WSU Owls Hockey Alumni Skate to Success: Mike Young ’10, Casey Mignone ’10, Nikolas Passero ’18, and Jackson Leef ’17

Westfield Owls hockey alumni are making great strides in their postgrad hockey careers. Mike Young ’10 was recently hired as the head coach for the Golden Bears Men’s Ice Hockey Program, Casey Mignone ’10 has been named head coach of the Chippewa Steel, and Nikolas Passero ’18 is kicking off the season as head coach of the Fort Erie Meteors in the GOJHL. Jackson Leef ’17 also recently signed with the Allen Americans and is beginning his sixth year as a pro hockey player. 

After leading the Hawks at Becker College for two seasons, Mike Young joined the Golden Bears of Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts. Before serving as head coach at Becker, Young worked for the Westfield State men’s ice hockey program for nine years. For his first three years, he was assistant coach before moving to associate head coach for his final six years. He helped send 19 players to the professional ranks from Westfield State. Read more here. 

Casey Mignone recently became the fourth head coach in the Chippewa Steel franchise history. The Chippewa Steel are based in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Most recently, Mignone served as the associate head coach & general manager of hockey operations for the St. Cloud Norsemen of the North American Hockey League for the past two seasons. He also spent one season with the Rochester Grizzlies of the NA3HL and two seasons with Division III Johnson and Wales University as an assistant coach. Read more here. 

Nikolas Passero was named head coach of the Fort Erie Meteors in 2020, but Covid-19 delayed the season. On September 25, the Meteors took on the St. Catharines Falcons in their first game with Passero as head coach. The Meteors are based in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. 

Jackson Leef is beginning his sixth year as a professional hockey player with the Allen Americans based in Allen, Texas. Last season, he won the Kelly Cup with the Fort Wayne Komets. Leef is the son of Ron Leef, who played for Fort Wayne from 1981 to 1987. Jackson Leef served as captain of the Westfield Owls in 2016-17, when he was selected as the Player of the Year in his conference. Read more here.