Thursday morning, the Edmonton Oilers announced Jay Woodcroft as the 17th head coach of the franchise.
The #Oilers have relieved Dave Tippett & Jim Playfair of their coaching duties.
Jay Woodcroft will assume head coaching duties with Dave Manson also joining in an assistant coach role. pic.twitter.com/gq55TNsomc
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 10, 2022
With the Oilers currently sitting outside of the playoffs, Woodcroft faces an uphill battle. While goaltending is a significant area of concern within the organization, the greater challenge might be getting consistent scoring from the team’s forward group. Consistency will be the name of the game for Woodcroft and the Oilers, with the scrutiny of Edmonton media upon them now more than ever.
Jay Woodcroft joined the Oilers organization in 2015, following seven seasons serving as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks (2008-15), under Todd McLellan. During his time with the Sharks, Woodcroft and the team made back-to-back Western Conference Finals (2010 and 2011).
For the last four seasons, he’s been the head coach of the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers’ AHL affiliate, after three years as Oilers assistant coach under McLellan
Following Woodcroft being named head coach of the Condors, former San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski had only positive things to say about his former coach in a 2018 interview with The Athletic: “He’s always someone you liked to talk to. He always has something for you, trying to help you improve. That’s all you can ask for – someone you trust and someone you believe is on your side and is trying to help you out.”
In his first season helming the Condors, Woodcroft saw his team finish the regular season atop the Pacific Division.
Under Woodcroft, the Condors have a 105-71-21 record, and the team also claimed the Pacific Division championship during the shortened 2020-21 season. The Condors currently sit third in the division in points percentage (18-9-4-3); however, they have the fewest games played.
This is Woodcroft’s first crack at a head coaching position in the NHL.
The Edmonton Oilers (and recently-signed Evander Kane) will visit SAP Center to take on the San Jose Sharks this Monday night.
AT SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW…
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