Both have been long-time national team players and teammates while Ukraine played at the top level and worked together as coaches in the Ukrainian Hockey League.
“In order to return to the top-16 teams in the world, it is necessary to perform a large amount of work, to rebuild the system,” Shakhraichuk said about his goals. “To do this, we need to go through a number of steps, namely creating a clear process of the selection and preparation of players for the national team, naturalization, regular seminars for the coaching staff, raising the national championship by reducing the number of import players. I believe that this will help us on the way to achieving the highest goals.”
Shakhraichuk, 46, has represented Ukraine in 15 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments (including 8 in the top division) and in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. At club level he started his career with Sokil Kyiv before playing abroad in Russia and Germany. He retired in 2013 in the Ukrainian league. With Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (2002) and Dynamo Moscow (2005) he won two Russian championships.
As a coach he worked for the Generals Kyiv and for the past three seasons for Dunarea Galati in Romania.
Simchuk, 47, has been a long-time national team goalie and represented Ukraine in 11 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments (including 6 in the top division) and in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. After leaving his home country he spent several years in minor leagues in the U.S. and in Russia before ending his career in 2013 with Sokil Kyiv.
He has been working as an assistant and goaltending coach with the Ukrainian national team program, with Bily Bars Bila Tserkva and the Generals Kyiv and since this season as director and goaltending coach of Sokil Kyiv.
Ukraine has been playing in the Division I Group B most recently. In the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B, Ukraine will battle for promotion to the second tier of ice hockey against Lithuania, Poland, Japan, Estonia and Serbia.