Fresh off his third straight National Championship Game appearance and second straight NCAA title, University of Minnesota-Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin has been handed another prominent coaching position and deservedly so. NHL.com’s Mike Morreale reports that Sandelin has been named the head coach of the USA Hockey entry into the 2020 U-20 World Junior Championships. Team USA, which has medaled in each of the past four World Juniors, has often been led by an NCAA coach, including Sandelin himself back in 2005. In this past tournament, in which the team finished with the silver medal, Sandelin served as an assistant to Mike Hastings, his in-state rival from Minnesota State University, but a change is in order. USA Hockey, led by GM John Vanbiesbrouck, have made the move to Sandelin, who has a clear track record of winning in recent years. Sandelin was excited to accept the position, stating:
The World Junior Championship is one of the greatest hockey tournaments on the calendar each year and it’s an honor to represent our country as head coach. Last year, we fell just short of our goal, so to have the opportunity to come back and get another chance at helping our country win a gold medal is exciting. The expectation for the United States in this tournament is to contend for gold and I’m excited to begin the process towards continuing the success those before us have established.
- Paul Maclean is heading back behind the bench. The Jack Adams Award-winning former NHL coach is expected to be named the head coach and general manager of the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, Sportsnet reports. Maclean, a native of nearby Antigonish, Nova Scotia, will replace Marc-Andre Dumont in both roles, after he was fired today following the team’s playoff exit. Maclean last coached in 2016-17 as an assistant for the Anaheim Ducks, but spent four seasons as the head coach of the Ottawa Senators, including his Jack Adams campaign in 2012-13, and had previous stops as an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings and a prior stint with the “Mighty Ducks” as well. His addition is a major boost for Cape Breton, a club without much of a winning history. The Screaming Eagles are still looking for their first QMJHL Final appearance since joining the league in 1997 and hope that Maclean can take them there and potentially win them a title.
- It’s going to be an embarrassment of riches in net for the Boston College Eagles for the next few years. Despite losing star keeper Joseph Woll to the pros, the Eagles were already set to add Spencer Knight out of the U.S. National Team Development Program as their new starter next season. Knight is considered a generational talent in goal and expected to be first-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft. However, the Eagles also landed a 2020 commitment today from Henry Wilder, recently tabbed by NHL Central Scouting at the No. 14 draft-eligible goalie in North America. While that ranking doesn’t necessarily mean that Wilder will be drafted, it is a distinct possibility. Either way, BC will undoubtedly have one of the top young tandems in all college hockey, if not all of amateur hockey, in two years time. If Knight lives up to his billing in the NCAA, he is unlikely to last four years with the Eagles, but Wilder is now an excellent fallback plan. The athletic young netminder just finished a strong season at The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut and will have one more year of development under his belt before arriving at BC to form a formidable duo with Knight.