Current Broncos were pleased to announce Thursday that Dave Rathjen will join the Broncos staff in the role of goaltending coach for the 2017/18 season.
Rathjen was brought in late last season on an interim basis and worked with all goaltenders on the Broncos roster including recent WHL graduate Jordan Papirny, 20-year-old Taz Burman and rookie Bailey Brkin until the end of the clubs’ 2017 playoff run.
“Getting a goaltending coach like Dave Rathjen to join our staff is tremendous for us,” said Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Many Viveiros. “He is a sound coach and will help us build our goaltending.”
Rathjen possesses an extensive background in goaltending as he appeared in 11 games for the Tri-City Americans during the 1997-98 season and 27 games for the Penticton Panthers of the BCHL in the 1999-2000 season. Furthermore, he suited up for the University of Alberta in parts of three seasons from 2002-05 while attaining a Bachelors of Physical Education in Sports Management. He will continue to work with Broncos goaltenders Burman and Brkin along with other young goaltenders in the system, including 2017 third-round selection Ethan Heim when training camp arrives in late August.
“I got to know the Broncos coaching staff very well when I first arrived in late January of last year and I’m really looking forward to being with this team for a full season,” said Rathjen. “The biggest area I want to work with our veteran goaltenders and our young prospects is detail. Habits are a big thing we’ll be demanding of the goalies and making each individual’s expectations a reality. Each goalie is different from a technical standpoint and they’ll have to be taught different techniques based on their style and size. For the young guys, it’ll be exciting to teach them from the get go what it takes to be a Western Hockey League goalie.”
The product of Penticton, BC also owns and operates Above the Crease Goaltending LTD in which they work on developing goaltenders across various leagues. U of A Golden Bears, the Swift Current Broncos, NAIT 00ks Men’s Hockey and Team Canada Jr A. West are amongst several clubs that Rathjen’s group works with.
“I’ve worked with Hockey Canada to help build the program for Goaltender Certification to help structure the leveling in goaltender categories, defining level one through three certification and also worked at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, helping Team Alberta win a silver medal. I’m impressed with the professionalism the Broncos coaching staff has implemented and am excited to share my knowledge with our goaltenders.”
Season tickets for the 2017-18 campaign are on sale now. Purchase your seats by calling 306-773-1509 ext. 1 or visit the Stable during summer box office hours.