Continuing to round out their bench, the Anaheim Ducks have announced that they have hired Brent Johnson as an assistant coach. Much like their approach with hiring Greg Cronin as head coach, Thompson is another coaching veteran with over 20 years of experience behind the bench.
Primarily serving as the head coach of the New York Islanders AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Islanders, for the last nine seasons, Thompson brings an all-time 328-286-73 coaching record in 687 games at the AHL level. Unfortunately for Thompson and the Islanders, the team only qualified for the playoffs in three of those seasons, never managing to get past the second round. The most coaching success Thompson has ever seen came back in the 2010-11 season in the ECHL, coaching the Alaska Aces to a Kelly Cup Championship, as well as the ECHL Coach of the Year award.
Over the course of his coaching career, Thompson has primarily spent it developing players into NHL talents, and the Ducks have no shortage of those players. The team did sign several veterans this offseason, but the team is clearly building around young talents such as Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry, and Jamie Drysdale.
- A convincing argument can be made that the Carolina Hurricanes have had the best offseason of all 32 clubs in the NHL, and they received more positive news today. Chip Alexander of Raleigh News & Observer reported today that forward Andrei Svechnikov will resume skating for the first time this Friday. Shortly before the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs, Svechnikov went under the knife to repair his knee, which kept him out for the remainder of the season. Before the injury, Svechnikov was well on his way to recording another 30-goal season, something the Hurricanes will be looking forward to again next season.
- Spending the last five seasons in the KHL, former-first overall pick, Nail Yakupov is on the move once again. The press service of the KHL announced today that Yakupov has reached a one-year agreement with HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk. Last season, Yakupov played for Avangard Omsk, scoring 10 points in 16 games. Avangard Omsk would make it all the way to the Conference Finals in pursuit of the Continental Cup in 2023 but were quickly dispatched by Ak Bars Kazan in five games.
- It appears the IIHF World Juniors Championship will be returning to the United States in 2026. Gord Miller of TSN reports that Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Las Vegas have all inquired about potentially hosting the tournament. The next one will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, followed by Ottawa, Canada in 2025. The last time the United States hosted the tournament came back in 2018, as it took place in Buffalo, NY.