CHICAGO The Chicago Blackhawks have hired former New York Islander Jeremy Colliton as Rockford IceHogs' fourth head coach in their AHL history.
An Alberta native, Colliton, 32, spent the last four seasons in Sweden coaching Mora IK. In 2016-17, he guided his team to a league best 35-4-13 record. In four seasons with the team, they posted a 98-18-57 record.
"Jeremy’s experience as a player and a coach will allow him to be a great leader and mentor for our young prospects in Rockford," said Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. "He is coming off a great start to his coaching career with four successful seasons in Sweden and fits very well into our plan of continuing to develop our younger players."
“I'm honored to join the Blackhawks organization as they have a proven track record of winning that I'm excited to help continue,” said Colliton. “In Rockford, we will do everything we can to help our young prospects develop into the best players and people they can be.”
Prior to becoming a coach, Colliton had an eight-year professional career primarily in the National Hockey League and AHL. He appeared in 57 NHL games across five seasons (2005-09, 2010-11) with the New York Islanders, notching three goals and three assists. He was originally drafted by the Islanders in the second round (58th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft.
"There's a lot of talented young players that are coming through the organization and the goal is to get as many of them ready to play in the NHL as possible and help the Blackhawks win," said Colliton. "That's the job and that's the plan. Our conversations were basically about how would you do that and what vision of the Blackhawks was as far as what they want from those guys and how they're going to fit in to hopefully continue success at the NHL level."
The 32-year-old also spent parts of six seasons (2005-09, 2010-12) in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, recording 203 points (77G, 126A) in 326 career games. Additionally, he had stints with Rogle Angelholm (2009-10) in the Swedish Elite League and Mora IK (2013-14). He also had experience on the international stage, earning gold and silver medals while representing Canada at the 2005 and 2004 IIHF World U20 Junior Championships, respectively.
"Obviously I think I can offer something there and put those young guys in good situations to continue to improve and get where they want to be and help the Blackhawks win," Colliton said. "If we do a good job as far as the development, I think Rockford will have success there too which is also an important part of getting them ready to win at the NHL level."