We are extremely excited to introduce Matt Gurklis as your D155 Predators Hockey Director and Head Varsity Coach for the 2023-2024 season.

Matt brings with him a wealth of hockey knowledge from his prior experiences, a player-first mentality, a passion for creating a strong Club identity, and an enthusiasm to grow and develop our players, coaches, and the Club as a whole.

We are confident that Matt will leverage his passion and experience to strengthen our program and to achieve our vision of making the D155 Predators Hockey Club an elite organization for many years to come.

Matt is hitting the ground running. He will be working closely with the Board on opportunities to enhance the D155 Predators Hockey experience both on and off the ice.

You can read more about Matt in his introductory letter to the Predators below.

Please join us in welcoming Matt to the D155 Predators Hockey Club!

A Letter from Matt to the Club:

Hello D155 Predators Hockey Families, My name is Matthew Gurklis and I am proud to announce my recent acceptance of the role of Hockey Director and Head Varsity Coach for the D155 Predators Hockey club. I am excited to join this enthusiastic Board of Directors and Coaching Staff in working to continue the growth and development of the club as an elite organization. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know all the athletes and Predator Families!

A little bit about myself outside of hockey, I have a wonderful wife (Katie), a two year old son (Bryson), and dog (Beau). We live close by in Algonquin and love to be outdoors, travel whenever possible, and spend time with our family and friends. Professionally, I work as a Special Education Teacher, teaching mathematics, in District 300 at Dundee-Crown High School. This upcoming school year will be my fifth year in District 300.

I played my youth hockey for the Park Ridge Express at the AA and CSDHL levels. My high school hockey career was spent with Maine Township. My experiences in hockey have been a driving force to the successes that I have had in my life and as a coach I strive to provide those same opportunities and more for developing players. I come to D155 from the LZMW Yeti Hockey program where I most recently was the Head JV1 coach and Assistant Coach on the Varsity and JV2 teams. Over the past several seasons I have worked closely with the Yeti Board of Directors to help rebrand and rebuild the organization. We worked hard to create a positive name for the program and to provide the best development for the players both on and off the ice. Our efforts and shift in the culture there have created a competitive program that had gone from the bottom of the standings in the years prior to competing with the top teams in a short time.

I am looking to bring my experience with this to the club not only to help solidify the D155 Predators as an elite hockey program, but also to continue to grow and develop the athletes to be ready for what is ahead of them after they leave the program. One of the most important things to me is that they can look back at their time with the D155 Hockey program as a positive experience that helped to prepare them with the skills needed to be successful in both hockey and life. We will be establishing a winning culture that focuses on teamwork and developing the whole athlete. From a coaching standpoint we will be focusing heavily on team-based systems play at all levels. Team programs will also be tailored and adjusted throughout the season to meet the individual needs at each level.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the rink!

Coach Matt Gurklis