Each summer, Coach Kenny McCudden of the Columbus Blue Jackets makes his way to Aspen to spread his passion and knowledge of the game. Running a skills camp in August for AJH players has become an annual tradition. This past summer his time with the Leafs was combined with the annual Summer Challenge Cup, and it was a tremendous success. He is scheduled to return again this summer for 9th annual event (August 3-6). Its an honor to have such a respected veteran NHL coach working directly with Aspen players.
This Sunday (January 26), Coach McCudden adds another honor to an impressive career when he is formally inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame. According to the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame, this year’s inductees "have demonstrated, through their actions over the years, their personal commitment in making a difference in the lives of thousands of Illinois youth and the Illinois hockey community." Aspen Junior Hockey and the entire Aspen community congratulates Coach McCudden on this impressive accomplishment.
According to Executive Director Shaun Hathaway: "In my 25 years of working in the hockey world, Kenny McCudden is the most knowledgable coach that I've ever met. His dedication to youth athletes to professionals is simply impressive, and his commitment to making the game better for all is unprecedented. His character, passion, and humility is an example for all coaches to strive to achieve."
About Coach McCudden (taken from the Columbus Blue Jackets website https://www.nhl.com/bluejackets/team/coaches):
"Kenny McCudden joined the Columbus Blue Jackets coaching staff in June 2015 after spending 16 seasons as the skating and skills coach of the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves.
McCudden originally joined the Wolves in 1994, spent three seasons with the club from 1994-97 and then returned prior to the 2002-03 season. He was a part of teams that qualified for the former International Hockey League Turner Cup Playoffs three times and the American Hockey League Calder Cup Playoffs on eight occasions. He helped the Wolves advance to the 2005 Calder Cup Final and capture the Calder Cup championship in 2008.
McCudden has worked with numerous NHL players and instructed at prospect camps for the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues and Atlanta Thrashers, as well as the Ontario Hockey League's Sudbury Wolves and the Ontario Hockey Association. He was the skating and skills coach for the United States Women's National Team from 2011-14. His stint with Team USA included serving as a scout for the silver medal-winning squad at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The Chicago native was born on August 6, 1961. He has worked with thousands of youth and amateur players in the Chicago-area as operator and owner of Ice Company Hockey Schools since 1990. He began his career with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1979 as a 17-year-old stick boy and was the team's assistant equipment manager when he left the organization in 1985. McCudden and his wife, Cathy, reside in Columbus."