Ryan Warsofsky was named coach of the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

The 36-year-old replaces David Quinn and will coach for the first time in the NHL. He was a Sharks assistant the past two seasons, overseeing defensemen and the penalty kill. In Warsofsky's first season, Erik Karlsson won his second Norris Trophy after he set a San Jose record for points by a defenseman with 101. Karlsson also was the sixth NHL player at the position to reach at least 100 points in a season, and his 1.23 points per game was the third-best in the past three decades among defensemen who played at least five games in any given season.

"I'm not that far away (agewise) from this generation that's coming in," Warsofsky said." I think everyone's taught differently, and it's my job to understand that and figure out these players as human beings first. I'll get them to know them as a human being and then I'll get going [knowing] them as a player.

"I know the players that are here. We just went through two really tough years. I know what they need; they're beat up a little bit. We need new life, we need some energy, we need some positivity. Now we have some hope with our prospects that are coming up. This is a really exciting chapter in this franchise."

Warsofsky was an assistant for the United States at the 2023 IIHF World Championship, helping guide it to a fourth-place finish. He joined the Sharks after two seasons coaching Chicago of the American Hockey League, including a league-best 50-16-5-5 record in 2021-22 en route to winning the 2022 Calder Cup. He was 105-47-11-7 as an AHL coach with Chicago and Charlotte.

"At the end of the day, and you can see it today, the passion that Ryan has. And that meant a lot to me and the staff," Sharks general manager Mike Grier said. "... You need to care, you need that passion, and you need your team to play that way.

"And the fact that he's won. He's always won at whatever level he's been at.

"I think what's underestimated is that he had two different organizations trying to give him young players to work with, and he did a great job and ended up winning a Calder Cup with that group," Grier said. "I think it's also an opportunity to grow with our group. We're going to be young, he's a young coach, and hopefully the whole crew can grow together and win together and take the next steps."

The Sharks (19-54-9) fired Quinn on April 24 after finishing last in the NHL and failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. They started 0-10-1, second worst in NHL history after the 1943-44 New York Rangers (0-14, one tie), and allowed at least seven goals 10 times and 10 goals twice.

"There have a been a lot of new coaches, and not one coach has gotten up and said, 'We want to play slow and we want to be passive,'" Warsofsky said. "We want to be fast, we want to get on teams. There will be a very distinct look of what our team looks like, I can tell you that right now. I think fans will leave the building and say, 'Wow, that was a really fun team to watch,' win or lose. The opponent will say, 'Man, that's the toughest team to play against.' There will be some changes structurally, for sure, but I think you'll be proud of the team we put on the ice."

San Jose owns the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on May 7, and are expected to select Boston University center Macklin Celebrini. Forward Will Smith, the No. 4 pick of the 2023 NHL Draft, signed a three-year, entry-level contract May 28.

Warsofsky played collegiate hockey as a defenseman at Sacred Heart University and Curry College, overseas for White Caps in Turnhout, Belgium; Rio Grande of the Central Hockey League and Cape Cod of the Federal Hockey League. He also was an assistant at Curry and guided South Carolina of the ECHL from 2016-18 prior to becoming an AHL assistant in Charlotte.

Since the regular season ended, the Buffalo Sabres hired Lindy Ruff on April 22, Travis Green joined the Ottawa Senators on May 7, the Toronto Maple Leafs named Craig Berube to the position May 17, Sheldon Keefe was hired by the New Jersey Devils on May 23, Scott Arniel became coach of the Winnipeg Jets the next day and Dan Bylsma returned to the NHL as Seattle Kraken coach May 28.

NHL.com independent correspondent Chelena Goldman contributed to this report

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