Coaching U18 Trappers

May 18, 2023

Reigning champion North Bay U18 Trappers of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League will have a different look back of the bench come the 2023-2024 season.

With legendary coach Guy Blanchard slated to take over from Doug Sanders as bench boss of the U18 Trappers, another well known name in North Bay hockey circles will be on board as associate coach of the Great North team.

Vitali Yachmenev, who was a goal-scoring machine for the erstwhile North Bay Centennials of the Ontario Hockey League before going on to play in close to 500 National Hockey League games, will be joining Blanchard on the bench of the U18 Trappers. The 48-year old Yachmenev played two OHL seasons in North Bay and, playoffs included, scored no less than 128 goals in 148 games.

Following his lengthy pro playing career, Yachmenev coached for seven years in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

As for the 63-year old Blanchard, who coached the Trappers to a Great North U18 title back in 2018-2019, he has a bench background that includes time in the OHL with both the Sudbury Wolves and aforementioned North Bay Centennials.

Vitali Yachmenev (left) and Guy Blanchard.

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