For Danton Danielson, the opportunity to lead the way behind the bench for the Prince Albert Mintos was one that he couldn’t pass up.
“It’s a dream come true to be honest,” Danielson said on Friday after he was announced as the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League team’s new head coach for the 2019-20 season.
“When I started to get into coaching 12 years ago, the Midget AAA league was a place that I aspired to be a coach in. The Mintos organization is one of the premier programs in Canada and I’m extremely excited to have the chance to have the chance to be a part of the team.”
The 36-year-old Danielson is currently in his fourth season as a head coach for the Saskatoon Outlaws Bantam AA program, who are currently in the Saskatchewan AA Hockey League North Division final against the Martensville Marauders.
“I think coaching is one of those things where you realize that it’s not for you once you start or you end up getting really into it, and I certainly fell into the latter category,” Danielson said.
“After I started coaching in Martensville, fellow coach Colin Parenteau and I moved into Saskatoon and coached the Maniacs and Riverkings programs. Following that, I had the chance to move up and become a head coach with the Outlaws.”
When asked what kind of style he likes his teams to have, Danielson prefers a puck possession game but is adaptable to whatever the situation calls for.
“Skills and smarts come first, and while the size and physical parts of the game are very useful, it shouldn’t come at the expense of those first two aspects of the game,” Danielson said. “With that said, it really depends on the group of players that you have as you will need to play a style that fits best with them.
“In general terms, I like to be aggressive offensively. The game has evolved from that bang and crash or dump and chase style to being a more skill oriented style and I’m certainly in favour of that approach.”
Once the Outlaws season comes to an end, Danielson will officially join the Mintos program as the team prepares for their spring camp, which will take place from April 5-7 at the Art Hauser Centre.
“After the announcement was made on Thursday, my first priority was to get in touch with the current players on the Mintos roster and introduce myself to them,” Danielson said.
“I’m committed to finishing out the season on a strong note with the Outlaws. After that, my attention will start to turn with helping to get things ready for the spring camp and to also start to develop the coaching staff for next year.”