Jim Hiller

Jim Hiller was elevated to Head Coach on May 22, 2024 after serving as an assistant coach over the past two seasons. He joined the Kings on July 19, 2022 after spending the previous eight seasons in the same capacity with the New York Islanders (2019-22), Toronto Maple Leafs (2015-19) and Detroit Red Wings (2014-15). Under Hiller’s tutelage during the 2023-24 season, the Kings scored 68 power-play goals, the fourth-most in the league, while the team’s power-play percentage finished the year at 25.3%, tied for the second-best in team history behind the 1979-80 team (26.8%).

Hiller brings 20 years of coaching experience to the Kings, including the last eight spent in the NHL with the New York Islanders (2019-22), Toronto Maple Leafs (2015-19) and Detroit Red Wings (2014-15). Prior to his NHL coaching debut with Detroit, Hiller spent 12 seasons coaching junior hockey in Canada between the Western Hockey League (WHL) and British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).

He began coaching in 2002 with the Tri-City Americans (WHL), where he spent two seasons before taking the helm behind the bench of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL) during the 2005-06 campaign. Hiller returned to the WHL the following year as head coach of the then-expansion Chilliwack Bruins, leading the Bruins to the playoffs with a 25-40-5-2 record.

Following three seasons with Chilliwack (2006-09), Hiller returned to Tri-City from 2009-14. During the first season of his second stint with Tri-City, Hiller led the Americans to a division title, conference title and WHL Championship Series appearance. In total, he coached Tri-City to two division titles (2009-10, 2011-12) and five consecutive playoff berths over his five seasons. He was awarded the CHL’s Brian Kilrea Award and WHL’s Dunc McCallum Award for Coach of the Year for 2011-12, leading Tri-City to a 50-18-2-2 record with 104 points.

A native of Port Alberni, British Columbia, Hiller served as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2010 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Slovakia, helping guide his home country to its third consecutive championship. Hiller was originally selected by the Kings in the 10th round (207th-overall) of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. In total, Hiller appeared in 40 games for the Kings, recording six goals and 12 points. Hiller suited up for 63 career NHL games, registering eight goals, 12 assists and 20 points.

As of February 1, 2024

D.J. Smith

Smith, 47, joined the Kings organization on Feb. 6, 2024 after serving as the head coach of the Ottawa Senators for parts of the last five seasons (2019-24). Smith also served as an assistant coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs (2015-19), spending four seasons behind the bench alongside Jim Hiller before being hired by Ottawa.

Prior to his NHL coaching career, the Windsor, Ontario native spent a decade coaching in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) between his hometown Windsor Spitfires (2005-12) and Oshawa Generals (2012-15). During his time in Windsor as assistant and associate coach, Smith helped guide the Spitfires to back-to-back J. Ross Robertson Cups (OHL championship) and Memorial Cups in 2009 and 2010 as the best team in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).

Following his time in Windsor, Smith was named head coach of the Oshawa General for three seasons. In that time, Smith accumulated a 135-53-16 record, including a 42-20-6 record in the 2013-14 campaign to earn OHL’s Coach of the Year honors. In his third and final season with Oshawa, Smith’s squad captured both the J. Ross Robertson Cup and the Memorial Cup.

Smith was drafted in the second round (41st overall) by the New York Islanders in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. Smith skated in 45 NHL games as a defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1996-97; 99-00) and Colorado Avalanche (2002-03).

Newell Brown

Newell Brown, 62, joins the Kings organization after serving as an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks for the last three seasons (2021-24). Brown has been an assistant coach in the NHL since the 1996-97 campaign, beginning with a two-year stint behind the bench for the Chicago Blackhawks. In total, Brown brings 27 seasons of coaching experience at the NHL level to the Kings, including time with Chicago (1996-98), the Columbus Blue Jackets (2000-04), Vancouver Canucks (2010-13; 2017-21), Arizona Coyotes (2013-17) and Anaheim Ducks (1998-00; 2005-10; 2021-24) where he helped the club to a Stanley Cup championship in 2007. Under Brown’s assistance in Vancouver, the Canucks claimed consecutive President’s Trophies in 2010-11 and 2011-12 and a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2011.

