The University of Maine men's hockey assistant coach stands behind his team's bench during a recent UMaine hockey game. Credit: Courtesy of UMaine Athletics

University of Maine men’s assistant hockey coach Alfie Michaud is spending this week at the Arizona Coyotes’ Development Camp in Scottsdale, Arizona, as part of the National Hockey League team’s coaching internship program for diverse hockey coaches.

The former UMaine and NHL goalie, who led the Black Bears to their second NCAA championship in 1999, is a Native North American and he is one of two coaches in the program, along with Sydney, Australia, native Sera Dogramaci.

Like Michaud, Dogramaci was also a goaltender and she currently serves as Ice Hockey Australia’s Goaltender Development Manager. She is a coach and a mentor for goaltenders and coaches from the foundation level through the national teams.

Michaud and Dogramaci are shadowing Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny and his staff and are also taking part in coaching and player meetings and assisting with on-ice drills to help them grow as coaches.

They will serve as assistant coaches for the Coyotes’ Black and White scrimmage on Friday.

“This program will provide Sera and Alfie with an incredible opportunity to gain invaluable coaching experience and apply what they learn at our camp with their clubs this season,” said Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. “The Arizona Coyotes are committed to advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in our game and we will continue to do our part in the community and within the game of hockey to effect positive change.”

Two of the camp attendees are UMaine defensemen Brandon Holt and Artyom Duda. Holt will be a sophomore at UMaine and Duda will be a freshman.

Development camps are for draft picks of the respective teams as well as free agents, and the focus is on player development both off and on the ice. That includes lifestyle, health and nutrition.

Duda was a second round draft pick of the Coyotes (36th overall) in 2022 and Holt is a free agent.

“It was a great honor to be selected,” said Michaud, who has been a part of the NHL’s Black and Indigenous People of Color Program for several years.

“The experience has been above and beyond my expectations by a long shot. To be able to interact with the players, coaches and their supporting staff as if I’ve been coaching here for a while has been absolutely amazing. They have brought me in and treated me like part of the staff,” added the Selkirk, Manitoba native.

“I’ve been able to coach on the ice and talk to management and ask questions on how they build the programs and how they draft. I’ve also been able to talk to the coaches about all hockey situations and how they work with their players.”

The 46-year-old Michaud, who has been an assistant/goalie coach at UMaine for seven years, said Coyotes General Manager Bill Armstrong and Tourigny have been very welcoming and willing to share information to help Michaud grow and develop as a coach.

“I hope I can find new ways to help our players at Maine. I also hope I can inspire First Nation players and coaches to realize that with hard work and dedication, they can achieve their hockey dreams,” Michaud added.

He had a lot of First Nation players he looked up to growing up and “I’m just trying to learn and give back, no different than the coaches and players before me.”

Duda and Holt are two of nine current or incoming UMaine players who are attending development camps.

The others are goalies Victor Ostman (Seattle) and Connor Androlewicz (St. Louis), defenseman David Breazeale (Los Angeles), and forwards Bradly and Josh Nadeau (Carolina), Ben Poisson (Columbus) and Lynden Breen (Vancouver).