On Monday morning, the Philadelphia Flyers announced this that Dave Hakstol would be the 19th head coach in Flyers history.
Hakstol, 46, was the head coach at the University of North Dakota for the past 11 seasons, coaching some of the best players now in the NHL – including Jonathan Toews. Under Hakstol, UND teams put together an impressive 289-143-43 record.
He is the first NCAA coach to go directly to a head coaching job in the NHL since Herb Brooks left St. Cloud State to coach the North Stars in 1987.
In the wake of Hakstol leaving, North Dakota Director of Athletics Brian Faison announced that longtime UND assistant coach Brad Berry would take over as the head coach.
Faison taking over keeps some continuity behind the bench at UND, but the changes could have an impact on at least two Blackhawks prospects: Nick Schmaltz and Luke Johnson.
Schmaltz, the Hawks first round pick (20th overall) in 2014, finished his freshman season with five goals and 21 assists in 38 games. His 26 points ranked fourth on the team (third among UND forwards).
Johnson, a fifth round pick (134th overall) in 2013, finished fifth on the UND roster with 11 goals last season. He has posted 45 points in 84 games in his two seasons at UND.
Update: If either decides to turn pro because of the coaching change, the Blackhawks would continue to own their rights for two and three more years, respectively. According to the CBA, because both Johnson and Schmaltz went directly to UND after they were drafted “the drafting Club shall retain exclusive rights for the negotiation of his services until the fourth June 1 following his selection in the Entry Draft.” Mike Reilly played one year in the BCHL before going to Minnesota, and is four years removed from his draft date.
Schmaltz’s older brother Jordan, a Blues prospect, posted 28 points for UND last season.