NORFOLK, Va. - The Anaheim Ducks and Norfolk Admirals announced today that Eric Veilleux has been named assistant coach at Norfolk, Anaheim's primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Veilleux will work under new head coach Jarrod Skalde and alongside fellow assistant Marty Wilford.
Veilleux, 42, comes to Norfolk with almost nine full seasons of head coaching experience in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He began his coaching career during the 2005-06 season when he replaced Denis Francoeur at the helm of the Shawinigan Cataractes. Prior to Veilleux's arrival, Shawinigan held an 8-9-0-1 record, and since taking over, the Cataractes went 29-19-0-4 and advanced into the second round of the league playoffs.
The Quebec City native coached Shawinigan for six more seasons from 2006-07 to 2011-12. He led the Cataractes to the playoffs each season and reached the finals once during that span. At the 2012 Memorial Cup, the Cataractes finished third in round robin play before winning three games in a row, including a 2-1 overtime decision that clinched the first Memorial Cup in franchise history.
After five winning seasons, a Memorial Cup championship, and a collective win percentage of .591 over nearly seven full seasons of instruction in Shawinigan, Veilleux moved on to Baie-Comeau following the 2011-12 campaign. In two seasons with Baie-Comeau Drakkar, Veilleux took the club to the President's Cup Finals two consecutive years and was recognized as both the QMJHL and CHL Coach of the Year this past season. He earned a combined record of 91-45 with a total of 10 overtime losses as head coach of Drakkar. Veilleux departs the QMJHL with a career record of 410-297 and a win percentage of .580 in almost nine complete seasons of duty.
As a player, Veilleux began in the 'Q' and skated for Laval from 1991-93. The 5'7", 150-pound center put up 145 points in 83 games over the course of the 1992-93 regular season and playoffs. He turned pro in the 1993-94 season and enjoyed an eight-year career that included seven seasons in the AHL, a brief nine-game stint in Sweden, and the 1999-00 season in the International Hockey League.
Veilleux and Skalde have worked together previously, but in a much different capacity. The two centermen skated for the AHL's Kentucky Thoroughblades for one season in 1998-99 and both finished the season in the top 10 on the team in scoring.
This will be Veilleux's first taste of coaching in the AHL and his first assignment of his career as an assistant. It is Skalde's first season as a head coach in the AHL.