John has a proven background in working with young players and helping them develop their game. He’s a strong leader who communicates well and he’ll play an important role for our organization. We welcome John and his family to southern California and look forward to having him coach the Reign.
Saturday: After the news on Friday that Seth Appert is expected to join the AHL’s Rochester Americans, affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, as head coach, the U.S. National Team Development Program has been dealt yet another blow. Appert’s fellow head coach with the USNTDP, John Wroblewski, is also expected to depart for the AHL. The New England Hockey Journal’s Jeff Cox reports that Wroblewski is expected to be named the head coach of the Ontario Reign, an affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.
Wroblewski, just 39 years old, nevertheless has a lengthy coaching resume at both the professional and amateur level including a pair of seasons in the AHL as an assistant with none other than the Rochester Americans. Wroblewski initially began his coaching career with USA Hockey before spending time as an assistant and head coach in the ECHL and USHL. He returned to the USNTDP in 2016 and has served as a head coach in the program for the past four years.
Wroblewski has had the privilege of coaching some elite NHL prospects in recent years with the USNTDP. As the head coach of the U-17 team in 2017-18 and U-18 team in 2018-19, he spent two seasons with the historic 2019 NHL Draft class, which included first-round picks Jack Hughes (NJD), Alex Turcotte (LAK), Trevor Zegras (ANA), Matthew Boldy (MIN), Spencer Knight (FLA), Cam York (PHI), Cole Caufield (MTL), and John Beecher (BOS). As the U-17 head coach this year, Wroblewski again worked with some promising American youngster in presumptive 2021 top picks Luke Hughes and Matthew Beniers. The Kings hope that this experience will allow Wroblewski to be an effective leader for their prospects, which includes former player Turcotte who is one of a number of talented young players in the L.A. pipeline.
For as much as Wroblewski has played a positive role for the USNTDP over the past four years, his departure along with Appert’s has left the program reeling. With the USHL still targeting a normal fall start to the 2020-21 season, USA Hockey may have less than a month to replace both of the head coaches in the program. Expect some dominoes in the coaching ranks to continue falling as a result of these moves.