ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Amerks and Sabres veteran Nathan Paetsch had learned lots of hockey after nearly two decades in the pros. This year, he’s passing it on to a lucky bunch of Rochester kids — including one who had been listening to Nathan all his life.
“The biggest thing is to enjoy what you’re doing and work hard,” said Paetsch.
This is the motto he learned from his coaches early on in his hockey career — and now he’s giving the same advice to the Rochester Monarchs 9U AAA team as their head coach.
It is his second season coaching the Monarchs, his first as the head coach.
“The boys on my Monarchs team are the best kids, and to see the progression they’ve made means the world to me,” said Paestch. “It always makes me smile and take a lighter approach to professional hockey to see the love of the game these boys have.”
One of those boys is his 9-year-old son, Kellen Paetsch.
“He gets to teach us different stuff than all the other coaches do and it’s really fun. Sometimes he shows us skills he does at his practices,” said Kellen.
Kellen has been playing defense, the same position as his father, for six years and has grown to love the game just as much.
“[I’m] just as competitive as he is. I just want him to be as proud of me as I am of him,” said Kellen.
And it sounds like the feeling is mutual.
“There’s nothing more exciting than to watch my own son play and coach him and have that opportunity,” said Nathan. “I’m very grateful. This whole season has been a blast for me.”