General Manager and Head Coach
A.J is currently in his second season as the General Manager and Head Coach of the Minnesota Magicians in the NAHL. In his first season, the team finished second in the Midwest division and had 12 players earn college scholarships as well as had a player drafted in the 2019 NHL Draft. A.J. also helped lead the organization in his first season with the most wins in franchise history as well as the first playoff series win in the Midwest Division.
Before the Magicians, A.J. was the Head Coach at Lakeville South High School in Lakeville, MN for the past three seasons. At Lakeville South, he had a record of 48-34-4 and lead the team to the Minnesota State High School Tournament in 2017. A.J. is also a co-owner of the Minnesota IceMen AAA Youth Hockey Program.
Before A.J. began his coaching career, he played four seasons of professional hockey in the East Coast Hockey League, Central Hockey League, and Southern Professional Hockey League. Born in White Plains, New York, he began his playing career attending Tilton and Avon Old Farms Prep School. A.J. then finished high school in the USHL with the Des Moines Buccaneers. After a season at the University of New Hampshire, A.J. transferred to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where he was a two-time NCAA All-American helping his team win two WIAC Championships (2006 and 2007) and one NCHA Championship (2007).
AJ graduated with a B.S. in Communication from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He currently resides in Woodbury, MN, with his wife, Danielle and his son, Rocco.
Assistant Coach and Director of Hockey Operations
Gaven Bickford was named Minnesota Magicians’ Assistant Coach in the summer 2018 and is now entering is second season with the team. In his first season, the team finished second in the Midwest division and had 12 players earn college scholarships as well as had a player drafted in the 2019 NHL Draft. Gaven also helped lead the organization in his first season with the most wins in franchise history as well as the first playoff series win in the Midwest Division.
Gaven is hands-on with our AAA feeder system at the U18 level down to the mite level. As well, Gaven does a wealth of scouting in the Midwest region.
Throughout the years, Gaven has developed a passion for all levels of hockey and gives back through coaching. He has directed and counseled numerous hockey camps around the Midwest.
Gaven is from Crosslake, Minnesota where he played his youth and High School hockey for the Northern Lakes Lightning. After High School, Gaven attended Siena College in Albany, New York, where he earned a degree in Marketing and was a member of the Club Hockey Team (ACHA).
Gaven currently resides in Uptown, Minneapolis.
Medical Trainer: Chris Walker, TRIA
TRIA is proud to partner with the Minnesota Magicians. As part of this partnership, TRIA provides Athletic Trainers and Doctors to all of the Magicians games at Richfield Ice Arena.
Strength and Performance Coach: Noah Draper
Noah is in his first season as the Magicians Strength and Performance Coach.
Noah, grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, where he played baseball and football throughout his youth. Got offers to play football out of high school but decided to pursue my college career at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. He studied exercise science there for 4 years and graduated in 2019. After college, Noah jumped right into ETS an intern which lead into becoming director of operations at ETS Central.
I enjoy working out, playing baseball, and board sports.
Defensive Skills Coach - Nick Angell
Nick supports the coaching staff by working with the Magicians defense. Nick attends practices and games several times per month to reiterate the coaching staffs approach and fine-tune the defensive side of the game.
Nick began his ice hockey career playing in the Duluth youth leagues where he honed his skills before playing at Duluth East High School. During his senior year, Angell led the Duluth East Greyhounds in winning the 1998 Minnesota High School Boys Hockey tournament and was nominated for the Mr. Hockey award, which is given to Minnesota's most valuable high school hockey player. He was then recruited to play for the University of Minnesota in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, from 1998 to 2002, where he helped Minnesota win their fifth NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship in 2002. Nick then went on to play 10 years at the professional level in the AHL, UHL, Swedish Elite League, DEL and KHL.
Nick resides in Minnetonka, MN with his family.
Speciality Skills Coach and Scout - Brent Cullaton
Coach Cullaton is in his 1st year with the Magicians. Coach Cullaton started coaching with the Boulder Jr. A Bison of the WSHL after a strong 15-year professional playing career. He led the Bison to a National birth in the franchises first season and make the Conference Finals in each of his next two years. Coach Cullaton finished his coaching tenure in Boulder with a record of 114 wins, 40 losses, and 8 ties. Coach Cullaton has help move over half of his players to play college hockey. Before joining the Magicians, Coach Cullaton worked with the Lakeville North youth and both HS programs.
He is the current Associate coach of the Lakeville North Boys Varsity program. Coach Cullaton was also the Assistant General Manager/Director of Hockey Operations for the Denver Cutthroats of the Central Hockey League, an affiliate of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche. Coach Cullaton has a passion for helping develop and promote players in attaining their hockey goals.
International Scout - Terry Watt
Born and raised in Toronto Canada, Watt was recruited to play hockey at Buffalo State College (SUNYAC), where he studied business marketing. Following his collegiate career, Terry played professional hockey for eight years on four continents, suiting up for 14 different teams. During Terry’s pro career he won four championships -- three as a player and one as a coach. He also served as a Head Coach during one of his seasons in Europe. In Late 2018 Watt was hired to step behind the bench and coach the Metropolitan Riveters that play in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).
Off the ice, Terry has developed a social networking platform designed specifically for the hockey world. OTM is the world’s first and only secure social networking site that allows all its hockey members to advance their careers, share information and stay connected anywhere in the world. The OTM Sports Network (www.otmsportsnet.com) currently host thousands of members who use the site daily to land their next big contracts & jobs in hockey.
-29 years of hockey experience around the world.
-Played JR Tier 1 hockey in Canada & USA (Winning two junior championships).
-Played college hockey at Buffalo state college (SUNYAC).
-Played professional hockey- 8 years
-Head coach professionally- 2 years (NWHL, Europe)
-General Manager/Head Coach for Leprechaun Showcase Elite Hockey teams, Boston MA (Leprechaun Alumni include 11-NHL drafted players & 65+ NCAA commitments).
Scout - Austyn Quarters
Austyn is a Bozeman, Montana native who has spent his entire life playing hockey. Austyn played 5 years of junior hockey in Wisconsin and continued his hockey career at Robert Morris University, he then transferred to Elmhurst University to pursue his dream as a sports attorney and currently owns his own business called Rule 1 Sports, where he helps young athletes advance to juniors, college, and professional hockey.
Austyn is a head coach in Chicago, IL for the Northwest Chargers youth organizations as well as a scout for the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL and The Hill Academy Hockey Programs out of Toronto, Canada.
East Coast Regional Scout - Joe Bucchino
Manitoba Regional Scout - Lee Kowalski
U18 RED Fall Team Head Coach - Mark Johnson
U18 Fall Team Head Coach - John Boche
John has been coaching hockey for 34 years at numerous levels including select teams at the high school, U18, U16, U15, and bantam levels. He played collegiately at St. Cloud State University. John also has extensive experience officiating hockey including WCHA, MIAC, WIAC, USHL, and high school, working numerous NCAA tournaments and Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournaments. He is currently the Assistant Principal at Lakeville South High School in Minnesota.
U16 GRAY Fall Team Head Coach - John Dragger
John currently works at Perfect World Hockey Training, working with high school, college and professional athletes. He also is in his 3rd season as Assistant Coach for Prior Lake High School, where he focuses on the development of defensemen and is in charge of the video operations.
John graduated from Shattuck-St. Mary’s in 2012. He helped lead SSM to two consecutive Tier 1 National Championships and was his team’s top scoring defenseman. He went on to play for the Michigan State Spartans from 2012-2016 and was drafted in the third round (68thoverall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild.