BUFFALO, N.Y. (April 7, 2017) — Today, Buffalo Jr. Sabres announce Nick Tuzzolino as Head Coach of the 20U Junior A team.
“This is an exciting day for our program,” said Charlie Mendola, 20U Junior A. team General Manager. “Nick’s comprehensive vision and developmental mindset will provide the players of our program the tools to be successful on and off the ice. I am confident that our program will grow to new heights with Nick leading the way.”
Tuzzolino becomes a member of an accomplished list of coaches that have led the 20U Junior A. team.  Past coaches included Larry Playfair, Kris Hicks, Ric Seiling, Grant Ledyard, Michael Peca, and John Tucker to name a few.
Tuzzolino, a Western New York native, has extensive hockey experience. Originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2005 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders, Tuzzolino, a defenseman, played in over 500 professional games between the AHL and the ECHL during a career spanning 10 years. Growing up in East Amherst, NY Tuzzolino played his junior hockey with the Buffalo Lightning (now Buffalo Jr. Sabres), the Lincoln Stars of the USHL and in the OHL, splitting time between the Sarnia Sting and the Sudbury Wolves. He spent the last season as a Development Coach with the Academy of Hockey and as Assistant Coach of the 20U Junior A team.  Tuzzolino will continue his with his Development Coach role with the Academy of Hockey in addition to being the 20U Junior A coach.
“I am truly thankful and honored to have this opportunity to be the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 20U Junior A. Coach, the team that began my hockey career,” remarked Tuzzolino.  “Working in many professional organizations throughout my career has provided me information and insight that I will put forth in developing a program laser focused on building successful players and people.”
To further support the growth and development of the program, the 20U Junior A. team is adding a new component to the staff. With that said, the organization has appointed Tristan Musser as the Director of Scouting. “Talent identification and skill assessment are key to strengthening our player development model” Mendola said. “Tristan’s attention to detail, and structured process provides our program ability to attract, retain and develop players looking to grow within the game.”
Musser, a native of Lansing, Michigan, is a graduate of Adrian College.  He currently is a Development Coach with the Academy of Hockey and is also a regional scout for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. Before joining the Academy, Musser spent two years with Canisius College working as a Graduate Manager for the Griffs’ Ice Hockey team while obtaining his Master’s in Sport Administration. His responsibilities with the Griffs’ included managing all aspects of team video, assisting on-ice during practices, and managing the team’s operations staff.
Congratulations to both Nick and Tristan on their new roles.