Youngest NHL Coaches

8 Youngest NHL Coaches

Founded in 1917, the National Hockey League is considered the top-ranked ice hockey league worldwide. Every year, 32 teams from Canada and the US play against each other to elect one winner at the end of the season. The NHL has players from all over the world, even though most of them are currently Canadians.

Each team in the league has a head coach who follows the players throughout the season, making sure they are ready for each game. Becoming an NHL coach requires years and years of practice. Many of them started as ice hockey players, but others never competed professionally and always worked as coaches.

Most NHL coaches are currently above 50, but some are extremely young. This is why we decided to create a list of the eight youngest NHL coaches!

8. Jared Bednar (February 28, 1972 – present)

Age: 50
Nationality: Canadian
Current NHL Coach: Colorado Avalanche

Jared Bednarphoto source:

Jared Bednar is 50 years old and is currently one of the youngest NHL coaches.

Before becoming a coach, Jared used to work as a professional ice hockey player. He started by playing junior hockey with several teams, such as the Saskatoon Blades, the Spokane Chiefs, and the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Later in his career, Jared entered the American Hockey Team playing for the St. John’s Maple Leafs, the Rochester Americans, and the Grand Rapids Griffins. He announced his official retirement in 2002 and started to work as a coach soon after.

Jared first served as an assistant coach for the South Carolina Stingrays but was promoted to head coach in 2007. On August 25, 2016, he was hired as head coach of the NHL team Colorado Avalanche.

Did You Know?

In 2018 was nominated for the Jack Adams Award.

7. Andrew Brunette (August 24, 1973 – present)

Age: 48
Nationality: Canadian
Current NHL Coach: Florida Panthers

Andrew Brunettephoto source:

Andrew Brunette was born in August 1973 and, at the age of 48, is currently one of the youngest NHL coaches.

Andrew was born in Sudbury, Ontario, and grew up in Valley East, just outside Sudbury. He joined the Ontario Hockey League in 1990 and, during his youth, played with ice hockey talents such as Kirk Maltby, Kevin Weekes, and Scott Walker. From 1990 to 1993, Andrew was a member of the Owen Sound Platers and was then drafted by the Washington Capitals.

He then moved to the US and started to play in the American Hockey League, first for the Providence Bruins and then for the Portland Pirates. After this, he managed to get into the NHL and joined six different teams throughout his career: the Washington Capitals, the Nashville Predators, the Atlanta Thrashers, the Minnesota Wild, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Andrew announced his retirement in 2012 and started to work as a coach two years later. In October 2021, he was hired as a head coach for the Florida Panthers.

Did You Know?

Before starting his coaching career for the Florida Panthers, Andrew served as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Wild.

6. André Tourigny (May 31, 1974 – present)

Age: 48
Nationality: Canadian
Current NHL Coach: Arizona Coyotes

André Tourignyphoto source:

André Tourigny is one of the current youngest coaches in the NHL as he is only 47 years old.

He was born in Nicolet, Quebec, and worked as an ice hockey coach all his life. André started his career in 2002 when he began to work for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Junior Hockey League. He maintained this position until 2013 and, in the meanwhile, also worked as a general manager for the team.

In 2013, André had his first experience as an NHL coach with the Colorado Avalanche. However, he decided to resign from this position two years later to pursue a career as a head coach rather than an assistant.

In 2016, André signed a five-year contract with the Halifax Mooseheads, a major Canadian club, but soon resigned to join the Ottawa 67’s. Two years later, he was named head coach of the Canada men’s national under 18 ice hockey team. André did an incredible job with the team and led it to win a gold medal.

In July 2021, he was finally hired by an NHL team, the Arizona Coyotes, and signed a three-year contract.

Did You Know?

Throughout his career, André received both the OHL Coach of the Year award and the CHL Coach of the Year award.

5. John Hynes (February 10, 1975 – present)

Age: 47
Nationality: American
Current NHL Coach: Nashville Predators

John Hynesphoto source:

John Hynes was born in February 1975 and is currently 47 years old.

He was born in Rhode Island and attended Boston University. Here he participated in four NCAA Frozen Four Tournaments and earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. Unlike many other coaches, John never got into professional ice hockey but immediately started his career as a coach.

During the 2000-2001 season, he worked as an assistant coach for the University of Massachusetts Lowell and, in the following season, he was hired for the same position for the University of Wisconsin.

After 2002, John worked for six years as a head coach with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. This program was started in 1996, and it aims to identify and train the best ice hockey players under the age of 18.

