The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have announced that Chris Taylor and J.D. Forrest have been named assistant coaches for the 2016-17 season, and Madison Nikkel has been named video coach.
Both Taylor and Forrest have experience playing in the American Hockey League in addition to their coaching resumes.
Taylor, 44, spent the past four seasons behind the bench of the Rochester Americans as an assistant coach. He played professional hockey for 19 years in North America and Europe, but logged the most time with the Americans. In 519 games with Rochester, the forward accrued 142 goals and 339 assists for 481 points and served as the team’s captain for two seasons. Taylor is third all-time in club history in assists and was inducted into the Americans’ Hall of Fame in 2015.
After retiring in 2011, Taylor immediately joined Rochester’s staff as a development coach before becoming an assistant one year later. A Stratford, Ontario-native, Taylor also logged 149 NHL games playing for the New York Islanders, Boston Bruins, and Buffalo Sabres.
Forrest spent the past season coaching Red Bull Salzburg’s farm team in Austria. During the 2015-16 season, Forrest’s team went 32-22 in the international Red Bull Hockey Series and went unbeaten (4-0) in its season-ending tournament. Before coaching Salzburg’s farm team, the 35-year-old from Auburn, New York, served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team Development Program in 2014-15. He won a gold medal with the team at the IIHF U18 World Junior Championship.
Following four years at Boston College, Forrest played defense for the Albany River Rats and Worcester Sharks in the AHL in 2007-08. Forrest also played professional hockey in Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany.
Nikkel spent the past four years as head manager of Boston College men’s hockey. The Elizabeth, Colorado, native was responsible for all pre- and in-game video analysis for the Eagles.