Toronto Maple Leafs’ Assistant General Manager Kyle Dubas announced today that Sheldon Keefe has been named head coach of the Toronto Marlies. Keefe, 34, has spent the last three seasons as head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
“We would like to thank the Soo Greyhounds ownership group and General Manager Kyle Raftis for giving us permission to approach Sheldon a few weeks ago,” said Kyle Dubas. “As we went through this process, given our goal of finding an elite young coach to develop our prospects with the Marlies, it was clear to our management group that Sheldon Keefe was the best choice for our organization. For nearly a decade – since he arrived in Pembroke and through his time in Sault Ste. Marie – Sheldon has simply excelled at maximizing each players potential while coaching very successful teams at the same time. That balance is exactly what we set out to find for the Marlies.
“We feel we have a solid group of young prospects with the Marlies and we look forward to Sheldon leading them beginning with our Development Camp in early July.”
Keefe earned both the 2014-15 CHL and OHL Coach of the Year awards after leading the Greyhounds to a league-best record of 54-12-0-2 and establishing a new franchise record with 110 points. The team’s .809 winning percentage and 342 goals scored led the entire Canadian Hockey League this past season.
Prior to his tenure in the OHL he served as head coach and general manager of the CCHL’s Pembroke Lumber Kings, capturing five straight league titles and a RBC Cup national title in 2011.
At the national level, Keefe was named by Hockey Canada as an assistant coach for their entry at the 2015 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka U18 tournament following his stint as head coach for Team Canada White at the 2014 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge. He also served as an assistant coach of Team Canada East for the 2012 World Jr. A Challenge and head coach for the 2011 Canadian Jr. A Top Prospect game.
As a player, the Brampton native skated in 125 NHL games and 120 AHL games after being selected in the second round (47th overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. During his junior career with the OHL’s St. Michael’s Majors and Barrie Colts, he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year in 1998-99 before leading the league in scoring with 121 points in 66 games in 1999-2000.