Following this process will expedite your business with the Kenai River Brown Bears immensely, Thank you!
Chris Hedlund, General Manager
Hedlund started with the organization as a Regional Scout during the 2016-17 season where he focused on the Minnesota and Midwest region. He was promoted to Director of Hockey Operations beginning in the 2017–18 season and has continued in that role. He was elevated to Associate General Manager in December of 2018 and General Manager in November of 2019.
Hedlund grew up in Anoka, MN playing hockey with the Anoka Area Hockey Association and before playing for the Anoka High School Tornadoes. After graduation, Hedlund attended University of Wisconsin Stout (WIAC) and played two seasons with the Blue Devils. While at Stout, Hedlund found his passion for being behind the bench and began coaching Bantams when he was not studying. This led to his new direction of teaching the game of hockey to youth players. Ultimately, coaching led to scouting and he began to help young hockey prospects find their path to their college dreams. He stepped into the North American Tier III Hockey League (NA3HL) working for the Minnesota based Granite City Lumberjacks. There, Hedlund not only helped build up the Lumberjacks team but also help many young prospects focus on their futures in the game. Hedlund is in his fourth year of scouting for Granite City. When he is not at the rink coaching or scouting, he lends his business expertise to the Brown Bears and we are lucky to have him on our staff. This will be Hedlund’s third season with the Brown Bears. He resides in his hometown of Anoka, MN with his wife Teresa and two of their three children with the oldest attending college at Bemidji State.
Kevin Murdock, Head Coach
Originally from Bradenton, Florida, Murdock attended and played hockey for four years at Shattuck St. Mary’s. He went on from there to play for the Lincoln Stars in the USHL. In his second season, he was named a 2nd team USHL All-Star and led the league in save percentage (save %) and goals-against average (GAA), as well as participating in the league’s All-star game. Kevin went on to play for NCAA Division 1 Lake Superior State University, where at the time of graduation, he was tied for second all-time single-season save % and third all-time career save %. In 2014-2015 he played professionally in the SPHL for the Fayetteville Fireantz with a couple of short stints in the ECHL with the Tulsa Oilers and Fort Wayne Komets. He was named to the SPHL All-Rookie team.
After retiring from playing Kevin spent one season serving as both the Goalie Coach for the entire boys and girls hockey program as well as an Assistant Coach with the Boys Prep team at Gilmour Academy. His responsibilities included recruiting, video breakdown, player skill development and being a proctor in the school’s residence life program.
The past three seasons Kevin has been a part of the North Iowa Bulls franchise of the NA3HL where he was involved in every aspect of day to day hockey operations serving as both Assistant Coach and Associate Head Coach. During his time with the Bulls, he helped lead the team to a record of 119-31-7-3, which included two regular-season division championships, two playoff division championships and two trips to the Frasier Cup Championship. In addition, he has helped promote more than 40 players onto the NAHL and College including 5 who are currently playing NCAA D1.
Kevin graduated from Lake Superior State with a Bachelor of Science in Parks and Recreation and also an Associate degree in Natural Resource Technology.
Matt Thompson, Assistant Coach
Born and raised in Anchorage, AK, Matt played hockey for the Anchorage North Stars before leaving home to finish his youth hockey playing in Detroit Michigan for Belle Tire 18AAA. At the age of 18 he would begin his Junior A hockey career playing in the CJHL for the Carleton Place Canadians before returning home to Alaska to join the Kenai River Brown Bears for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 hockey seasons. As a member of the Brown Bears, Matt recorded 30 goals, 36 assists, for 66 points in 109 games.
After Junior Hockey, Matt played NCAA Div. III collegiate hockey for the SUNY Potsdam State Bears out of Potsdam, NY. Over 4 years as a college athlete, Matt recorded 22 goals, 20 assists, for 42 points in 95 games. He graduated from Potsdam in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies.
After college, Matt began coaching as an assistant coach at South Anchorage High School from 2016-2019 where he helped the Wolverines to a 71-6-3 record and an Alaska State High School State Championship in 2019. Matt was an Assistant Coach with the 2017-18 North Stars Bantam Tier 1 team, helping coach them to an Alaska State Championship and Pacific District finalist. In 2018-19, as a first year Head Coach, Matt led the 2018-19 16U Tier II North Stars to a National Championship. Following his National Championship season, Matt was hired to be the 18U Tier 1 Team Alaska team head coach for the 2019-20 season, helping them make their way to the District Championship finals.
Josh Dubinsky, Assistant Coach
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Josh grew up in Chicago, Illinois and played his AAA hockey in the Chicago/Milwaukee area. After stopping playing, he immediately started coaching spring and summer teams for organizations like Midwest Hockey Development, Selects Hockey and DHI Hockey. In addition, he served as an on-ice instructor for Glacier Hockey and Impact Elite Training.
In the fall of 2016, Josh moved to St. Catharines, Ontario to earn his degree and continue his coaching career. While obtaining his Bachelor of Sport Management from Brock University, he spent the past four years as an Assistant Coach with the Boys Prep team at Ridley College. His responsibilities included video breakdown, analytic tracking and hockey operations. During his time at Ridley, he helped lead the team to three Midwest Prep Hockey League Championships, and moved dozens of players on to the OHL and the NCAA.
Anders Franke, Goaltending Coach
Anders is a 2012 graduate of Elk River High School where he played 4 years of varsity hockey for the Elks. As a freshman, Franke was named to the USA Warren Strelow National Goalie Development Camp for his birth year. He was a four-time All-Conference winner and All-Metro goalie of the year his senior season while playing for Elk River. Franke also holds the record for most career starts and all-time wins for Elk River High School. After his 4 years of high school hockey, Anders decided to take on the junior hockey route.
Anders played 2 years of junior hockey in Flint, Michigan following his High School career. During his two seasons with the Flint Jr. Generals of the NA3HL, Franke received honors for Goalie of the Year and 1st Team All-NA3HL in his 2013-2014 campaign with the Generals. That same year, Anders brought the Generals to a Tier 3 National Championship played in Hartford, Connecticut. After 2 seasons in Flint, Franke committed to play college hockey at Saint John’s University (NCAA – D3).
Anders is a graduate of Saint John’s University where he gained a degree in Global Business. Following his years at St. John’s University, Anders has also joined on board as the goalie coach for the Saint Cloud State Women’s Program (NCAA – D1), Saint John’s University Men’s Hockey Program (NCAA -D3), and the Granite City Lumberjacks (NA3HL). He also works as the Northwest Goalie Director for MEGA Goaltending based in Blaine, MN.