Another Western Hockey League Alumni will be behind the bench of the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings named former Swift Current Broncos head coach Todd McLellan as their 29th head coach in franchise history Tuesday.
A product of Melville, Sask., McLellan’s WHL career as a player saw him appear in 178 WHL regular season games with the Saskatoon Blades between 1983 and 1987, recording 164 points (66G-98A). He added 15 points (11G-4A) in 22 WHL Playoff games.
Selected in the fifth round, 104th overall, by the New York Islanders in the 1986 NHL Draft, McLellan recorded a goal and an assist in five games for his NHL career with the Islanders. McLellan would also later play with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
McLellan didn’t stay away from the game of hockey too long, returning behind the bench in junior hockey for the 1993-94 season and eventually being named the head coach of the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos ahead of the 1994-95 WHL Regular Season. McLellan would spend six years behind the bench with the Broncos before advancing to the professional ranks.
His all-time coaching record in the WHL stands at 250-176-49 in 475 games over six seasons for an all-time winning percentage of .578. During his six seasons, the Broncos won two division titles, one as a member of the Central Division and another with the Eastern Division before the current four-division format was introduced. In the 1999-00 season, McLellan was named the recipient of the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as the WHL Coach of the Year.
Coaching in the American Hockey League for four seasons with the Houston Aeros, McLellan won the Calder Cup in 2003. From 2005 through to 2008, McLellan served as an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings in the National Hockey League before taking on the head coaching role with the San Jose Sharks. After seven seasons as head coach with the Sharks, he stepped behind the bench with the Edmonton Oilers ahead of the 2015-16 NHL Regular Season. He spent three full seasons behind the bench of the Oilers before being replaced mid-season.
McLellan joins Willie Desjardins and Darryl Sutter as WHL Alumni to serve behind the bench for the Kings in recent years.