July 15,2014(ISN) – Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George Cougars are thrilled to announce the hiring
of Todd Harkins (Cleveland, OH) as the fifth general manager in the history of the
Prince George Cougars franchise.
Harkins, 45, has been serving as the Cougars interim General Manager since May. He
was originally hired by the Cougars in 2012 as a regional scout, but was quickly
promoted to Head Scout and Director of Player Personnel during the spring of 2013.
“I am extremely excited to have been given this opportunity by Greg Pocock and the
other members of Edgepro Sports and Entertainment. I have been around this great
game my entire life as a player, coach, administrator and scout and I am honoured
and humbled to be able to take my career to another level in the Western Hockey
League,” said Todd Harkins. “During the past year, I have loved being part of the
Prince George Cougars organization and I know that there are great things ahead for
the team and the City of Prince George as we head into the New Ice Age”.
“Todd Harkins is one of the bright young minds in the game today, and I have a great
deal of respect for him. The Prince George Cougars are fortunate to have him for the
next five years,” said Prince George Cougars President, Greg Pocock. “His vision
and values are aligned with our own. Todd’s commitment to building a Championship
team in Prince George is over-the-top, and I am committed to providing him with the
resources to do it.”
While attending Miami University (Ohio), Harkins was selected 42nd overall by the
Calgary Flames in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. He spent time in the NHL with both the
Flames and the Hartford Whalers and also represented the United States three times
internationally at the World Championships (1992, 1995 and 1998). His 11-year
professional playing career also included a four-year stint in the German Elite
League before retiring in 2001.
Following his playing career, Harkins immediately turned his attention to coaching,
and found plenty of success with the North Shore Winter Club as their Hockey
Director. With Harkins at the helm, the North Shore Winter Club won six Provincial
Pee Wee championships, a World Pee-Wee Championship (Quebec, 2003), three Bantam
Provincial championships and a Western Canadian Bantam Championship (2005). He then
led the Vancouver Northwest Giants to back-to-back Provincial Major Midget
championships in 2011 and 2012. After the 2011-2012 season, he was named the B.C.
Major Midget League Coach of the Year.
Pocock adds, “The process began January 2nd. We took the time needed to make sure
that we got the best person for the job. We had 17 candidates, talked to eight,
interviewed five and hired the best one – Todd Harkins. I have been very impressed
with his collaboration with other people in our staff and in the hockey community.
He is a guy that can build long-term relationships, and he has a proven record for
identifying talent, recruiting players, fostering a winning culture, and building a
team with an identity. I expect you will notice the change when we hit the ice in
While working with the North Shore Winterclub, Harkins played a key role in
developing 11 current NHL players, and countless notable NHL draft-picks and WHL
standouts. Some of the more notable NHL players include: Kyle Turris (Ottawa
Senators), Martin Jones (Los Angeles Kings) Evander Kane (Winnipeg Jets) and Stefan
Elliott (Colorado Avalanche). Harkins has also worked with notable (current and
past) WHL stars: Nic Petan (Portland Winterhawks/Winnipeg Jets prospect), Jordan
Weal (Regina Pats/Los Angeles Kings prospect), Dalton Thrower (Vancouver
Giants/Montreal Canadiens prospect) and Brendan Ranford (Kamloops Blazers/Dallas
“Mark Holick and I share a vision and a commitment to excellence. We plan to bring
this team to a new level of professionalism and will create a culture that inspires
our young players to be their best on and off the ice,” adds Harkins. “We will
provide the resources and tools necessary for our players to succeed at this level
and beyond and we will expect their hard work, commitment and dedication in return.
Our team will compete with size, speed and skill and we will model ourselves after
some of the most successful teams in the new NHL. We are determined to bring a
winning atmosphere to the CN Centre and ensure Cougars fans have a team to be proud
Harkins talents have also been utilized on the silver screen. He played legendary
Russian hockey player Valerie Kharlamov in the movie “Miracle” and also took part in
the first series of CBC’s “Making the Cut.” Behind the scenes, he was hired as the
Hockey Director for “Slapshot 3,” “The Tooth Fairy” and a 2014 Canadian Olympic
hockey commercial entitled “Thank You, Mom: Pick Them Back Up” for Procter and
“From the business side of the team, I couldn’t be happier to have Todd joining the
Prince George Cougars,” said Prince George Cougars Vice President, Business Andy
Beesley. “In my past work with the BC Major Midget League, I’ve seen first-hand how
Todd takes a group of young men and builds a classy community minded team. Under
Todd’s leadership, the Cougars will be positive role models, and great
representatives of Prince George.”
“I am pleased to welcome Todd, his wife Kirsten, and their sons Nicklas, Jansen, and
Jonas to Prince George. The City of Prince George just got a little bigger, and the
Prince George Cougars got a whole lot better,” comments Pocock.
On behalf of his family, Harkins said, “My family has been blessed by this great
game and the opportunities it has provided us. After over a decade as the hockey
director of the North Shore Winter Club, we felt as a family that is was time for me
to pursue a career in the WHL. Our three sons share a love for hockey and this
opportunity allows all of us to continue down this path together. We are looking
forward to a new chapter of our lives in Prince George.”
The Prince George Cougars could not be happier to welcome the entire Harkins family
to the New Ice Age.