Christopher G. John
Chris John possesses more than 20 years of experience working in sports, primarily relating to youth to collegiate-level development. He serves as Director, Business Development for Oates Sports Group Hockey – Adam Oates Group. In this capacity, he identifies talent for the group to train and develop with the intention of placing the athlete with a collegiate, junior or pro team. Oates Sports Group works with current NHL players, including some of the league’s best, and identifies budding talent with the potential to make an AHL or NHL roster. In addition to recruitment and development, Chris also manages all sponsorship and strategic partnerships for Oates Sports Group.
Adam R. Oates
Adam Oates joins the NextGen AAA Hockey Program as our Hockey Director and will be responsible for developing our participants On-Ice skills and Off-Ice character. Becoming a Division One player goes beyond being a talented hockey player, you must possess the integrity, grit, hockey IQ, team leader mentality and academic skills necessary to be a NextGen AAA player (All Around All-Star). Who better to lead our participants down the path of becoming a collegiate student athlete then one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time.
Adam is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player, former co-head coach for the National Hockey League (NHL) teams NJ Devils and former head coach for the Washington Capitals. He played 19 seasons in the (NHL) for the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Edmonton Oilers. Known as an elite playmaker, his career total of 1079 assists was the fifth highest total in NHL history at the time of his 2004 retirement. After retiring as a player, he served as an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils prior to joining the Capitals as their Head Coach for two seasons between 2012 and 2014. On January 27, 2017, in a ceremony during the All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, Oates was part of the second group of players to be named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history.
As a D1 college player, Oates was a standout forward for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He set single-season school records for assists and points and was named an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) all-star and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) All-American in both 1984 and 1985. He was named a tournament all-star in helping RPI win the NCAA 1985 National Championship, and in 1990-1991, the NHL included him in its Second All-Star Team; he played in five NHL All Star Games. He holds the record for most points all-time of any NHL player who also played NCAA Hockey. Oates was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 12, 2012.
Jeff has joined the NextGen AAA Hockey Program to assist in skills development, recruitment of participants and to serve as an advisor to both parents and program participants to ensure adherence with NCAA D1 and D3 requirements. Jeff Devenney began his coaching career in 2008 as Head coach of the Brewster Bulldogs of the Junior B-Empire league that spanned seven seasons. During his tenure he went on to serve as Head of Player Development and Skills for the Brewster Ice Arena and its affiliated programs and Associate Head Coach Of the NY Applecore Jr A League. In 2010, Jeff began coaching the Pee Wee Rangers, the select team that represents the NY Rangers in the Quebec International PeeWee Tournament. In a memorable six seasons, the team won the championship for the first time and have had five other top 10 finishes including two trips to the semi-finals! Beginning in 2015, Jeff transitioned to the Mid-Fairfield Rangers where he currently serves as Head of Player Development and Skills for its nationally ranked U8-U15 travel programs. In two seasons as U14 head coach, Jeff has helped both teams qualify for the Nationals. Throughout his coaching and mentoring career, Jeff has facilitated the development of many NCAA D1 and D3, NTDP, Junior Hockey and NHL prospects including leading the pre-season workouts for the New York Rangers.
Academic Program Director
Loretta Morante-Rhodes is currently head of Middle School Jump Start at York Prep in New York City. She began her teaching career in Rome, Italy where she taught English as a Second Language. Subsequently, she earned her B.S. in Special Education/Humanities, as well as her M.S., and holds a Professional Academic Teaching License from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ms. Morante-Rhodes is also a certified Wilson Reading Specialist. She is committed to life-long learning and on-going professional development. This is her second year as part of the York Prep community. Prior to York Prep Mrs. Morante-Rhodes lectured at Kirklees College in West Yorkshire, in the Dyslexia and Sensory Support Learning Workshop. There she worked with students aged fourteen and up. While in the UK, she earned an additional qualification and membership with the British Psychological Society. Ms. Morante-Rhodes loves to spend time in Italy whenever possible. She also loves opera. Ms. Morante-Rhodes earned both her B.S. and M.S from Lesley University.
Benjamin Cummings Jackson
Benjamin Cummings-Jackson is a 23-year-old who has been diagnosed with Spastic Cerebral Palsy. A former wrestler at Pocono Mountain West High School, Ben was honored to have an award named for him called the “Ben Jackson Courage Award” in 2011. In 2014, Ben was the face of Gatorade’s #WinFromWithin series. The campaign has been seen around the world with more than one million views on YouTube. It captures a day in the life of Ben’s training, where he perseveres despite the physical impediments that may prevent him from succeeding. #WinFromWithin has gone on to earn three CLIO Sports Awards, which include two gold and one sliver trophies.
Ben is currently a Motivational Speaker and has spoken at the 2015 Beyond Sport International Summit hosted by sports’ top leaders, from Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the National Basketball Association, Gary Bettman, the Commissioner of the National Hockey League to Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of the National Baseball League and Scott O’Neil, CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center. Ben has also spoken to the Baltimore Ravens, NY Giants, Rutgers University and the Brooklyn Nets, to name a few. Ben is a firm believer that from adversity one gains strength and that every challenge is an opportunity to showcase resilience.