DETROIT,MI - The Detroit Dragons and National Roller Hockey League (NRHL) are excited to announce that veteran coach and player, Kelly Nester of Southgate, Michigan is the new General Manager of the Detroit Dragons. The Dragons will play out of the 3,000 seat Fraser Hockeyland in Fraser, Michigan with games starting in May, 2020.
Nester, a native of Metro Detroit, comes to the Dragons with success and experience at all levels of the ice game. He spent three years with the US National Team, won the President’s Cup with the Wayne Gretzky-owned Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL (scoring 212 points in 186 games), had a brief stint with the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, and has since spent 25 years coaching the game at all levels.
“Everything Bob (Bob Hall, NRHL Vice President of Business Development) saw, I saw it too,” said Nester from the brand new NRHL offices at Fraser Hockeyland. “Everything I do here at the Dragons, every step we take, I want to be able to intertwine it with building the youth game from the ground up.”
Nester goes on to note that he’s excited to make the transition from ice to roller as the team concept is the same, with some distinct advantages. “Roller is extremely exciting – its four on four hockey, all of the time that really puts an emphasis on puck possession and clean puck movement, all things I’ve always practiced and stressed from both a player and a coaching standpoint,” continued Nester.
“We are beyond excited to have someone with Kelly’s skill set and experience come on board to take the lead of the Detroit Dragons franchise,” said Hall. “The leadership of the NRHL has full confidence that Kelly is the right person for the job and we believe that he will take our vision for the Dragons and make it a reality.”
The newly minted GM retired from playing during the 1989-90 season due to a career-ending back injury, but not before graduating with a degree in Business Management, which he earned from the University of Ottawa while playing hockey. A few years later, he formed his hockey school and coached all the way to the Junior A level. Nester went through Henry Ford to study design and engineering, starting from the bottom up, learning how to draw on a board physically with mechanical tools, progressed through the inception of the computer design era and moved into the current technological world from there. In 2008, he left the engineering world to focus on making hockey his career.
Registration is open for the NRHL Combines, however space is becoming increasingly limited. The first is being held November 1-3, 2019 at the Joe Dumars Fieldhouse in the Metro Detroit area, the second will be December 27-29 in Saint Louis, Missouri. The Combines will consist of one practice with their designated team, run by members of the NRHL's team's coaching staff, along with four games scouted by every head coach and various staff members from across the League. There will also be professional trainers on site to test and evaluate every player. Along with all of that, the NRHL will have representatives on site from Alkali Verbero Skates to fit and measure for the player’s preferred boot, representatives from glove, helmet and other various equipment manufacturers so that when a player is named to a roster, all of their equipment will be ready and waiting for them when they walk into their new roller hockey home. Each player will also receive a limited-edition custom NRHL tumbler to commemorate the events.
The National Roller Hockey League is the only professional inline hockey league in North America and has teams in Detroit, St. Louis, Port Huron, and Grand Rapids. For more information or to register for the 2019 NRHL Combines, visit our website at www.thenationalrollerhockeyleague.com and find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.