Though there have been many changes since Ken Holland took over as Edmonton Oilers GM, one won’t be happening behind the minor league bench. The organization announced today that Jay Woodcroft has signed a three-year extension to remain head coach of the Bakersfield Condors.
Woodcroft took the Condors to a level that they had never seen before, setting a franchise record with 42 wins and getting to the Calder Cup playoffs for the first time. The group also completed an incredible 17-game winning streak in early 2019, tying the second longest streak in AHL history. Despite a long career as an assistant in the NHL, this was Woodcroft’s first head coaching job at the professional level.
Holland is familiar with Woodcroft from his days in Detroit, where he started his coaching career as a video assistant after retiring as a player in 2005. Todd McLellan was on that staff, and is someone Woodcroft has basically followed around the league since, spending more than a decade as his assistant in San Jose and Edmonton. That led to some speculation that he might be heading to Los Angeles to rejoin him, but after experiencing so much success with the Condors and being a positive influence on the development of Edmonton’s young players, it makes sense for Holland and the Oilers to keep him around.