The Montreal Canadiens have hired a top coaching prospect, bringing in Dominique Ducharme as an assistant coach. Jean-Jacques Daigneault and Dan Lacroix will not return to the organization, while goaltending coach Stephane Waite has signed a new contract.
Ducharme has been eyed by NHL teams for several years as head coach of the Halifax Mooseheads and then Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL. He also has served as head coach of the Canadian World Junior Team for the last three consecutive years, winning gold in the most recent tournament. Praised for his development of young players and fresh outlook on hockey in 2018, he seemed like a perfect fit for the Canadiens as they try to revitalize their NHL program.
One interesting connection that will now made is Ducharme’s familiarity with Jonathan Drouin. The two won a QMJHL Championship and Memorial Cup together in 2013, when Drouin led the Mooseheads with 105 points as a 17-year old. That outstanding year led to Drouin’s third-overall selection in the 2013 draft, a pedigree that he hasn’t been able to quite live up to at this point. Perhaps Ducharme can continue to get the best out of the talented young forward, as Montreal has invested quite a bit into him as a potential leader on the club.