Jason Rapcewicz has hired an experienced asset for the hockey operations department of the Espanola Express.
Rapcewicz performed workhorse duties for the Express during the 2021-2022 season as owner, president, general manager and head coach of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team — while also holding holding down a position with Canada Post in Espanola.
Now, looking to both reduce his workload and add to the staff on the Express train yard, Rapcewicz has brought Trevor Ritchie on board as general manager. Ritchie brings the experience of having previously worked with three NOJHL teams to Espanola.
After a season as an assistant coach with the Blind River Beavers, Ritchie then spent two years with the Elliot Lake Wildcats, first as an assistant, then as interim head coach. Ritchie then began the 2019-2020 season as coach and GM of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners only to be relieved of his duties after just 25 games.
Now in heading to Espanola as GM of the Express to work alongside Rapcewicz — who will continue as president and coach — Ritchie has three months to recruit players and help put together a competitive roster ahead of the 2022-2023 season.
Espanola missed the playoffs in 2021-2022, finishing in last place in the West Division of the NOJHL with a record of 13-31-4. But the leading scorers on the Express were its younger players, led by the likes of forwards Ty McHutchion, Eric Barnard, Kobe Braham and Yan Bissette.