Hockey

Idaho Steelheads move swiftly, tab assistant as franchise’s next head coach

Meet the eighth coach in Idaho Steelheads history

Assistant Everett Sheen was promoted to head coach of the Idaho Steelheads on Thursday, July 11, 2019. Sheen spoke with the Idaho Statesman about himself during an introductory press conference at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
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Assistant Everett Sheen was promoted to head coach of the Idaho Steelheads on Thursday, July 11, 2019. Sheen spoke with the Idaho Statesman about himself during an introductory press conference at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.

When Everett Sheen let his childhood dream of becoming an NHL player go, he decided he was either going to become a coach or a teacher.

In a way, he can fulfill both aspirations in his new role with the Idaho Steelheads.

After three seasons as an assistant, Sheen was promoted to the ECHL hockey franchise’s top job on Thursday. He replaces Neil Graham, who left to become an assistant coach for the Texas Stars of the AHL. The Steelheads and Stars are both minor-league affiliates of the NHL’s Dallas Stars.

“I’ve been into hockey ever since I can remember,” Everett told the Idaho Statesman on Thursday. “I think I started skating when I was 2 or 3 and started playing organized hockey when I was 5.”

At 32 years old, Sheen is the second-youngest head coach in Steelheads history at the time of his hire and the second-youngest active coach in the ECHL. The native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, played collegiately for Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and then five professional seasons in the ECHL with the Reading Royals, Ontario Reign and Colorado Eagles.

Sheen becomes the eighth coach in franchise history as the Steelheads approach their 23rd season. Idaho’s 2019-20 home opener is Oct. 18 at CenturyLink Arena against the Wichita Thunder.

“Everett has demonstrated over the past three years that he possesses the leadership skills and talent to be our next head coach,” said Eric Trapp, president of Idaho Sports Properties. “He has the backing and the confidence not only of our players but also the Dallas Stars organization, our entire front office and our management team.

“He embodies the culture and the core values of the Idaho Steelheads, and we look forward to seeing him continue the rich history built over the last 22 years.”

This is the first head job for Sheen, who lives in Meridian with his wife, Kayla, and their son, Parker.

During his time as an assistant, Sheen led the Steelheads’ defense and penalty kill units, helping Idaho rank among the top 10 this past season in both penalty kill percentage and shots allowed per game.

“I like to think of myself as a very calm and collected coach, but also very intense,” Sheen said. “In regular life I’m pretty laid back and personable — that’s kind of what I pride myself on — but there’s an intense side to me that maybe it won’t look like it on the outside, but I guarantee underneath it’s going for sure.”

Sheen played in 319 career ECHL games, tallying 48 goals and 89 assists at forward. He graduated from Holy Cross with a degree in economics and enjoys fly fishing and golfing in his free time.

“I’m excited to continue to work with the core that we’ve brought back and signed,” Sheen said. “I’ve spoken to each one of them, and what made me happy and proud was that they were all excited to have me as their head coach. That means a lot. Just getting to work with them, building off the things I’ve been part of over the last three years, and continuing to grow and push to get where we want to be, and that’s a Kelly Cup for Boise.”

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Rachel Roberts has been covering sports for the Idaho Statesman since 2005. She attended Northwest Nazarene University and is Boise born and raised.
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