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Ron Wilson Named Head Coach Of 2016 U.S. National Junior Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today that Ron Wilson (Riverside, R.I.) has been named head coach of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team. Wilson, who directed Team USA to the silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and ranks eighth all-time in National Hockey League history in wins, will lead Team USA in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship for the first time.

"We're extremely pleased to have Ron guiding our National Junior Team," said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey, who will also serve as general manager of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team. "His resume speaks for itself, both as a player and a coach, and we know he'll do an outstanding job."

"It is always an honor to serve as head coach for the United States," said Wilson. "The World Junior Championship has evolved into one of the great events on the hockey calendar and with so many highly-skilled players in USA Hockey's player pool, expectations have never been higher.

The 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship will take place December 26, 2015 - January 5, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland. The U.S. is seeking its fourth medal in seven years, having won gold in 2010 and 2013, and the bronze medal in 2011. Team USA will play its preliminary-round games in Helsinki Ice Hall against Canada, Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland. Quarterfinals will be split between Hartwall Arena and Helsinki Ice Hall. The semifinal and medal games will be played in Hartwall Arena while relegation games will be played in Helsinki Ice Hall.

On the international side, Wilson has been Team USA's head coach for some of its brightest moments, including leading Team USA to the silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and to the championship in the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996. Wilson also directed the U.S. Men's National Team that captured the bronze medal at the 1996 IIHF Men's World Championship in Vienna, Austria. The medal was the first for the United States in an A-Pool IIHF Men's World Championship since 1962 (excluding Olympic years), when the U.S. also earned the bronze.

Wilson also led the U.S. Men's National Team to fourth-place finishes at the 2009 IIHF Men's World Championship in Bern and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland, and the 1994 IIHF Men's World Championship in Bolzano, Canazei, and Milan, Italy. He also served as head coach for Team USA at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

An assistat coach for Team USA at the 1990 Goodwill Games, Wilson has been involved with USA Hockey since the mid-1970's, having played for the U.S. Men's National Team at four IIHF Men's World Championships (1975, 1981, 1983, 1987). He also captained the 1988 U.S. Men's Select Team that captured the championship of the prestigious Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.

Wilson, who has coached 1,401 NHL games and has 648 wins to his credit, spent 18 seasons as a head coach in the NHL with stops in Toronto (2008-2012), San Jose (2002-08), Washington (1997-2002) and Anaheim (1993-97). In 15 full NHL seasons (minimum 82 games in a season) as head coach, Wilson's teams reached the post-season eight times; won four division titles; won one playoff conference title; reached the Stanley Cup Final once; reached at least 90 points seven times; reached at least 100 points four times; reached at least 40 wins seven times; and reached 50 wins once.

A seventh-round selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs (132nd overall) in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft, Wilson recorded 26 goals and 67 assists for 93 points in 117 career NHL games as a player with Toronto and Minnesota. 

Prior to his time in the NHL, Wilson played four years of college hockey at Providence (1973-77). He was an All-America selection twice and a four-time All-ECAC selection. As a sophomore, he was named ECAC Player of the Year when he led the nation with 87 points (26 goals and 61 assists) in only 26 games. Wilson, a member of the Providence Athletic Hall of Fame, still holds the school records (and NCAA records for defensemen) in career points (250), assists (172), most points in a single season (87) and single-season assists (61).

Wilson and his wife, Maureen, have two grown daughters, Kristen and Lauren.

NOTES: Ron Wilson (Riverside, R.I.) is the first U.S. National Junior Team coach to have previously served as a head coach in the National Hockey League. He also joins Lou Vairo(Colorado Springs, Colo.) as the only other U.S. National Junior Team head coach to have also served as head coach of a U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team and a U.S. Men's National Team ...Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the seventh consecutive year ... The rest of the coaching and support staff for the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team will be announced later this month ... Team USA will compete in a group with Canada, Denmark, Sween, and Switzerland at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. For more information about the tournament, click here ... Approximately 40 players will attend the 2016 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, New York, Aug. 1-8. Invitees to the camp will be announced later this month. For the complete camp schedule, click here.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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Comments

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Can’t wait until they lose a game and he throws the 16-year old goalie under the bus.

Posted by Garth on 06/04/15 at 11:42 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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