IRONBOUND STAFF

Sam Cheema - Hockey Director

London, UK

Hockey Director and Head Coach, 19U & 16U. Sam was born and raised in London UK and ended his playing career whilst representing Great Britain internationally at the World Games in Kazakhstan,  Sam started his coaching career while still playing with Guildford Flames Juniors and Imperial College, London.

In 2017, Sam moved to New York City and has progressed full time into coaching.  Sam's coaching resume extends to skills development for mites through college athletes (training NCAA, NCDC and Junior Hockey Players) - with a heavy focus on athletic development.  Outside of his team commitments, he works with athletes on a holistic view to training (recovery, nutrition, mobility, performance, and on-ice skill development). Sam also works with NY Blind Hockey Association and College Hockey Showcases (Sweden & Denmark) as the lead skills and skating educator.

Sam graduated from Kingston Business School, London, with a degree in communications planning and strategy.

Alexa Aramburu

Glen Rock, NJ

Assistant Coach, 19U & 16U. The Garden State girl from Glen Rock, NJ wanted to play professional hockey ever since she was a little girl. Her midget career led her to play forward at SUNY Oswego (2013-17).  Alexa went on to play forward in two leagues over the course of her career - the Canadian Women's Hockey League and the National Women's Hockey League. She was drafted 5th round 30th overall into the Toronto Furies (2017-18), moved back home to skate with the Metropolitan Riveters (2018-19), and has recently been skating with the PWHPA (2019-20). In 2020 Alexa signed with the NWHL CT Whale. Alexa is also the Head Coach of IHA High School in New Jersey.

Ironbound Hockey is thrilled to have Alexa on the bench for the 17U Major, 17 Minor and 14U teams.

Oktay Armagan

New Jersey

Assistant Coach, 19U & 16U. Oktay Armagan enters his second year with the Ironbound Elite organization. Oktay played ACHA hockey for Towson University and then Rider University where he captained the team to three ACHA Division II final appearances. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Applied Social Science from Rider. He began his career with the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues as the Video Editor of Amateur Scouting for four years. Armagan then became an assistant coach for the 2005 ECHL’s Trenton Titans who won the Kelly Cup Championship. He also was a member of the 2014 ECHL’s Reading Royals Eastern Conference Champions coaching staff. Oktay is on staff for the NAHL Central Scouting, USA Hockey. He is also the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the New Jersey Raiders which trains players. Armagan has over 22 years as a youth hockey coach and skills instructor and is a professional on-ice skills instructor who has successfully trained and developed over 35 NCAA/ACHA players in the last three years.

John Puskar 

Whippany, NJ

Head Coach, 17U. John Puskar will be back for his second season at Ironbound for 2020-2021. John was born and raised in New Jersey and has 25+ years of coaching experience. A two-time NJ high school boys ice hockey coach of the year, Coach Puskar has coached teams at all levels in youth hockey and has won several titles and championships.

Damon Smith 

Hingham, MA

Damon, who is entering his eighth season coaching, has a passion for creating an environment of learning & development while cultivating good sportsmanship, a competitive spirit, and a love of ice hockey in each player.  Damon has been a major contributor to his teams' success and has contributed to the growth and development of youth hockey in our surrounding area by leading Try Hockey for Free events and assuming a leadership role in his previous organization.  

Damon played youth hockey in Massachusetts and high school hockey at Braintree, Massachusetts before playing NCAA Division III Lacrosse at Franklin & Marshall. Damon has a focus on each individual within the context of a team, and he is committed to ensuring that each player has strong fundamental skills while keeping an eye on the bigger picture.

Zac Gross

New Jersey

Head Coach, 14U 2006. Ironbound is proud to announce the addition of Zac Gross to the Ironbound team. Gross brings a wealth of experience with him. He began his coaching career 10 years ago in the New Jersey Stars organization as the head coach of the Midget AA team and the NJ Kings Junior Tier 1 independent team. For the past seven years, he has coached his daughter Gabriela from Mite to Bantam with the Jersey City Capitals. In addition to his coaching career, Gross played professional-level hockey in France and NCAA Division 1 at Quinnipiac University. Gross also played Juniors in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Rochester Mustangs, Major Juniors with the Wexford Raiders in Toronto and was a member of the United States 17U National Development Team.

Dave Barbossa

New Jersey

Head Coach, 14U 2007. Dave Barbosa is a returning coach for the girls' 12U Peewee A team. Dave played varsity high school hockey at Hudson Catholic in Jersey City and was in the 10 all-time scoring leaders in the state. He then went on to play Midget tier 1 with the Essex County Chiefs and from there onto Juniors Hockey with the NJ Golden Blades. In 1988 Dave was invited to try out for the Weyburn Red Wings for tier 2 Junior hockey in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Dave played at Seton Hall University where he also played varsity baseball. In 1991 Dave began playing with the Newark Sabres off the M.A.S.H. League until 1999 when the league folded. Dave graduated from Montclair University and from 1992 to present he has been a firefighter in Jersey City. Dave has been coaching youth hockey for the past 7 years.

James Whitmer

New Jersey

Assistant Coach, 14U 2007. James is a native Canadian with a passion for the game and owns the Cutting Edge Ice Facility. James has a deep passion for the game of hockey and the growth of player development. James has worked with leading skill coaches through his facility and provides opportunities for players to develop their game through innovative ways.

Vladislav Kouroedov - Skills Director

Tomsk, Russia

“Vladi” Kouroedov started playing ice hockey at age 5 in Tomsk, Russia; his experience on the ice lead him to play for the Russian Junior League and later the Soviet Elite League for Spartak Moscow. His North American professional career included Applecore (EJHL), Daytona Breakers (CHL), Knoxville Speed (UHL) and Jacksonville Lizard Kings (ECHL).  He also played briefly for the NY Aviators (FHL).

Kouroedov has 16 years of coaching experience in youth hockey.  He is the hockey director for the VSK Wings Elite AAA/AA Spring Hockey program.  He continues an association with Vladimir Bure (VP of CSKA Moscow and former NHL player) and Mark Lapush with the NHL PA.  A professional power skating and skills coach, his list of former players include NHL’ers Evgeny Kiznetsov, Kevin Labanc, Sergei Tolchinsky, Jason Carrison, Sergei Tochinsky, Jason Carrison, Sergei Kalinin; NHL Drafts Oleg Yevenko, JJ Piccinich, Nick Ebert, Nikolai Belov, Evan Barratt; and prospects Tyler Coffey, Julian Kislin and Arthur Kaliyev.

Frankie Loftus - Skills Director

New Jersey

Frankie is a specialist skills coach with over 10 years of experience working with Olympians, USHL, Prep School, NCAA D1 and professional hockey players. He specializes in overspeed training and creativity.

Innovative Goaltending Systems

Ironbound has hired IGS certified coach Neil Scanella to work with their goalies. Neil played D1 Club at the University of New Hampshire where they went to Nationals. Nick will be on the ice weekly with Ironbound teams.