Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee announced that the team has hired Ryan Craig as an assistant coach.
Craig joins Mike Kelly as the second assistant coach named to Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant’s coaching staff.
Craig, 35, joins the Golden Knights after a 14-season playing career where he skated in 198 career NHL games and 711 career American Hockey League games.
Craig last played in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, captaining the Cleveland Monsters (formerly Lake Erie Monsters) of the AHL for the last two seasons. He was the team captain for the 2015-16 Lake Erie Monsters squad that captured the 2016 Calder Cup championship.
The Abbotsford, British Columbia native split his 198 NHL games between the Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Blue Jackets.
He served as the team captain for four different AHL clubs including the Monsters, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Norfolk Admirals and the Springfield Falcons.
He was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the eighth round (255th overall) in the 2002 NHL Draft. Craig made his NHL debut for the Lightning in the 2005-06 season.
Meanwhile, Kelly joins the Golden Knights after most recently serving under Gallant with the Florida Panthers organization from 2014-17. In that time Kelly helped guide the Panthers to a record of 120-91-35 and a first-place finish in the NHL Atlantic Division in the 2015-16 season.
Prior to working with the Panthers, Kelly spent four seasons with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. There he served as Head Coach and General Manager (2012-14) and Director of Hockey Operations/Associate Head Coach under Gallant (2010-12). He helped lead the Sea Dogs to three first-place finishes, three league final appearances, two QMJHL championships (2011 & 2012) and one Memorial Cup (2011).
Prior to working in Quebec, Kelly spent three years with the Vancouver Canucks organization (2005-08) as an assistant coach with both the Canucks and their American Hockey League Affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. At the major junior level, Kelly has experience in both coaching and management with the Brandon Wheat Kings (Western Hockey League), North Bay Centennials (Ontario Hockey League) and Windsor Spitfires (OHL).
Internationally, Kelly led Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2003 IIHF World Under-18 Championship as head coach. He was also an assistant on Team Canada’s coaching staff at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2000, 2001, and 2002.
Kelly played hockey at the University of New Brunswick in Canada from 1981-86.
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