Hughes departs Rangers for Cape Breton

June 28, 2016

3:32 PM EDT

Story by Jamie Neugebauer, media co-ordinator, with files from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

Image by OJHL Images

North York Rangers head coach Brent Hughes has been hired on as an assistant coach with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Hughes, 34, was hired as the Rangers Junior ‘A’ head coach last off-season following the depature of encumbent Mark Joslin, and led the club to a 30-16-2-6 record and a berth in the second round of the playoffs.

The Toronto native played professional hockey for nine years in both North America and Europe. He plyed his trade in the Central Hockey League for four seasons, winning a championship in 2007 with the Colorado Eagles, before heading overseas to play in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). While playing in Scotland, Hughes started his coaching career where he served as a player/assistant coach with the Dundee Stars of EIHL. After one season in this role, he was promoted to player/head coach of the Stars, before retiring in 2012. Hughes then returned to Ontario in 2012, where he accepted the head coaching position with the North York Rangers midget AAA in 2012-13. After one season with the Rangers, he joined the Brampton Beast during their inaugural season 2013-14 of the East Coast Hockey League, where he spent two seasons – one as an assistant coach and one as head coach.

“I am extremely honored for this opportunity,” Hughes told the Screaming Eagles website. “I want to thank the North York Rangers organization for allowing me to further my career. August can’t come soon enough. I want to thank Marc-André for his honesty and belief in me and I look forward to working with the players and to be part of the Screaming Eagles’ family.”

Rangers general manager Claude Desjardins is actively searching out Hughes’ replacement, and will no doubt be looking for some stability, as the new hire will be the club’s fourth coach in four seasons. Two of the last three North York junior coaches have gone on to the next level in the Canadian Hockey League, with John Dean joining the North Bay Batallion of the Ontario Hockey League after the 2013-14 campaign.