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Report: Insider Reveals Devils Assistant Coach Option

Jeremy Colliton — former Chicago Blackhawks head coach — is reportedly an option to be one of Sheldon Keefe’s assistants with the New Jersey Devils.



New Jersey Devils
Jeremy Colliton was head coach of the AHL Abbotsford Canucks over the last two seasons. // Credit: Youtube

When the New Jersey Devils hired Sheldon Keefe, only Sergei Brylin was in attendance at his introductory press conference. All indications were that he was the only assistant coach who was safe to keep his job, whereas everyone else was gong to be evaluated. On Friday morning, one name — a former NHL head coach — was revealed as a likely option to stand alongside Keefe behind the Devils’ bench.

According to Elliotte Friedman via 32 Thoughts Podcast, the Devils could reel in former Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton.

“I heard there’s a chance Colliton could end up with Sheldon Keefe in New Jersey,” Friedman explained to Jeff Marek.

For the last two seasons, Colliton coached in the Vancouver Canucks system as the head coach of the Abbotsford Canucks in the American Hockey League. Over the last two seasons in the AHL, Colliton coached Abbotsford to an 80-50-8-6 record. Despite earning a spot in the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs, Colliton and the Canucks bowed out in the first round of each season.

The AHL Canucks made a head coaching change in May, naming former Keefe assistant, Manny Malholtra as the new head coach in Abbotsford.

Now, Colliton is viewed as a legitimate candidate to be an assistant coach in New Jersey.

Previous to Colliton’s AHL head coaching stint, the 39-year-old coach served as the bench boss for three plus years in Chicago. After the Blackhawks fired Joel Quennville on November 6th, 2018, Quinnville coached a bottom-dwelling Blackhawks club to an 87-92-26 record.

Earlier this spring, speculation arose as to whether or not Colliton interviewed for the vacant head coaching position for the San Jose Sharks. However, that race has been boiled down to seemingly favored Ryan Warsofsky and Marco Sturm.

When Colliton was named head coach of the Blackhawks back in, he was the youngest head coach in the NHL, 33 years old at the time.

According to Stan Bowman back in 2018, the Blackhawks made the coaching hire due to some impressive communicating skills.

“He has been very impressive as a communicator, a leader, and coach,” Bowman explained the Chicago media. “He knows the Blackhawks system, understands our players and our culture and we believe he gives us the best opportunity to have success and grow as a team.”

Friedman also wondered about Dean Chynoweth, recently let go of by the Toronto Maple Leafs and former assistant to Keefe. Time will tell who stands alongside the Devils’ new head coach to help continue develop the likes of Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and Co. into Stanley Cup contenders — as soon as next season.

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