New Jersey Devils hire Hynes as head coach

The New Jersey Devils today named John Hynes as the 17th head coach in team history. Hynes joins the Devils after five successful seasons at the helm of the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

“John Hynes is an individual with extensive coaching experience on the collegiate, professional and national levels,” said Devils general manager Ray Shero. “He has been successful at each one and we are fully confident in what he will bring to the Devils’ organization."

Hynes, 40, spent six seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, beginning as an assistant coach under Todd Reirden in 2009-10. Named the Penguins’ head coach prior to the 2010-11 season, Hynes compiled a record of 231-136-17 (.624) and led the club to at least the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs each year, including trips to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014. He won the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach in 2010-11 after leading Wilkes-Barre to a 58-21-0-1 record in his first season as a pro. During Hynes’ tenure, the Penguins led the AHL in goals against four times in five seasons.

Players who have gone on to reach the NHL after playing for Hynes in Wilkes-Barre include Derrick Pouliot, Olli Maatta, Simon Despres, Robert Bortuzzo, Brian Strait, Beau BennettZach Sill, Joe Vitale, Trevor Smith and Colin McDonald.

Hynes is now one of four former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coaches leading an NHL bench, joining Montreal’s Michel Therrien (2003-04 to 2005-06), Columbus’s Todd Richards (2006-08) and Buffalo’s Dan Bylsma (2008-09). In addition, Minnesota’s Mike Yeo was a player (1999-2000) and an assistant coach (2000-06) with the AHL Pens.

Before joining the Penguins, Hynes spent six seasons (2003-09) as head coach of USA Hockey’s National Development Program, posting an overall record of 188-131-16-10. He led the U.S. Under-18 national team to three medals at the World Under-18 Championships, winning gold in 2006, silver in 2004 and bronze in 2008. Hynes was head coach of the gold-medal-winning U.S. team at the 2008 World Junior Championships and also served as assistant coach on the U.S. squad that won gold at the 2004 World Junior tourney.

Hynes worked as an assistant coach at both the University of Wisconsin (2002-03) and UMass-Lowell (2000-01). He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Boston University under legendary coach Jack Parker. A native of Warwick, R.I., Hynes played four seasons at BU, participated in four straight NCAA Frozen Fours, and was a member of the Terriers’ 1995 NCAA championship team.