ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New Amerks head coach Seth Appert is no stranger to the American Hockey League’s balance of winning and player development.
During his time with USA hockey, Appert’s job was helping the best young players in country play among the best in the world. Now, in his first professional coaching job, he is going to do the same thing for the Sabres NHL prospects.
“We focused at the national program on making our players better,” said Appert. “We don’t save our energy all the time for games on Fridays or Saturday, we really sell out in practice. We sell out in the weight room. We believe taking the development mindset on a daily basis in how we practice and how we hit the weight room, is going to make the players better and as the players eventually get better, the team gets better.”
Sabres new general manager Kevyn Adams agrees that the two are equally important. The two began hiring discussions back in early July, and Adams saw a great communicator and development coach in Appert.
“Our goal as an organization is to win a Stanley Cup, and everything that happens in our organization is a step towards that goal,” said Adams. “When I talk about development in Rochester, I’m saying how do we personally invest in every single one of our prospects and players.”
According to Appert, creating meaningful relationships built on trust are the most important way to personally invest in players and make sure they know the organization is invested in their careers, rookies and veterans alike.
The new head coach is already familiar with many of the players on the roster. He knows the veterans from his tenure coaching at RPI and the younger prospects through the national development program.