MEET THE BOYS
Founder / Host
Josh played Junior Hockey for a total of 5 years. During his career, he played for a total of 7 teams ranging from Junior B to Junior A. Starting out his career in his hometown of Philadelphia Pennsylvania for the Philadelphia Revolution and then his second year moving away from home to play for the Cranston Reds in the MJHL.
Years after he continued to play for:
Walpole Express - AJHL/MJHL
Laconia Leafs - AJHL/MJHL
Boston Jr Rangers - AJHL/MJHL
Philadelphia Jr Flyers - AJHL
Then completing his final 2 seasons of Junior Hockey in Rochester, Minnesota with the Rochester Ice Hawks in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League. During his last two years in Rochester, he made the decision to hang up the skates and continue his education at The University of Minnesota.
Josh started The Junior Hockey Podcast in 2017 and has been covering the Junior Hockey world since. He loves to not only share his knowledge of the game but also knows how valuable the memories are that players get when playing. So he hopes to share his own stories and anyone else's because that's what makes Junior Hockey the best time of your life.
Co-Owner / Webmaster
Opened Performance Training, LLC in May of 2006 specializing in hockey development and training both on and off the ice. Working with various organizations within the Youth, High School, Junior, Collegiate and Professional ranks. Began Coaching career during the 2009-10 season within the Minnesota Junior Hockey League (MnJHL) as an Assistant Coach for the Rochester Ice Hawks. Then moved on to be a Minnesota High School Hockey Head Coach for the Dodge County Wildcats from 2010 – 2016 (6 seasons). While staying involved at the Junior level, scouting for the Granite City Lumberjacks from 2011 – 2013. Coming back to Rochester as an Assistant for the next 2 seasons (2014-16) before becoming the Head Coach in Rochester for the 2017-18 season.
Eric is currently involved with the Steele County Blades. As well as focus on the Junior Hockey Podcast. Eric has a Bachelor’s degree from Winona State University and currently resides in South-East Minnesota with his family.
Looking for more information on TJHP? Check out our FAQ page to learn more.
Editor in Chief
Despite never playing a game of Junior hockey, TJHP is excited to bring Jeff Nygaard aboard as the coordinator of editorial content. Jeff will cover the Junior and college-bound hockey as a traditional “beat,” in addition to jumping on all breaking news stories during the course of the year.
Jeff has a vast amount of experience on the business and organizational side of the sport as a former owner-operator of two Junior organizations – the Washington Junior Nationals and Washington Junior Capitals. On the youth side he helped found and served as the initial executive director of the Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League and the Ashburn Xtreme (Ashburn, Va.), and was owner/operator of the Washington Little Capitals and the DC Capitals.
Back to Juniors, Jeff helped found and served as the initial Executive Director of the Eastern Hockey League (2012-16), had a stint as the Commissioner of the United States Premier Hockey League (2016-17) and is a former member of USA Hockey’s Junior Council.
On the ice Jeff played high school hockey for Fergus Falls (Minn.) High School and collegiately for Fergus Falls Community College (you have to go way back for the Minnesota Community College Hockey Conference) and North Dakota State University (pre-ACHA). After his playing days he officiated at the youth, Junior, collegiate and minor professional level for many years, including four USA Hockey national championship game assignments.
Jeff will use his experience and contacts to bolster TJHP’s enhanced coverage of the sport we all love.
Co-host / Blogger
Vinnie played Junior Hockey in Pittsburgh, PA for the Pittsburgh Junior Penguins and the Pittsburgh Vengeance. After spending time playing in Rochester, Vinnie decided to move to Rochester, MN to continue his career playing for the Rochester Ice Hawks where he played for 2 years ending his career at the age of 21. He served as an Alternate Captain and then ultimately as Captain during his final season.
Vinnie offers a wide range of knowledge on the game of hockey playing in the CHA, NA3HL, and MNJHL. He has prior experience coaching at the Junior level and now resides in Pittsburgh coaching youth hockey.
Vinnie completed his last two years in Rochester and had to retire due to concussions. While coaching is still a big part of his life, he will be co-hosting on episodes when he can and will be writing blogs for The Junior Hockey Podcast.
Rainer played three total seasons of junior hockey. He started his post high school career with the Rochester Ice Hawks in the MNJHL, along with the rest of the TJHP crew. He than got a short lived opportunity with his hometown Austin Bruins of the North American Hockey League. After his second year and his opportunity in the NAHL he moved out to Montana and played his final year with the Butte Cobras in the Western States Hockey League.
After his playing career he realized his love and passion for junior hockey and jumped right into the coaching side of the game. He started coaching with the Butte Cobras, and than with the Missouri State Ice Bears ACHA D1 program as a student coach. For the last two seasons Rainer has been in the Assistant Coach role for the Bozeman Ice Dogs in the NA3HL.
Nick "Pauly" Paulson
Nick played high school hockey at John Marshall High School in Rochester Minnesota. He played varsity for three years at JM and went on to play his junior hockey for the Rochester Ice Hawks in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League as well as the Na3hl. He played his first Ice Hawk games as a senior in high school then went on to play 3 more seasons in Rochester. After his final season in Rochester, Nick decided to pursue college golf instead of hockey. Nick currently attends Viterbo University in La Crosse Wisconsin and is a Junior on the golf team.
Nick joined the Junior Hockey Podcast in August 2019 to discuss all news, stories, and discussions in junior hockey, as well as try to help any player or parent interested in juniors. By joining the podcast, Nick hopes to share his insights, playing experience and stories to help players enjoy the best years of their life.
Although he never played hockey, Nate will be covering the USHL and providing insights into the top junior hockey league in the country. Nate has a marketing degree from SUNY Oswego and has been covering sports for the past several years. His love of sports and writing will be a large asset to our team and TJHP is looking forward to welcoming him aboard.
Nate will use his experience and contacts to bolster TJHP’s enhanced coverage of the USHL and continue to grow as a writer and hockey fan.
Dylan's junior hockey career began at 16 when he moved to Fort Myers, Florida to play for the Florida Eels. During his three years with the Eels, Dylan played for their junior B and junior A squads competing in the MJHL and EJHL.
Upon leaving the Eels, Dylan played one season for the Boston Junior Rangers of the MJHL/AJHL and then spent a year playing in Canada for the Blind River Beavers of the NOJHL.
After finishing his junior hockey career in Canada, Dylan accepted an offer to play for Framingham State University (NCAA D-III) in Massachusetts. Deciding to transfer after his freshman year, Dylan joined the squad at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) where he played for the Retrievers for two and a half years. Dylan is now a senior at Grand Valley State University in Michigan and goaltender for the Lakers ice hockey team.
A former goalie coach and scout for the player development organization Wolfe Hockey, Dylan also has extensive experience in developing, training and counseling young goaltenders looking to advance their level of play.
Loaded with stories and experiences from playing junior hockey all over the United States and Canada, Dylan looks to share his knowledge and memories from his playing days.