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Meet the Coaches for the 2023-24 Season!

Squirt Minor (2014) & Squirt Major (2013)

Marco Escalona joined Devils Youth for the 2022- 2023 season. Prior to that he spent 17 years coaching Tier1 AAA hockey where he made playoffs with various age groups and programs. Simultaneously, he was a head goaltending instructor for various companies, assisting in goalie development and seeing his students reach various levels of hockey. Currently he is a co-owner of Mayhem Hockey. Mayhem hockey has had a lot of success in its young history, winning summer tournaments while continuing to build out its program. Additionally, Marco is part of the Atlantic District player development staff. 

Marco is a fair and demanding coach. He believes in players who are open to learning and willing to push themselves will grow on and off the ice.

Peewee Minor (2012)

Matt Gillen comes to Devils Youth from the New Jersey Rockets where he was the Head Coach of their 2012 Academy Team.  Matt is an experienced power skating coach who has worked at both the youth and high school levels, and he serves as an Eastern Scout for the Lone Star Brahmas of the NAHL.  Matt grew up playing youth hockey in New Jersey and played high school hockey Bayonne High School hockey team.  He played Junior A hockey with the Hartford Jr Wolfpack and the New York Bobcats before attending William Paterson University, where he helped capture three consecutive Super East Championships and competed at the ACHA National Championships.  After college, Matt received an invitation to training camp for the Elmira Jackals and played with the Cape Cod Bluefins.

Matt’s attributes his success as a coach to his focus on development, hard work, and creating a culture of growth on and off the ice.  He believes players who trust the process will eventually find success, and that hard work is its own reward.  Matt values team cohesion and comradery and knows that teams perform better when everyone believes in and supports each other.

Peewee Major (2011)

D.J. Book has over 35 years of playing, officiating and coaching experience.  He grew up playing youth hockey in Pittsburgh and later in South Jersey, serving as Captain and Assistant Captain on multiple teams.  D.J. served as an Assistant Captain on the Shawnee High School Varsity hockey team that won the South Jersey High School Ice Hockey League Championship in 1997. He went on to play hockey for Berkshire School in Sheffield, MA for two seasons before attending Union College and later graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a College Hockey East All-Star.  D.J. worked for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins as well as ESPN Radio and later assisted coach Jay Varady, former Union College Varsity Captain and current Assistant Coach of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, with the Pittsburgh Hornets Youth Hockey Program.  

D.J.’s coaching philosophy centers around positivity, focus, teamwork, commitment, intensity and discipline.  His practices focus on skill work, power skating, battling, aggressiveness and moving the puck.  D.J. strongly believes in challenging his players with both short and long-term goals in an effort to assist them in reaching their utmost potential, both as a person and an athlete/hockey player.


During his eight seasons with the Devils Youth Hockey Club, Chris Dunn has worked with teams at every level from Mite Development through Midget AAA.  Prior to joining the Devils Youth organization, Chris served as a board member of the Chatham Youth Hockey program.  As the son of a teacher/coach at the Kent School, Chris spent his childhood immersed in the world of youth sports. He was a member of the varsity Football, Hockey, and Baseball teams at Kent from 1994-1998, before going on to play 4 years of college hockey at Skidmore College where he served as team Captain for 3 of those years as both a forward and as a defenseman, earning All-League Honors his Junior/Senior years. 

Coach Dunn’s coaching style is one that emphasizes the importance of hard work, accountability, strong team play in all 3 zones of the rink, and a love for the game of hockey.

Girls 10U (2013 & 2014)

John DiNorcia has been the Program Director of the New Jersey Devils Youth Hockey Club since 1998.  One of the most well-respected professionals in the sport, John has earned numerous awards and appointments.  He currently serves as the Director of Player Development for the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association, and he has expanded the program to serve over a thousand Atlantic District players at six age levels each year. Prior to taking on a leadership role in the Player Development Program, John served as the Atlantic District Coach-in-Chief, which is a USA Hockey-appointed position.  He was the first to receive the AAHA Coach of the Year Award and was a National Finalist for the Positive Coaching Alliance’s Double-Goal Coach Award.  A former high school English teacher, John has an M.Ed. from Kean University.

John helped to put New Jersey hockey on the map, earning gold, silver, and bronze medals at the USA Hockey National Championships and winning the Silver Sticks International Tournament and the Quebc Peewee International Tournament.  Before USA Hockey went to a mixed-team format for their National Development Camps, he was on the staff of the only Atlantic District team to win gold at the USA Hockey Junior Olympic Festival.  

As a coach, John understands that successful teams are more than the sum of their parts.  He emphasizes teamwork, accountability, and discipline and teaches his athletes to leverage their strengths while working to improve all areas of their game.  John understands that hockey is not a sprint, but a marathon and he is unwilling to cut corners and sacrifice long-term development in pursuit of short-term gains.  He relates to his players as people first and hockey players second and differentiates his approach both on and off the ice.  John takes great pride in the number of former players who have gone on to have careers in hockey as players, scouts, broadcasters, and especially as youth hockey coaches.

