Oilers officially announce their new head coach.
Aaron Bell/OHL Images  

Oilers officially announce their new head coach.

The Edmonton Oilers have officially unveiled their next head coach after firing Jay Woodcroft on Sunday.

Jonathan Larivee

The Edmonton Oilers have a new head coach.

After officially announcing the firing of now former Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft earlier today, the Oilers have now confirmed the hiring of Kris Knoblauch as the next head coach of the Edmonton Oilers.

The hiring of Knoblauch may come as a surprise given his lack of NHL head coaching experience, with the 45 year old head coach coming off of 4 straight years of coaching in the American Hockey League. Those years have been spent as the head coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack, the affiliate team of the National Hockey League's New York Rangers. Over the last 4 seasons the Wolf Pack have played 230 games under Knoblauch as head coach, posting a record of 112-87-31 over that span.

Knoblauch has some experience at the NHL level, spending two seasons as an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers prior to his tenure as head coach of the Wolf Pack. Knoblauch was also drafted at the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, where he was selected in the 7th round (16th overall) by the New York Islanders, but never made it to the NHL as a player.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Knobluach's history however is his tenure as the former head coach of the OHL's Erie Otters. Knoblauch's time behind the bench with the Otters coincided with Connor McDavid's tenure on that team, something that raises questions about how much influence McDavid himself may have had on this move.