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THREE THINGS: Colliton named Blackhawks head coach

Jeremy Colliton was named the Blackhawks 38th head coach in franchise history

by Chris Wescott / chicagoblackhawks.com

The Blackhawks had a big announcement on Tuesday, relieving Joel Quenneville of his duties and naming Jeremy Colliton the newest head coach in franchise history. Here are three things to know about Colliton.

Video: Patrick Kane on Quenneville, Colliton

1. THE YOUTH MOVEMENT

33-year-old Colliton is now the youngest head coach in the NHL today, although not the youngest in history. That would be Gary Green, who was hired by the Washington Capitals at the age of 26 in 1979.

Colliton is younger than four of his players on the roster today: Duncan Keith, Chris Kunitz, Corey Crawford and Cam Ward.

Video: Brent Seabrook on coaching change

Colliton is just a few seasons removed from his playing days, and actually skated with Brent Seabrook for Team Canada at the 2004 World Juniors, held in Helsinki, Finland. Canada earned silver in that tournament.

In talking with players around the locker room, it does not appear that his youth will be a negative.

"He brings a whole lot of energy," said Alex DeBrincat. "He's smiling out there, he's talking to us, he's trying to get to know us. I think that's a good thing to have that connection and start it as soon as today. It's good to have him here."

Jonathan Toews added, "It is different, considering what we're used to but from what I hear and what I've seen so far, Jeremy Colliton brings a lot of youthful energy to the game and he's got a lot of experience on the ice as well. I think he understands how to get through to guys and get through to each player and how to get the best from them. I've heard nothing but good things from the guys that played for him in Rockford last year. Looking forward to what he can bring to our team here."

2. LIMITED SAMPLE, BIG RESULTS

It's still very early in Colliton's coaching career, but the results thus far have been good.

With Mora IK in Sweden (Hockey Allsvenskan), Colliton originally took over as an interim head coach during the 2013-14 season. He led the team to a 98-18-57 record in his time there. In 2016-17, he steered the club to a league-best 35-4-13 record.

He took over as the Rockford IceHogs bench boss on May 18, 2017, and led them to a record of 40-28-4-4 in his first season. He then guided the Blackhawks primary affiliate to their first-ever appearance in the American Hockey League Western Conference Final. They swept the Chicago Wolves and the Manitoba Moose in those playoffs

3. FORMER PLAYER

Colliton was selected in the second round, 58th overall, of the 2003 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders. He played in 57 NHL games during his career, scoring three goals and three assists.

He was a player overseas as recently as 2013-14, and skated in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2011-12.

Being that fresh off the ice might give Colliton a unique perspective.

"You can tell he played for a long time and he's very approachable too," said Luke Johnson.

"He understands how to manage the team. He's not that far removed from the game himself. I think he uses that to his advantage and I think his demeanor overall will definitely help us going forward," added John Hayden.

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