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Kris Knoblauch is a Canadian professional ice hockey coach and the current head coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).[1][2] He had a total of 13 seasons of coaching experience before joining Hartford,[3] including two seasons as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL), and seven years as a head coach in the Canadian junior leagues, during which time he compiled a record of 298–130–16–13.[1][2]

CareerEdit

Knoblauch is from Imperial, Saskatchewan.[1][3] He was a seventh-round pick, and the 166th pick overall, of the New York Islanders in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft,[3][4] but never played at the NHL level.[1] Playing in the position of winger,[4] Knoblauch played parts of four seasons of junior hockey in the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 1995 to 1998 with the Red Deer Rebels, Kootenay Ice, and Lethbridge Hurricanes. He then played for five seasons with the Alberta Golden Bears from 1999 to 2003, during which time he registered 117 points (38 goals and 79 assists) in 102 games. He was part of the team that won a National Championship during the 1999–00 season.[3]

Knoblauch began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL during the 2006–07 season. He became an assistant coach with the Kootenay Ice of the WHL for three seasons from 2007 to 2010,[3] becoming the Ice's head coach in 2010.[2] In his first season with Kootenay during the 2010–11 season, the team posted a 46–21–1–4 record in the regular season, won 16 of 19 WHL playoff games, and won the Ed Chynoweth Cup.[3] Knoblauch continued to coach the Kootenay Ice through 2012,[2] then he became the Erie Otters head coach of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), a position he held from 2012 to 2017.[2]

During his four full seasons with the Erie Otters, the team had a 204–58–7–3 record (.768 points percentage) and won at least 50 games each season. They were the first team in Canadian Hockey League history to post four consecutive 50-win seasons. Erie won the OHL Championship in the 2016–17 season under Knoblauch's leadership. Additionally, the Otters made it to the OHL Championship in the 2014–15 season, and won the Hamilton Spectator Trophy in recognition of having the OHL's best regular season record in consecutive seasons from 2015–16 and 2016–17. Knoblauch was the recipient of the Matt Leyden Trophy in 2015–16, making him OHL Coach of the Year that season. He also made OHL's Second All-Star Team in 2013–14.[3]

Knoblauch was the head coach for Canada-Red at the 2015 World U17 Hockey Challenge, and assistant coach with Canada at the 2017 IIHF World U20 Championship, where Canada earned a Silver Medal.[3] During his seven total seasons as head coach of the Kootenay Ice and Erie Otters, Knoblauch compiled a record of 298–130–16–13,[1][2] and coached such players as Connor McDavid, Alex DeBrincat, André Burakovsky,[1][3] Connor Brown, Erik Černák, Anthony Cirelli, and Travis Dermott, Sam Reinhart, and Dylan Strome.[3]

Knoblauch was a Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach during the team's 2017–18 and 2018–19 seasons.[1][2] The New York Rangers organization announced on July 29, 2019, that Knoblauch had been appointed the head coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers' AHL affiliate team. This marks the first time Knoblauch became a head coach at the professional level. Knoblauch replaced Keith McCambridge, who was fired after two seasons as Hartford coach.[1] Knoblauch is the seventh coach in Wolf Pack history.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Stephenson, Colin (July 29, 2019). "Rangers hire Kris Knoblauch to coach their AHL team in Hartford". Newsday. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Mercogliano, Vincent Z. (July 29, 2019). "New York Rangers hire Kris Knoblauch as head coach for AHL Hartford". The Journal News. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Kris Knoblauch Named Head Coach of the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack". National Hockey League. July 29, 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Kris Knoblauch". Hockeydb.com. Retrieved July 29, 2019.