CINCINNATI, OH – The spot on the bench once filled by Cam Keith (he left for a head coaching position in the British Columbia Hockey League last month,) has been filled. The Cyclones announced longtime ECHL/AHL veteran Patrick Wellar was named Cyclones assistant coach, joining head coach Matt Macdonald’s coaching staff. Not entirely too unfamiliar with the coaching ranks, Wellar has spent the past two season as a player/assistant coach with the Alaska Aces and Utah Grizzlies.
From the Cyclones Official Release: Macdonald stated “Patrick will be a great piece to add to our staff this season. He is coming off a 12 year professional career where he was fortunate to be apart of 4 different championship teams. He is a person who knows the game very well and can help to develop the players next season to be successful not only in the ECHL with us, but also grow as players in order to move up in the hockey ranks.”
With a total of 747 games under his belt over the course of his twelve-year playing career, Carrot River, SK native spent time in the ECHL playing 441 games with the Aces, Grizzlies, Peoria Rivermen, South Carolina Stingrays, Columbia Inferno, and Reading Royals, totaling 128 points (31 goals, 97 assists) during that time span. His AHL experience came in the form of 306 games between the Hershey Bears, Toronto Marlies, Worcester IceCats, and Peoria Rivermen, tallying 51 points (8 goals, 43 assists. Known most for his physical presence, the former defenseman accounted for 1,223 penalty minutes throughout his 747-game professional career.
Wellar commented “I am extremely honored to be joining the Cincinnati Cyclones organization and I’m very grateful to Matt Macdonald for the opportunity to serve as his assistant Coach. I look forward to helping our young athletes realize their dreams, while helping Matt assemble a team this organization and city will be proud of.”
A man with three ECHL Kelly Cup Championships, and an AHL Calder Cup Championship to his name, Wellar enjoyed a lot of playoff success helping lead Alaska (2006), South Carolina (2009), and Reading (2013) to Kelly Cup titles as well as capturing a Calder Cup title with Hershey in 2010. He accounted for 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) in 91 Kelly Cup Playoff appearances.
Prior to turning pro, he spent parts of six seasons in the Canadian Junior league known as the Western Hockey League between the Portland Winterhawks and Calgary Hitmen, tallying 58 points (16 goals, 42 assists) throughout 247 WHL contests.
Macdonald continued, “Pat has already gained some experience as being a player/assistant coach over the past two seasons, and knows the hard work it takes to be a coach. He is willing to put the dedication in to making our team successful. We as an organization are very fortunate to add a person with his type of character and work ethic, and are very happy to welcome him to the Cyclones family this season.”