Devils first year head coach John Hynes was named head coach of Team USA at the 2016 IIHF World Championship according to the Devils official website. The annual tournament will be held May 6 to 22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Hynes is making his debut as the coach of Team USA at the World Championships, but has previously coached with the USA Hockey National Team Developmental Program and at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship (where he won silver in 2004, gold in 2006 and bronze in 2008). He was on the staff for Team USA at the 2004 World Junior Championship, where he helped the US win gold for the first time ever in that tournament. He will also be on head coach John Tortorella’s staff at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in September for Team USA.
The former coach of the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who served as an assistant coach at UMass-Lowell and the University of Wisconsin was chosen by the US Men’s National Team Advisory Board, which is headed by Jim Johannson and includes Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks, Dean Lombardi of the Los Angeles Kings, David Poile of the Nashville Predators, Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers, Dan Waddell of the Carolina Hurricanes and the Devils’ own Ray Shero. Players will be named at a later date, as they usually include members of teams that have either missed the playoffs or have been eliminated early on.
In other news, the Devils announced three signings and a call up today. Joshua Jacobs of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting has been inked to a three year entry level deal that kicks in next season. He will join the Albany Devils of the AHL on an Amateur Try-Out. He was selected in the second round, 41st overall in the 2014 Entry Draft. He is a 6’2”, 200 pound defenseman and a native of Shelby Township, Michigan. He turned 20 years-old on February 15.
With Boston College’s bid for the NCAA National Championship put to an end with a loss to Quinnipiac on Thursday, the Devils signed two members of the Eagles to entry level deals. The first is defenseman Steven Santini. His contract will kick in this season; he will report to New Jersey tomorrow and will wear number 38. The BC star is a 42nd overall draft choice in the second round by the Devils in the 2013 Entry Draft. He just turned 21 years-old on March 7 and is a 6’2”, 205 pound native of Mahopac, New York.
Also signed to a three year entry level contract is Santini’s Boston College teammate, Miles Wood. Wood’s contract, like Santini’s, will begin this season and he too will be reporting to New Jersey tomorrow. He will wear number 44. The 6’2” 195 pound forward was born in Buffalo, New York and is the son of form NHL player Randy Wood. His father played parts of ten seasons with the Islanders, Sabres, Maple Leafs and Stars. Miles was selected 100th overall (fourth round) by the Devils in the 2013 Entry Draft.
In news that Devils fans everywhere have been eagerly awaiting, Pavel Zacha could’ be getting his first taste of the NHL. The 6’3” 210 pound center, whose season with the Sarnia Sting was just ended with their playoff exit, was assigned to Albany immediately following Sarnia’s bouncing from the OHL playoffs, but has been called up to the NHL club for tomorrow’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Devils also assigned Blake Pietila, Mike Sislo and Vojtech Mozik to Albany. Zacha was the Devils’ first round pick (sixth overall) in 2015. The native of Brno, Czech Republic will participate in the morning skate with New Jersey and could make his NHL debut tomorrow.
As the Devils look to the future, moves like these will increase as the summer wears on. Time will tell exactly how they pan out.