September 28, 2022

Icemen reward head coach Nick Luukko after franchise’s best season

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – The Icemen award head coach Nick Luukko after the best season in franchise history.

The team announced they signed Luukko to a three-year contract extension on Tuesday afternoon, keeping the 30-year-old in town for the foreseeable future.

“Continued support with the extension here, as I’ve said from the start, I love living in Jacksonville, I love working in Jacksonville and I couldn’t be happier right now. It’s a great city, an underrated hockey town in my opinion. If you just look at the attendance stats, we’re at the top of the league. With the new Community First Igloo, it will only grow the game even more in Jacksonville and I’m extremely excited to be a part of it.

Luukko had a stellar season in his debut as head coach. He led the Icemen to 40 wins and the second round of the ECHL playoffs, both franchise firsts for Jacksonville.

“We are beyond excited to have Nick return and remain with our organization,” Icemen CEO Andy Kaufmann said in a statement. “Nick has helped take our team to the next level, both on the ice and in the community. He established a culture here that our players have embraced. We are confident that Nick will continue to develop players to the next level, while taking our organization to new heights for our fans to enjoy for years to come.

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Luukko came to Jacksonville after spending the 2019-21 seasons as Reading Royals assistant coach. He also spent four years with Reading as a player, coming on as a defender in 274 career games there. Luukko also played seven games with the Lehigh Phantoms of the American Hockey League. He was a sixth-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Luukko said his first season as head coach had been positive, with his biggest problems, the ebb and flow of COVID-19 training stirring up the biggest challenge.

“I mean, other than that, there’s not much I want to change,” he said.

“I like the way we’ve run our business this year, on and off the ice, practices, games, everything. I think it’s just a little more experience from myself and our players and moving forward, that’s going to help us get to the top.

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