The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce the three finalists for the 2019-20 CHL Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award Presented by Janes.
Awarded annually to the coach of the year in the CHL, the trophy was renamed in 2003 to honour Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Brian Kilrea when he won his 1000th game as coach of the Ottawa 67’s.
Representing the Western Hockey League for award consideration is Brad Lauer of the Edmonton Oil Kings, from the Ontario Hockey League is Andre Tourigny of the Ottawa 67’s, and from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is Stephane Julien of the Sherbrooke Phoenix.
Lauer led the Oil Kings to a second straight Central Division title with a 42-12-6-4 record for 94 points in just his second season behind the bench. The 53-year-old from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, is the first Edmonton bench boss to be the recipient of the WHL’s Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy for Coach of the Year.
Tourigny is a second straight nominee by earning the OHL’s Matt Leyden Trophy for Coach of the Year in back-to-back years guiding the 67’s to a second straight OHL regular season crown with a 50-11-0-1 record for 101 points. The 45-year-old from Nicolet, Que., and World Junior gold medalist follows the legendary Kilrea (1981, 1982, 1996, 1997, 2003) on the club’s list of OHL award winners.
Julien led the Phoenix to their first ever first place finish in the QMJHL’s overall standings carrying a franchise best record of 51-8-3-1 for 106 points. In his fourth season behind the Phoenix bench, the 46-year-old from Shawinigan, Que., is the first member of the organization to win the QMJHL’s Ron Lapointe Trophy which was first presented in 1993 to Guy Chouinard of the Sherbrooke Faucons.
Last season QMJHL and Memorial Cup champion Mario Pouliot of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies was the CHL award recipient following a franchise record 59-win season. The most recent CHL winner from the OHL is Drew Bannister of the Soo Greyhounds in 2018, with Jim Hiller of the Tri-City Americans the last WHL winner in 2012. Kilrea’s lone CHL Coach of the Year recognition was in 1997.
The 2019-20 recipient of the CHL Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award presented by Janes will be announced in the coming weeks.