Dakota Keene

Owner & Director, Hockey Operations

Dakota joined Northstar Elite as the Director of Hockey Operations in 2020 and took over as an owner in 2021. Outside of Northstar Elite, Dakota is the Manager of Amateur Scouting Operations for the New Jersey Devils.

Before joining the New Jersey Devils, Dakota held several positions within the hockey operations realm. He was the Coordinator of Hockey Operations for the American Hockey League, a Hockey Operations intern for the National Women’s Hockey League, a Video Scouting intern for the Arizona Coyotes, a Hockey Data Analyst intern for the St. Louis Blues, and a Hockey Operations assistant for the Men’s Ice Hockey team at Harvard University.

Dakota was a 2020 graduate of UMass Boston, where he was a member and Captain of the Men’s Ice Hockey team and a finalist for the 2019-2020 Hockey Humanitarian Award.


Owner & Director, Player Personnel

Justin is the co-owner of NorthStar Elite Hockey and the Director of Scouting for the NAHL New Hampshire Mountain Kings.

Previously, Justin was a part of creating the New Jersey 87s of the Eastern Hockey League and Eastern Hockey League Premier. While he was on the staff, the organization had much success at both levels, including promotion to the top Division of the Eastern Hockey League after one season and the commitment of 8 98s last year to play NCAA Division III College Hockey. Justin has also been the Assistant Coach for the Mercer Cheifs team playing in the NCDC division of the USPHL. Besides coaching, Justin has scouted for the Youngstown Phantoms and the New Jersey Titans.


J.T. Tarantino

Boys Assistant Hockey Director

  • Playing Experience: New Jersey Titans (AYHL), Saint Joseph's University (ACHA DII), Delaware Thunder (FPHL)
  • Coaching Experience: New Jersey Rockets (USPHL), Saint Joseph's University (ACHA DII), AND Philadelphia Flyers (AYHL)
  • Current Coaching Position: Philadelphia Flyers (AYHL)

Kevin Shand

Next Gen Series Director

  • Playing Experience: Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL), Brookings Blizzard (NAHL), Coulee Region Chill (NAHL), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL), Milwaukee School of Engineering (NCAADIII)
  • Current Coaching Position: Milwaukee Jr. Admirals 15U AAA (T1EHL)

BJ Brandt

Rose Series Director

  • Playing Experience:
  • Current Coaching Position: Head Coach Wausau West High School (WI) and Team Wisconsin




  • Playing Experience: New Jersey Hitmen (EJHL), Cowichan Valley (BCHL)
  • Coaching Experience: Skill Coach New Jersey Titans (NAHL)
  • Current Coaching Position: New Jersey Titans Tier 1 Youth Hockey Director


Duante Abercrombie

  • Playing Experience: Steel City Warriors and Brewster Bulldogs (FHL)
  • Coaching Experience: Washington Little Caps (AYHL), Georgetown Prep, Stevenson University (NCAA DIII), and Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
  • Current Coaching Position: Toronto Maple Leafs, Coaching Development Associate (NHL)

Kyle Earley

  • Junior Playing Experience: Philadelphia Revolution (EJHL/Empire JHL)
  • Coaching Experience: New Jersey Jr Titans (AYHL and NJYHL), St. John VIanney HS (NJSIAA)
  • Current Coaching Position: New Jersey Jr Titans (AYHL) and St. John Vianney HS (NJSIAA)

Kirk MacDonald

  • Junior and College Playing Experience: Victoria Salsa (BCHL), RPI (NCAA DI)
  • Professional Playing Experience: Florida Everblades and Reading Royals (ECHL), Albany River Rats, Providence Bruins, Iowa Chops, Houston Aeros (AHL), and Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
  • Current Coaching Position: Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)

Craig Doremus

  • Playing Experience: Christ the King
  • Coaching Experience: New York Bobcats (EHL), Metro Moose (MET), New York Rangers (NHL), New Jersey Titans (NAHL)
  • Current Coaching Position: New Jersey Titans (NAHL)

Donny Kane

  • NTDP Scout
  • Past: Long Island Gulls, North Jersey Avalanche, Wolfpack Hockey Club

James Marcou

  • Junior, College, and Professional Playing Experience: Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL), UMass-Amherst (NCAA DI), and Worcester Sharks (AHL)
  • Coaching Experience: UMass-Amherst, Brown University, and Harvard University (NCAA DI)
  • Current Coaching Position: Harvard University (NCAA DI)

Sean Walsh

  • Assistant Coach, Bowdoin College NCAA Division III

Thomas Frazee

  • Playing Experience: Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL), Norfolk Admirals (ECHL), Allen Americans (ECHL)
  • Coaching Experience: Atlanta Phoenix (SYTHL)
  • Current Coaching Position: Atlanta Phoenix (SYTHL)

Cam Robichaud

  • Playing Experience: University of New England (NCAA DIII), Robert Morris University (ACHA DI)
  • Coaching Experience: L/A Nordiques (NA3HL), Maine Nordiques (NAHL), and Twin City Thunder (NCDC)
  • Current Coaching Position: Twin City Thunder (NCDC)

Cole Bell

  • Assistant Coach, Stevenson University NCAA Division III

Joey Ferriss

  • Junior and College Playing Experience: Michigan Warriors (NAHL) and University of Connecticut (NCAA DI)
  • Coaching Experience: University of Connecticut (NCAA DI) and Wesleyan University (NCAA DIII)
  • Current Coaching Position: University of Connecticut (NCAA DI)

Smith Sanders

  • Current: Head Coach, Loudoun Knights
  • Playing Experience: Northfield-Mount Hermon, Deerfield Academy, University of Delaware

Shawn Pauly

  • Professional Playing Experience: Missouri Mavericks and Kansas City Mavericks (ECHL)
  • Coaching Experience: UMass- Boston (NCAA DIII) and TPH Chicago
  • Current Coaching Position: TPH Chicago Director

Colin Merrill

  • Playing Hobart University and the University of Southern Maine player.
  • Current Coaching Position: Maine Nordiques Director of Player Development

Bobby DiRico

  • Assistant Coach and Assistant General Manager New Jersey Titans NAHL

Alec Thieda

  • Assistant Coach Victory Honda U18, Scout Cedar Rapids Roughriders USHL, New Jersey Titans NAHL

Gary Biggs

  • Director of Scouting, New Jersey Titans NAHL

Mark Tagg

  • Queen City Royals Head Coach, former Tier I Coach in Michigan and North Carolina with over 20 years of experience.

Kyle Shapiro

  • Assistant Coach, New Jersey Titans NAHL

Sean Freeman

  • Current: President & Hockey Director, Team Illinois
  • Past: Head Coach of the Chicago Young Americans PeeWee Major and Bantam Minor teams, as well as the Squirt Minor & Bantam Major Windy City Storm
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