Thursday, March 31, 2011

Link joins Muskegon scouting staff

The Muskegon Lumberjacks took another measure to make sure no future hockey stars in Michigan go unevaluated by adding Charlie Link to the team’s scouting crew.

Link is the varsity head coach of Mona Shores’ outstanding hockey program. The Muskegon native assisted with the Jacks’ tryout and training camps last summer and was also a key player in the organization and execution of the inaugural Muskegon Winter Showcase in February.

“Since I arrived in Muskegon, Charlie has been a phenomenal support and outreach,” Lumberjacks head coach Kevin Patrick said. “He’s been tied into the high school game in Michigan for years, and we’re proud to have someone with his background and knowledge.”

“It’s a pleasure to work with such a first-class organization,” Link said. “I know how hard (Lumberjacks owner) Josh Mervis works, and how hard Coach Patrick works. It’s hard to keep up with them, but I know I will. And I’m looking forward to it.”

Link has directed the Sailors to three runner-up finishes in the Michigan High School Athletic Association state hockey tournament during his 10 years behind the bench. He also coached fellow Muskegon native and current Detroit Red Wing Justin Abdelkader.

Link played minor-professional hockey on and off for five years, including a stint with the Muskegon Mohawks. Link’s scouting emphasis will be Michigan prep hockey, but that’s not to say he won’t assist in other districts.

“We like our scouts to cross over and see different areas,” Patrick said. “If they only see their level, they won’t see how the big picture comes together.”

Link’s addition bolsters the Jacks’ scouting presence in Michigan, the second-leading producer of United States Hockey League skaters. He is committed to discovering and recommending players who not only aspire to someday make the National Hockey League, but also the honor roll.

“Scholastics are crucial,” Link said. “You’ve got to be a good student – not just a great hockey player, but also a great young man.”

Link and his wife of 25 years, Kristi, have a son Ian and a daughter Lauren.

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