Girls 12U (2011 & 2012)

Adam Diglio is the longest tenured coach at NJ Devils Youth, starting with the club in 1988. Adam has had many roles within the organization, including: Coach, Level Coordinator, Defensive Coordinator, Tryout Director and Associate Coaching Director.  Prior to coaching, Adam played D1 college hockey at Canisius College in Buffalo NY and served as Team Captain.  He also played First Division Pro in Italy and Minor Pro in Cincinnati for the Cyclones of the ECHL.  Adam has a BS in Business Management, a MS in Organizational Development with his thesis focusing on youth sports organizations.  He also has two advanced certificates from Cornell University in Executive Leadership.  

As a coach, Adam won many medals at many youth championships over the years. He has led teams to the USA Hockey National Championships five different times. Countless number of Adam’s former players can be found at the highest levels of hockey, including The US National Team, Canadian Major Junior, Division One College, Minor Pro and the NHL.

Adam’s coaching style is described as one of positive reinforcement with personal responsibility.   He is noted for practices that mix skill, team concepts and fun. 

Peewee AA 

Tom VanDoren grew up playing youth hockey in New Jersey with several organizations including the original New Jersey Rockets (who later became Devils Youth).  Coach Tom also played two years of Junior hockey with the New Jersey Golden Blades.  He has been with Devils Youth for over twenty years where he has coached teams at every level, Mite through Midget, B through AAA.  Most recently, Tom coached our Midget 18 AA team which qualified for NJYHL playoffs six out of seven seasons.

As a coach, Tom has countless wins under his belt and has worked with players who have gone on to play at prep schools, colleges, and the NHL.  His experience gives him the ability to cultivate a team-first mentality while attending to the individual growth of each of his players.  Tom is extremely engaged with his athletes and is very skilled at adjusting his approach based on the age and level of play of each team.  Tom is dedicated to bringing out the best in each of his players on and off the ice.

Coach Tom attended Madison High School where he played four years of varsity hockey and served as Captain his Junior and Senior years.  While at Madison High School he was named to the Morris County League first team and third team all-state and was the first and only unanimous winner of the Otto F. Hass Sportsmanship Award.  After high school Coach Tom was named a league all-star while playing at County College of Morris.  This nationally-ranked team played in two league championships (winning one of them) as well as playing in the junior college regional tournament.  While at County College of Morris Coach Tom started coaching at his alma mater, Madison High School where he served as an assistant coach for two years and head coach for seven years. Tom was instrumental in the reorganization and revival of the Harding-Madison Youth Hockey program as a feeder program for Madison High School.  

The New Jersey Devils Youth Hockey Club is committed to creating an atmosphere fosters player self-confidence, develops high self-esteem, and builds strong character. We provide the most qualified professional staff available and follow a curriculum that is built upon the most up-to-date coaching methods and research in the field of child development. We offer a complete range of ice hockey programs from the beginners level to the highly competitive AAA USA Hockey-sanctioned level to programs for players with disabilities. All of our programs, regardless of level, are structured to provide players with the latitude for personal growth that enables each participant to reach his or her maximum potential as an individual and help to prepare him or her to succeed in life's competitive environment. The cornerstone and driving principle of this organization is our Commitment to Youth.

Junior Devils Inc. d/b/a the New Jersey Devils Youth Hockey Club is not affiliated with the New Jersey Devils.  The New Jersey Devils name and logo are trademarks of the New Jersey Devils.  (c)NHL 2015.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.

Learn to Play Starts Monday April 24th

The focus of the Learn to Play Program is to teach beginner hockey players the fundamentals of skating. The program is designed for children ages 4-9, although it may be appropriate for other ages. No prior skating or hockey experience is necessary. As participants’ skating skill progresses, appropriate drills will introduce the players to fundamental hockey skills.


Tuesdays starting April 25th We look forward to introducing your child to our favorite sport, and can't wait to see you at the rink.

D1 Development 2023 Tuneup Clinics

The D1 Development Group is offering pre-tryout tuneup sessions for boys and girls of all ages, positions, and skill levels. Level-specific skills clinics will focus on individual skill development and will include drills designed to enhance players’ skating, shooting, passing, and stick handling. Checking clinics will offer 2010 birth year players instruction on safely giving and receiving checks, helping to ease the transition to Bantam. Goalie clinics will cover various aspects of goaltending such as foundation skating, puck handling, positioning, recovery, net coverage, and fundamental saves. One hour skills clinics and checking clinics are $40 per session, goalie specific clinics are $20 per session and there is no charge for mites.

Discount NJ Devils (NHL) Tickets

As a member of the Devils Youth Hockey Club, please enjoy a special discounted offer on Devils home games!



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    Contact Devils Youth

    Contact Devils Youth

    Phone: (973) 731-7177


    Physical Address

    Richard J. Codey Arena at South Mountain
    560 Northfield Avenue
    West Orange, NJ 07052

    Mailing Address:
    PO Box 159
    Long Valley, NJ 07853