Program partners with Compassionate Connection, Hockey Think Tank

Monday, September 25, 2023

The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets are proud to announce a partnership with Compassionate Connection and the Hockey Think Tank. This partnership will come at no additional cost to program families through the newly established Holly Frank Excellence Fund, and will focus on providing education, resources and support to players, coaches and parents. 

"We are thrilled to welcome Chuck Thuss (Compassionate Connection) and Topher Scott (Hockey Think Tank) to our program," said president Ed Gingher. "Both Chuck and Topher are high character people with accomplished resumes and experiences in the hockey world. Their guidance and leadership will make a tremendous impact on our program as we strive to achieve our mission to develop our student-athletes to reach their full potential both on and off of the ice."

A certified professional coach and motivational speaker, Chuck provides a unique set of coaching skills that support every individual he works with in developing the necessary tools and life skills to help them create and achieve their dreams. He is dedicated to helping every person become the best version of themselves while empowering them to learn how to handle every day challenges and adversity. A native of Arkona, Ontario, Thuss was an all-American goaltender at Miami University and the recipient of the Terry Flanagan Award that honors a player for perseverance, dedication and and courage while overcoming severe adversity. He also played professionally for 7 seasons which included a Kelly Cup championship with the ECHL's Mississippi Sea Wolves in 1999.

A Division I captain and coach, Topher Scott created the Hockey Think Tank as a resource to educate and inspire players, parents and coaches as they navigate through their personal hockey journey. Topher combines his knowledge and experience with his passion for youth hockey to provide educational and inspirational services to the program. He will be working closely with our coaches to provide insight on hockey development and building team culture. He will provide parent education seminars for our parents on navigating the youth hockey pathway. And he will be in front of the players doing team building exercises that will strengthen their team camaraderie and individual hockey and life skills. Topher will bring great perspective and new ideas to strengthen not only our player development model, but our ability to teach our kids the life skills to succeed on and off the ice. A native of Buffalo Grove, IL, Scott captained both the USHL's Chicago Steel and Cornell University. After tallying 107 career points in college, Scott spent 2 seasons playing professionally. Following his playing career, Topher spent 7 seasons as a Division I coach at Miami, Cornell and Michigan and also served as a youth hockey director and coach.

As a non-profit 501-c3 organization, the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program prides itself on being the premier youth hockey program in Ohio. With an every day mission to develop our student-athletes to reach their full potential on and off of the ice, the program aims to provide a healthy and safe environment for the elite player to grow as a player, person and teammate through the great game of hockey.