The St. Louis Blues today announced that Drew Bannister has been named head coach of the San Antonio Rampage, marking the beginning of a five-year affiliation between the two clubs.
A native of Sudbury, Ont., Bannister led Sault Ste. Marie to the best record in the Ontario Hockey League in 2017-18 (55-7-3-3) and a trip to the OHL Finals. He was named the Coach of the Year in both the OHL and the Canadian Hockey League.
“I’m incredibly appreciative of the opportunity that the Blues and Rampage have afforded me,” said Bannister. “I look forward to instilling a winning culture in San Antonio as we continue to develop the young and talented players in the St. Louis system.”
Bannister, 44, spent three seasons as head coach in Sault Ste. Marie and accumulated a record of 136-50-13-5. Before that, he served as an assistant coach for Owen Sound (OHL) from 2012-15.
A second-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992, Bannister played 18 seasons of pro hockey including 204 games in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and Binghamton Senators. He won a Calder Cup championship with Hartford in 2000. Bannister appeared in 164 games in the NHL with Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Anaheim and the N.Y. Rangers.