From 2009 to 2020, John worked as a coach for two teams, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the New Jersey Devils. Lastly, on January 7, 2020, he was hired as the head coach of the Nashville Predators.

Did You Know?

Throughout his career, John also trained the US under-18 national team. Thanks to his job, the team managed to win three medals at the World Under 18 Championship.

4. Martin St. Louis (June 18, 1975 – present)

Age: 46
Nationality: Canadian
Current NHL Coach: Montreal Canadiens

Martin St. Louisphoto source:

Martin St. Louis is a Canadian ice hockey coach who’s currently 46 years old.

He was born in Laval, Quebec, and took part in his first ice hockey tournament, the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament, in 1988.

Martin continued playing ice hockey in college even though it took him some time to distinguish himself in the field. But things were about to change, and in the 1994-1995 season, he was elected the ECAC player of the year.

Martin started to play professionally in 1998 and joined several teams throughout his career. He first spent two years with the Calgary Flames and then moved to the Tampa Bay Lightning, for which he played for fourteen years! Before announcing his retirement, Martin also joined the New York Rangers.

In 2017, Martin was offered the position of head coach for the Hartford Wolf Pack, the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers. However, he refused as he wanted to focus on his sons’ youth hockey teams.

He got another chance to work in this field in 2022 when he was hired as head coach for the Montreal Canadiens.

Did You Know?

Martin is only 173 cm in height and was one of the shortest NHL players.

3. Jay Woodcroft (August 11, 1976 – present)

Age: 45
Nationality: Canadian
Current NHL Coach: Edmond Oilers

photo source:

Jay Woodcroft is the current head coach of the Edmonton Oilers and is only 45 years old.

Just like many other coaches, before being hired for this position, Jay worked as a professional ice hockey player. He started to play professionally in 2000, and throughout his career, he joined five different teams: Jackson bandits, Missouri River Otters, Flint Generals, Anchorage Aces, and Corpus Christi IceRays. Five years later, in 2005, he decided to retire as a player and start his coaching career.

In July 2008, Jay was hired as an assistant coach for the San Jose Sharks, a team competing in the NHL. But a few years later, in 2015, the team decided to change not only its head coach, Todd Mclellan but also its assistant.

However, Jay soon found a new job as only two months later he was hired as an assistant coach for the Edmonton Oilers. In 2018, Jay was given the chance to work as a head coach for the Bakersfield Condor. Lastly, in February 2022, Jay started to work for the Edmonton Oilers.

Did You Know?

Jay is 185 cm tall and weighs 87 kg.

2. D. J. Smith (May 13, 1977 – present)

Age: 45
Nationality: Canadian
Current NHL Coach: Ottawa Senators

D. J. Smithphoto source:

Danis Joseph, mostly known as D.J Smith, is one of the youngest NHL players at the age of 45.

Born and raised in Canada, D. J. started to play hockey from a very young age with a minor team in Windsor, Ontario.

In 1994, he played in the Ontario Hockey League, appearing in 61 games with the Windsor Spitfires. D.J. kept playing for this team for a few years, and in the 1996-1997 season, he was elected captain.

D.J. started to play in the NHL in 1995. He spent one year with the New York Islanders and then moved to the Toronto Maple Leafs. At the end of his career, from 2002 to 2004, he became a member of the Hershey Bears, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche.

At the end of the 2003-2004 season, D.J. announced his retirement as a player and started to focus on his coaching career. He first trained the Windsor Spitfires, then the Oshawa Generals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and lastly, the Ottawa Senators, for which he’s still working as a coach.

Did You Know?

In 2015, D. J. won the Memorial Cup!

1. Brad Larsen (June 28, 1977 – present)

Age: 44
Nationality: Canadian
Current NHL Coach: Columbus Blue Jackets

Brad Larsenphoto source:

Brad Larsen is currently the youngest NHL coach at the young age of 44.

He was born in Nakusp, in Canada, but grew up in Vernon. Brad started to play in the NHL in 1995 with the Ottawa Senators but the following year, his rights were traded to the Colorado Avalanche.

 For the first four years of his professional career, Brad played for the Hershey Bears. He then became a member of the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. Unfortunately, during the following seasons, he suffered several injuries both in his groins and back. For this reason, he could not secure himself a place in the NHL.

In 2004, Brad played for the Chicago Wolves, a Thrashers AHL affiliate, and the following season he became an official member of the Atlanta Thrashers. In 2010, Brad announced his retirement and started his coaching career.

Did You Know?

Before coaching for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Brad worked as an assistant coach for the Springfield Falcons from 2010 to 2012.

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