Prior to coaching in the NHL, the Cornwall, Ontario native coached the Adirondack Red Wings in the American Hockey League (AHL) for four seasons from 1992-96. Brown began his coaching career at his alma mater, Michigan State University, where he helped guide the Spartans to back-to-back regular-season and CCHA tournament titles in 1988-89 and 1989-90 before taking the helm as head coach of the Michigan Tech Huskies.

Brown was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the eighth round (158th overall) of the 1982 NHL Draft. From 1978-80, he skated two seasons for his hometown Cornwall Royals in the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) where his four points over five tournament games (4-0=4) helped the Royals capture the 1980 Memorial Cup. Brown went on to register 202 points (73-129=202) in 156 collegiate games for the Spartans. He played one season of professional hockey in 1984-85, splitting times between the Fredericton Express of the AHL and the International Hockey League’s (IHL) Muskegon Lumberjacks.

Derik Johnson

Assistant Coach Derik Johnson enters his first season as an assistant coach and fifth with the Kings organization, joining in 2018 and having previously served in an assistant video coach. Johnson has worked primarily with Kings’ Video Coordinator, Samson Lee, for the past two seasons while also working with players on the ice after morning skates and filling in on the bench for some games during the 2020-21 season.

Prior to his time with the Kings, Johnson served as a video coach for the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League (AHL) during the 2017-18 season where he helped the Condors achieve a 31-27-10 record.

Johnson played collegiate hockey as a defenseman at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA), tallying 17 points (2-15=17) in 108 games over four seasons. In 2011-12, despite playing only 11 games, Johnson tallied five points (1-4=5), good for a 0.45 Points Per Game, the second-highest PPG among all freshman skaters, behind only forward Caleb Herbert (41 GP, 14-19=33). He went on to play professionally in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) from 2014-17, tallying 29 points (8-21=29) in 129 appearances between the Missouri Mavericks and Reading Royals. In 2015-16, he made his AHL debut, skating in four games with the Springfield Falcons, before returning to Reading for one more season in 2016-17, where he was one of only four skaters on the team to play in at least 70 games and established career-highs in goals (7), assists (12) and points (19).

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Derik is the son of former NHL defenseman Jim Johnson, who also served as an assistant coach under McLellan in both San Jose and Edmonton and played hockey at The University of Minnesota-Duluth for four seasons as well.

As of Sept. 23, 2023

Mike Buckley

Goaltending Coach Mike Buckley was named the team's NHL goaltending coach on June 9, 2023. On head coach Todd McLellan's staff, Buckley joined assistant coaches Trent Yawney, Jim Hiller, Derik Johnson and video coach Samson Lee.  Buckley joined the Kings staff following eight seasons (2013-21) with the Pittsburgh Penguins where he had spent the previous four seasons as head goaltending coach after being promoted from his initial role of goaltending development coach in 2017. During his time in Pittsburgh, the organization's goaltenders received accolades at both the NHL and AHL level, including two Stanley Cups (2016, 2017), two NHL All-Star Games (2020, 2022), three All-Rookie Teams (NHL - 2017, AHL - 2015, 2017), three Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Awards as the AHL team with the lowest regular-season goals-against-average (2014, 2015, 2017), one Aldedge "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award as AHL Goaltender of the Year (2015), and one Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award as AHL Rookie of the Year (2015).

Over the Penguins two Stanley Cup runs, Buckley's tutelage helped goaltender Matt Murray produce a combined 22-10 record with a 1.95 goals-against-average (GAA), .928 save percentage (SV%), and four shutouts. In 2016, Murray also became the fourth rookie netminder in league history to lead his team to a Stanley Cup title and tied a then-NHL rookie goaltending record with 15 playoff wins. 

The first U.S.-born goaltending coach to win multiple Stanley Cups, Buckley also brings nearly eight seasons of collegiate coaching experience having spent three seasons (2012-13, 2015-17) as goaltending coach for the University of New Hampshire and five seasons (2007-12) with his alma mater, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 

In addition to his work with teams, Buckley currently sits as President and Head Instructor at Goaltending Development Services, Inc. in North Andover, Mass., where he trains NHL, AHL, collegiate, junior, high school, prep and youth hockey goaltenders throughout the season and summer months. 

A native of Haverhill, Massachusetts, Buckley skated four years (1995-2000) of collegiate hockey at UMass-Amherst before playing five seasons (2000-05) of professional hockey, including three campaigns with the Mississippi Sea Wolves and Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL.