Heelis appointed interim head hockey coach at McGill
MONTREAL -- Liam Heelis has been appointed interim head coach of the McGill University men's hockey team. He replaces Kelly Nobes, who passed away on Sept. 4, after coaching the team for the past nine years.
A 28-year-old native of Georgetown, Ont., and a McGill graduate, Heelis has served two seasons with the team as an assistant coach, initially in a part-time capacity in 2016-17 and last year as a full-time posting.
A dual citizen of both Canada and Ireland, Heelis has a master's degree in sports psychology from McGill after graduating from Acadia University -- where he starred for four seasons – and earned a science degree, majoring in psychology.
Heelis played one season at McGill in 2015-16 after transferring from Acadia and served as an alternate captain. He attended the NHL's Florida Panthers rookie camp in both 2014 and 2015.
He was named the Canadian university hockey player of the year in 2012-13, served two years as team captain of the Axemen. In 2014, Heelis was a national finalist for the BLG Award, which goes to the male athlete of the year, across all university sports in Canada.
More details about the structure of the McGill men's hockey coaching staff is expected to be announced in the coming week.
McGill opens their 144th campaign on Friday, Sept. 13, when they host Queen's at McConnell Arena. It will mark the first of five preseason games before beginning OUA regular season play on Oct. 3 against the visiting Ottawa Gee-Gees.