NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk Admirals announced today that the American Hockey League (AHL) club has named assistant Jarrod Skalde the team's next head coach. Skalde shared the bench in 2013-14 with former Admirals' head coach Trent Yawney and takes the helm after Yawney's departure for an assistant spot with parent club, Anaheim.
Skalde, 43, has five seasons of head coaching experience, two in the International Hockey League with Bloomington and three with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. His most successful stretch came two years ago when Skalde took Cincinnati to the semifinals of the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs on a 42-22-5-3 mark in the 2012-13 regular season. For his efforts and the Cyclones' postseason accomplishments, he earned the league's 2012-13 Coach of the Year honor.
The Niagara Falls, Ontario native played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League before embarking on an 18-year professional career that spanned seven leagues and six countries. New Jersey selected Skalde in the second round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft with the 26th overall pick during the 21-team league era.
As a center forward, he skated in 115 NHL games and scored 13 goals with 21 assists. Skalde returned to the States for the 2007-08 season when he joined Bloomington in a player/assistant coach role. He retired and stepped behind the bench as head coach for the PrairieThunder the very next season.
Three of Skalde's five seasons as head coach ended with a winning record and his win percentage increased each year. He played in the NHL, AHL and IHL and has European playing experience in Swiss, Austrian and Swedish leagues along with a season in the Asian Hockey League.
Marty Wilford, who worked alongside Skalde and under Yawney last season, will remain with the Admirals in the assistant capacity. Wilford enters his fourth season as an assistant and received induction into the Norfolk Admirals Hall of Fame two years ago following a 13-year professional career in which he played four seasons in Hampton Roads.
Norfolk finished the 2013-14 regular season with a 40-26-3-7 record that was good for eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Admirals upset top-seeded Manchester in the first round before falling in the second round to St. John's.