The Reading Royals, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, named James Henry the team’s assistant coach Monday after former Royals assistant Nick Luukko became the Jacksonville Icemen’s head coach. Henry played for the Stockton and Adirondack Thunder over the course of seven seasons, his entire professional career.
“I am very excited to be joining the Reading Royals as assistant coach,” Henry said. “This is a big step in my coaching career, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity.”
The 30-year-old was the assistant coach of the Fayetteville Marksmen of the SPHL in the 2020-21 season but never got the chance to work in-game due to COVID-19. He was originally signed to be the FPHL’s Binghamton Black Bears’ head coach this coming year. His move up to the ECHL comes one year after retiring from playing.
“We have seen James’ leadership qualities firsthand over the past six years while also being one of the smartest two-way forwards in the ECHL over that span,” Royals head coach Kirk MacDonald said. “Those qualities came through in spades during the interview process, and we’re excited to have him join the Royals staff to begin his coaching career.”
Henry is the all-time leader in points for the Adirondack franchise with 69 goals and 161 assists in 303 games played. He scored 86 more points than second place in the all-time list, Pete MacArthur. He also played 110 games more than Conor Riley, who is second on the all-time games played list.
Across his ECHL career, he played 441 games and recorded 309 points. He scored 14 goals and 23 assists (37 points) in 51 games against the Royals. He also captained the Thunder through the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.
Perhaps more meaningful than points for the new assistant is his accolades. He was awarded in 2019 with the ECHL Community Service Award, was named to the ECHL All-Star Game in 2017, and captained the Vancouver Giants of the WHL in 2011-12. Internationally, the Winnipeg, Manitoba native represented the Western part of Canada in the 2008 World U-17 Hockey Challenge and won the bronze medal.
Coaching in the ECHL didn’t take too long for Henry, and he’s noted his appreciation for the opportunity.
“I look forward to working with all of the players and staff within the organization and interacting with the great fan base in Reading,” he said.