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Hockey Operations Staff

Get to know the power behind the Hershey Bears bench.

Bryan Helmer

Vice President of Hockey Operations: Bryan Helmer

Bryan Helmer was named Hershey’s Vice President of Hockey Operations in July 2016, moving to the front office after spending time as a player and assistant coach with the Bears during his Hall of Fame career.

Todd Nelson

Head Coach: Todd Nelson

Todd Nelson was named the 28th head coach in franchise history in August 2022. The former Hershey defender is one of just three individuals to win a Calder Cup as a player, assistant coach, and head coach in league history. In Nelson’s first season at the helm of the Bears, Hershey posted a 44-19-5-4 (.674) record in the regular season and went 14-6 in the postseason en route to the franchise’s 12th Calder Cup championship.

Patrick Weller

Assistant Coach: Patrick Wellar

Patrick Wellar returned to Hershey as an assistant coach ahead of the 2018-19 season after playing parts of six seasons with the Bears from 2008-2014. He has helped Hershey to a Calder Cup Championship both as a player and a coach during his accomplished career.

Nick Bootland

Assistant Coach: Nick Bootland

Nick Bootland returned to Hershey in 2022 after a 13-year run as the head coach of the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings. Bootland played parts of three seasons for the Bears from 1998-2003 prior to moving behind the bench, and helped guide Hershey to the 2023 Calder Cup title in his first season as part of Hershey’s coaching staff.

Juha Lehtola

Associate Goaltending Coach: Juha Lehtola

Juha Lehtola was hired as Hershey’s associate goaltending coach in August 2022. In his first year with the Bears, Hershey claimed the Calder Cup, and Lehtola helped guide netminder Hunter Shepard to a sensational postseason that saw him capture the Jack Butterfield Trophy as MVP of the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Adam Purner

Video Coach: Adam Purner

Adam Purner was named Hershey’s video coach in 2022 after spending the previous two seasons working in the same role in the New Jersey Devils organization. He helped Hershey claim its 12th Calder Cup Championship in his first season with the club in 2022-23.

Shawn Fliszar

Head Athletic Trainer: Shawn Fliszar

Shawn Fliszar joined the Hershey Bears as assistant athletic trainer in Dec. 2020 after previously spending time in the ECHL. In 2022, he was promoted to head athletic trainer.

Max Finley

Assistant Athletic Trainer: Max Finley

Max Finley joined the Hershey Bears in October 2022 following a two year stint with the Bears ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays as the club's head athletic trainer.

Kurtis Freter

Strength & Conditioning Coach: Kurtis Freter

Kurtis Freter was named Hershey’s strength & conditioning coach in 2023 after spending the previous several seasons with the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League, most recently as the lead assistant, athletic performance.

Josh Carter

Head Equipment Manager: Josh Carter

Josh Carter has served as the Head Equipment Manager of the Hershey Bears since 2014.

Dillon Filepas

Assistant Equipment Manager: Dillon Filepas

Dillon Filepas joined the Chocolate and White as an Assistant Equipment Manager in 2017 after previously working with the Bears from 2008-12.

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