He is well seasoned as a former player. He has earned his stripes as an assistant coach. And as a bonus, Jesse Messier is a well educated, Canadian university graduate.
The 35-year old Messier is the new head coach of the reigning Superior International Jr. Hockey League champion Kam River Fighting Walleye. Messier takes the helm of the Kam River bench from Geoff Walker, who recently departed the Fighting Walleye for a similar position in the Alberta Jr. Hockey League.
Messier has more than learned the ropes as an assistant coach. He is fresh from a four year stint as an assistant with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League. Before that, he was an assistant with the York University Lions of Ontario University Athletics for four seasons.
As a player, Messier is a former second round OHL priority selections draft pick of the Sudbury Wolves who patrolled the right wing for parts of four seasons with both the Wolves and the erstwhile St. Michael’s Majors. In his rookie year, Messier suffered a neck injury that would sideline him for 18 months, putting the beginning of his OHL career on hold. Still, Messier appeared in 182 OHL games from 2005 to 2009 and put up 125 points. He played for two reputable well-known head coaches in the OHL, namely Mike Foligno at Sudbury and Dave Cameron (now with the Ottawa 67’s) at St. Mike’s.
Messier then put his OHL Education Package to work in 2009, committing to York University in Toronto. Messier went on to play five seasons at York and graduate with a degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. He finished his Canadian university playing career 10th all time in York program history scoring with 129 points in 133 games and was team captain for his final two seasons at the school.
As he has eight full seasons of assistant coach experience at York and in Saginaw, the Kam River gig will be Messier’s first as a head coach. Fighting Walleye general manager Kevin McCallum noted that he feels Kam River is rather fortunate to have landed the services of such a well-rounded, qualified coach that Messier is.