The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t afraid to go overseas to find talent, and that isn’t just limited to players any more. The team has hired Tomas Mitell as an assistant coach to serve under head coach Jeremy Colliton for next season. Mitell is coming off a season as the head coach of AIK Hockey in Sweden’s Allsvenskan (second league), setting franchise records with 109 points and 35 wins.
This isn’t the first time that Mitell will be working with Colliton however, as he previously served under him when the Blackhawks bench boss was working in Sweden. Colliton took a rather unusual path to the NHL, which included transitioning from player to head coach for Mora IK in Sweden after dealing with concussion issues. It is there where he hired Mitell first, working together for the 2016-17 season and earning the team a promotion to the SHL.
Mitell will join Sheldon Brookbank on Colliton’s staff after the former NHL defenseman was promoted earlier this year from the AHL. It’s not clear how the duties will be broken up, but it certainly will be one of the youngest coaching staffs in the league. Colliton, 34, will be flanked by two 38-year old assistants as he tries to right the ship in Chicago and take the Blackhawks back to the playoffs.