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Oilers sign Jay Woodcroft to coach Bakersfield Condors through 2021-22

The Edmonton Oilers continue to check items off their summer to-do list as they announced this morning that Jay Woodcroft signed an extension that will keep him behind the Bakersfield Condors bench as the head coach for the next three seasons.

In a move that I think all of us can get behind, the Edmonton Oilers and Jay Woodcroft have agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep him behind the Bakersfield Condors’ bench for the next three seasons. In his first season as a head coach, Woodcroft led the Condors to their first playoff berth in franchise history, capturing a Western Conference title with 89 points and punctuated by a 17 game win streak which was the second-longest in AHL history. Woodcroft will work alongside newly appointed AGM, Keith Gretzky, who will oversee Bakersfield as part of his new gig in Holland’s regime.

Speaking of Ken Holland, this is the second time that he and Woodcroft have worked together at the NHL level. Woodcroft was hired to be Mike Babcock’s video coach back in 2005, working for three years under Holland before eventually leaving to join Todd McLellan as an assistant coach in San Jose. In his time as an NHL assistant coach, Woodcroft shared in 511 regular season wins, five Western Conference titles, six division titles, three President’s Trophies, and a Stanley Cup in 2008 with Detroit. Last summer, the Oilers decided to make some changes behind the bench and those moves gave Woodcroft his first opportunity as a head coach, an opportunity he grabbed and ran with.

After the Condors’ season ended, there was some speculation that Jay Woodcroft might leave Bakersfield to join Todd McLellan’s coaching staff in Los Angeles, and I’m thrilled to see that he decided to stick around and build upon an excellent head coaching debut. Now that we know Woodcroft will be spending a few more years with the organization, I can’t help but wonder if the Oilers now have their heir apparent in the system to take over the NHL bench when Dave Tippett’s three-year deal finishes up. I know I’m getting way ahead of myself here, but wouldn’t it be nice to see a coach that’s being groomed on the farm getting the chance to move up in the organization? I think so.

Under Woodcroft’s guidance, five Condors made their NHL debuts this past season (Josh Currie, Joe Gambardella, Caleb Jones, Cooper Marody, Patrick Russell) and I look forward to seeing what comes next for the Oilers’ farm team.

WOODCROFT’S FIRST SEASON AS A HEAD COACH

Season Team League Type GP W L T OTL Pct
2018-19 Bakersfield Condors AHL Head 68 42 21 0 5 0.654

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 6/12/2019 – 8:59 am MST

  • Hemmercules

    Good for Jay! He did some good work there this year. Must be nice to be the head guy after years of being second fiddle. I thought for sure he would follow Todd back to the NHL but maybe he will have a better chance at getting a shot at a head NHL coaching job if he keeps the Codors competitive.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Honestly Woodcorft signing is a good thing for him and the Oilers, Jay did well last season with the Condors, The Oilers get stability in a coach at the AHL.

    If Woodcroft is ever going to be an NHL coach showing teams he can run a bench and guide and help develop guys in the AHL and have a team that competes and puts W’s on the board will go a long long way to helping him in getting tapped for a future coaching gig in the NHL. Obviously he decided his chances were better to stay where he was in Bakersfield than to go to LA with TM and be an Assistant if he wanted an NHL coaching gig one day

    • Oilman99

      This signing adds more stability to a franchise that has been in constant turmoil for so many years. Having the heir apparent maturing on the farm creating a relationship with the up and coming players is a big plus.

  • Bluetomorrow

    Woodcroft and the Condors are getting a nice boost of young high end players joining them next year if no players make the Oilers this year.

    Benson-Marody-Yamamoto
    Gambardella-McLeod-Currie
    Hebig-Malone-Russell
    Safin-Brodziak-Maksimov
    Vesey-Polei

    Jones-Bear
    Lagesson-Bouchard
    Samorukov-Day
    Lowe

    Woodcroft will have a lot to work with and hopefully they have another great year. Looking at that defence with 5 young Dmen with NHL potential looks promising for the future

  • OilerForLife

    Congrats to Jay Woodcraft and the Oilers. Terrific signing for both and they can groom him for a future NHL job with the Oilers. Draft good players and they attract good coaches.

  • Shameless Plugger

    “In a move I think all of us can get behind”…..

    My first thought to this line was;
    I’m sure Serious Gord will find a way to not get behind it.

    I like it. He was wildly successful in his first year behind the bench as the head man. Lots of the prospects (and even veterans) had upticks in their development/game under his tutelage. Good signing.

  • OilCan2

    Jay earned it. Kudos to him. Ken made yet another low key high impact signing. This bodes well for our new young players moving to the AHL next fall. It also gives cred to the build from within code of conduct.