Mike Vellucci – General Manager and Head Coach
Vellucci, 52, has 20 years of coaching experience at the American Hockey League (AHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and North American Hockey League (NAHL) levels. He spent the past two seasons as the head coach of the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, compiling the league’s best regular-season record (51-17-7-1) in 2018-19 en route to capturing the Calder Cup. He also won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award (AHL Coach of the Year) for Charlotte’s historic season.
A native of Farmington, Michigan, Vellucci spent the previous five seasons (2014-19) as the Carolina Hurricanes assistant general manager and director of hockey operations. Since taking the helm in Charlotte at the start of the 2017-18 campaign, he has compiled a record of 97-43-8-4 in 152 games. He has been instrumental the development of prospects for the Carolina Hurricanes, as 11 different players were recalled from Charlotte in 2018-19 – a season in which the Hurricanes made the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
Prior to his time in the Hurricanes organization, Vellucci spent 14 seasons with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL as their general manager and head coach from 2001-14. He was named OHL Coach of the Year in both 2006-07 and ’12-13. He also led Plymouth to an OHL championship in 2007.
While in Plymouth, Vellucci coached a plethora of current NHL players including James Neal, Rickard Rakell, Tyler Seguin and Vincent Trocheck, all of which have been NHL All-Stars.
Vellucci got his start in coaching with the Compuware Ambassadors of the NAHL, where he served as the head coach from 1994-99.
Vellucci was originally drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the seventh round (131st overall) in the 1984 NHL Draft. He appeared in two games for Hartford during the 1987-88 campaign, and also played in 40 games with the Binghamton Whalers from 1987-89, recording 18 points (9G-9A).
Jarrod Skalde – Assistant Coach
Skalde enters his second season with the Penguins organization, but his first behind the bench as an assistant coach. He is already familiar with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s coaches and players after spending last season as player development coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Skalde also has previous
coaching experience in the AHL, serving as the Norfolk Admirals’ head coach for the 2014-15 campaign.
Skalde had a long playing career before becoming a coach. With 18 seasons as a pro across North America, Europe and Asia, he racked up 115 NHL games and 575 AHL games. In his NHL days, he was an original Mighty Duck, playing for Anaheim’s expansion team in 1993, in addition to skating for the New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Atlanta Thrashers and Philadelphia Flyers.
J.D. Forrest – Assistant Coach
Forrest enters his third season with the Penguins in which he will primarily work with the team’s defensemen and penalty kill. Preceding his time with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Forrest coached Red Bull Salzburg’s farm team in Austria in 2015-16. Under Forrest, Salzburg was 32-22 in the international Red Bull Hockey Series and 4-0 in its season-ending tournament. In 2014-15, he was an assistant coach for the U.S. National Development Program, winning a gold medal with the team at the IIHF U18 World Junior Championships.
Forrest, 37, played four years at Boston College and captured the NCAA National Championship in 2001. He also spent time in the AHL with Albany and Worcester and played professionally in Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany.
Jared Mycyk – Equipment Manager
Cameron Batty – Assistant Equipment Manager
Seamus McKelvey – Athletic Trainer
Mike Joyce – Strength Coach
Scott MacDonald – Video Coach