COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey today named Chris Chelios (Chicago, Ill.), Danton Cole (Pontiac, Mich.) and Kevin Reiter (Pittsburgh, Pa.) as assistant coaches for the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. The trio will work with Ron Wilson (Riverside, R.I.), who was previously announced as head coach.
Chelios, an advisor to hockey operations for the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings, will serve as an assistant coach on his first U.S. National Junior Team. For the last five years, Chelios has worked closely with the coaching staffs of the Red Wings and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, to help develop and mentor young players within the organization.
Elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013, Chelios spent 26 seasons in the NHL and retired as the all-time leader in games played by a defensemen in league history (1,651). The second-round pick (40th overall) by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, he won three Stanley Cups (Montreal: 1986; Detroit: 2002, 2008) and was awarded the Norris Trophy three times (1989, 1993, 1996) as the NHL’s best defensemen. His 948 career points (185-763) rank 10th all-time among NHL defensemen.
Internationally, Chelios represented the United States as a player on 10 different occasions, including four Olympic Winter Games (1984, 1998, 2002, 2006), three Canada Cups (1984, 1987, 1991), two World Cup of Hockey events (1996, 2004) and once at the World Junior Championship (1982). In addition to helping the U.S. win the championship in the inaugural 1996 World Cup of Hockey, Chelios captained the 2002 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that earned a silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He also won an NCAA national title as a player at the University of Wisconsin in 1983, where he was named to the NCAA all-tournament team.
Cole, who will enter his sixth year as a head coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, will serve as an assistant coach on his first U.S. National Junior Team. Over the past five seasons, Cole has led the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team to a pair of gold medals at the IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship (2012, 2014) in addition to leading the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 and Under-17 Teams to five other first place finishes in international competition.
An assistant coach with the bronze-medal winning U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2013 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden, Cole spent time as a head coach in both the college and professional ranks before joining USA Hockey’s NTDP. His accomplishments include leading the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers to a College Hockey America championship in 2010 and spending over two seasons (2002-05) with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, where his 116 wins currently rank second all-time in team history. Additionally, he led the Muskegon Fury of the United Hockey League to the Colonial Cup championship in 2002.
A sixth round selection (123rd overall) of the Winnipeg Jets in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, Cole earned a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995. In addition to spending seven seasons in the NHL, Cole was a member of three U.S. Men’s National Teams (1990, 1991, 1994) and won an NCAA national title as a player at Michigan State University in 1986 where he was a three-time Central Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Team selection.
Reiter, who just completed his second season as the goaltending coach for USA Hockey’s NTDP, is serving on his first U.S. National Junior Team. In two seasons, Reiter has served on the coaching staff of two gold-medal winning U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Teams (2014, 2015) as well as the U.S. squad that won the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
A goaltending consultant for the Italian Men’s National Team in 2012, Reiter played four seasons (2000-04) at the University of Alaska-Anchorage before embarking on a seven-year professional career (2004-11). He was named the International Hockey League Goalie of the Year in 2008 after leading the Fort Wayne Komets to the IHL Turner Cup championship.
SUPPORT STAFF DETAILS
USA Hockey also announced today its support staff for the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team, including equipment managers Scott Aldrich (USA Hockey/Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Dave Gilbert (University of Notre Dame/South Bend, Ind.); trainer Stan Wong (USA Hockey/Boca Raton, Fla.); team physician Dr. Phil Johnson (USA Hockey/Fargo, N.D.); and communications contact Jon Gomez (USA Hockey/Colorado Springs, Colo.).
MILLER, WEIGHT TO SERVE AS GUEST CAMP COACHES
Kelly Miller (Lansing, Mich.) and Doug Weight (Warren, Mich.) will serve as guest coaches at the 2015 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp, which will take place in Lake Placid, New York, August 1-8. Miller, an assistant coach with Michigan State University, and Weight, an assistant coach with the NHL’s New York Islanders, both represented the U.S. in international competition a combined 16 times, including one Canada Cup, four World Junior Championships, six World Championships, two World Cup of Hockey events, and three Olympic Winter Games.
The camp includes daily practices and international games against Finland and Sweden. Ticket information for the event will be announced in the coming weeks. For a complete camp schedule click here.
NOTES: Ron Wilson (Riverside, R.I.) is the head coach of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team. He is the first U.S. National Junior Team head coach to have previously served as a head coach in the NHL and 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 … In addition to Kelly Miller (Lansing, Mich.) playing two seasons for Wilson as a member of the NHL’s Washington Capitals, Chris Chelios (Chicago, Ill.), Danton Cole (Pontiac, Mich.), and Doug Weight (Warren, Mich.) were each coached by Wilson as members of multiple U.S. national teams. Chelios and Weight were teammates under Wilson in both the 1996 and 2004 World Cup of Hockey events as well as the 1998 Olympic Winter Games, where Chelios served as captain of Team USA. Weight was also teammates with Cole on the 1994 U.S. Men’s National Team that was also coached by Wilson … Chelios and Weight were teammates on five U.S. national teams, including three U.S. Olympic teams (1998, 2002, 2006) … Chelios and Miller were teammates on the U.S. National Junior Team that finished sixth in the 1982 IIHF World Junior Championship in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. They were teammates again as members of the U.S. entry in the 1987 Canada Cup … Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey’s assistant executive director for hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the seventh consecutive year … Approximately 39 U.S. players will attend the 2015 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, New York, August 1-8. Invitees to the camp will be announced later this month … USA Hockey’s international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams … The 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship will take place December 26, 2015-January 5, 2016, in Helsinki, Finland.