Although Chris Taylor has never played for the New Jersey Devils, coming into his new role as an Assistant Coach for the organization is a reunion of sorts. Taylor played for Devils Head Coach Lindy Ruff during Ruff's time as the Buffalo Sabres Head Coach in the 2000s. The newest addition to the Devils coaching staff has professional hockey experience as a coach and player, experience he will use in this new role. Here are Three Things you need to know about Chris Taylor presented by Wawa.
1. WHAT A PRO
Chris Taylor knows a thing or two about playing in the NHL because he's learned a thing or two. Taylor was drafted in the second round of the 1990 NHL Draft at 27th overall by the New York Islanders. His NHL playing career spanned over three teams (Islanders, Bruins, Sabres) in eight seasons where the center recorded 32 points in 149 games played.
Overall, Taylor's hockey career lasted 19 seasons with stops in the NHL, AHL, IHL, and DEL (German top professional league). His extensive playing career will allow him to not only connect with the veterans on the Devils team, but advise the younger players about what it takes to compete in the pros.
2. PAYING HIS DUES
Taylor comes from the AHL where he saw success as an assistant and head coach for two different franchises. He served as the Head Coach of the Rochester Americans, the Sabres AHL affiliate, for three years, starting during the 2017-18 season. Taylor had a 116-65-33 record at the helm. Taylor's first two seasons as head coach led to the playoffs, and he was on track for a third straight post-season appearance before the AHL shutdown due to COVID-19. He also served as the head coach of the North Division All-Star team last season for the AHL All-Star Classic in January.
In addition to his head coaching experience, Taylor served as an assistant coach for Rochester and the Wilkes-Barre Penguins, the Pittsburgh Penguins affiliate. Throughout his eight seasons as an assistant or head coach in the AHL, Taylor recorded a 282-231-63 record for 663 points in 594 games.
With the Devils young team and strong prospect pool in Binghamton, Taylor will be a valuable addition to the coaching staff. He has a proven track record working with young talent, and will bring that experience to this franchise. Taylor will be a key part in growing the Devils younger players and developing them into NHL ready talent for years to come.
3. WELCOME TO THE SHOW
This is Taylor's first full-time coaching opportunity in the NHL, but not his first experience coaching in the League. During the Sabres 2019-20 season, Taylor was called up to serve as an interim assistant coach for the club when Don Granato took a medical leave of absence. Taylor spent two months with the Sabres and got his first glimpse into what it takes to coach at the NHL level. The newest assistant coach will take that experience to help him transition into this next step in his coaching career.
AND ONE MORE THING...
What's could be better than Wawa Coffee? When any size is only $1! Stop into your local store today and enjoy your favorites like French Vanilla, Columbian, and a fall favorite, Pumpkin Spice. Find the Wawa nearest you.