Ryan Wood will be returning to the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for a second season as coach and general manager, Hockey News North has confirmed.
The 35-year old Winnipeg, Manitoba native led a young Kirkland Lake team to a regular season record of 24-21-11 in 2017-2018, which was good for third place in the East Division of the NOJHL.
“I am excited to return to Kirkland Lake,” Wood told Hockey News North. “We had a really young team last year and having a nice nucleus of returning guys will set us up nicely for the (2018-2019) season.”
Wood added that he likes Kirkland Lake and is looking forward to working with a new executive led by president Steve Cox, vice president of hockey operations Derek Callahan and vice president of business operations Mike Jones.
“I really enjoy the town of Kirkland Lake,” Wood said. “There are a lot amazing people and with the new executive I think there is a bit of some new life for the team in town.”
Wood added that he is a fan of the NOJHL, likes the way it is run as a league and believes that the Gold Miners live up to the terms and mandate of player development.
“I really enjoy the NOJHL as it is a great brand of hockey and serves a great purpose for development,” Wood opined.
“As for player development, our team alone had five players commit to (National Collegiate Athletic Association) schools and and two of our American players have signed tenders with teams in the North American Hockey League,” Wood pointed out. “So, we are doing our job by moving kids and that is what this is all about.”