The Boston Bruins have named John McLean an assistant coach, per a team release today. MacLean spent last season in the Bruins organization as a skills and skating consultant.
Boston also announced a flurry of other minor hockey ops changes, namely in the scouting department: Dan Darrow has been named Assistant Video Coordinator; Josh Pohlkamp-Hartt has been named Associate Director of Hockey Analytics; Campbell Weaver has been named Director of Hockey Systems; Derek MacKinnon has been named Pro Scout; and Milan Jurcina has been named European Scout.
McLean, 58, is not to be confused with longtime NHLer and current Islanders power play coach John MacLean. McLean, once a captain of Boston College’s men’s program, has just one season of NHL experience under his belt after serving in assistant coaching roles with Boston College, Merrimack, and serving as the head coach of prep school Malden Catholic throughout the 2000s and 2010s.
While an assistant in name, McLean won’t be on the bench with head coach Jim Montgomery and his other assistants, Chris Kelly and Joe Sacco, during games. That’s according to a report from Montgomery himself late last month, in which he said the Bruins would pursue an assistant coach to replace the departing John Gruden, although their hire would serve in a development role and would watch games from the management box. Gruden departed Boston after one season to accept a head coaching role with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies this summer. That means while McLean will likely add some jobs to his plate with the promotion, his core focus on skills and skating development will remain unchanged.
Darrow joins Boston as an assistant video coordinator after serving as the San Jose Sharks’ video coach from 2015 to 2022. He also was the director of hockey operations for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell from 2011 to 2015 and was an assistant coach for Team USA at this year’s U18 World Juniors.
Pohlkamp-Hartt, 35, earns a promotion within the organization after spending the last five seasons as a data scientist in the team’s analytics department. He also previously served as the director of hockey analytics for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs before accepting a role with the Bruins. Weaver also earned a promotion after spending the last four seasons working with Pohlkamp-Hartt in the team’s analytics department.
MacKinnon comes as an external hire, joining the Bruins as he celebrates his 20th year in an NHL role. He had been with the Calgary Flames for the past nine seasons, serving as a pro scout before earning a promotion to their director of player personnel role. He’s also held scouting and coaching roles with the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes dating back to 2003.
Jurcina, once a defenseman for the Bruins in the mid-2000s, assumedly ends his pro career with this move. The 40-year-old was active as recently as last season, skating in 12 games for HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga. The Slovak defender last suited up in the NHL with the New York Islanders in 2011-12 and will likely play a large role in scouting the Czech and Slovak regions, helping to get more talent out of a region the Bruins have had major success with in recent years.