Kris Knoblauch

 

Kris Knoblauch was named the seventh head coach in Wolf Pack history July 29, 2019.

Knoblauch came to the Wolf Pack after two seasons as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.  Before that stint, he spent seven seasons as a head coach at the Major Junior level, two (2010-11 and 2011-12) with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and five with the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Erie Otters.  All told, Knoblauch amassed a Major Junior career coaching record of 298-130-16-13, for a points percentage of .684, in 457 games.

In his first season as a head coach, 2010-11 with Kootenay, Knoblauch piloted the Ice to a 46-21-1-4 record for 97 points in the regular season, and a 16-3 playoff run that saw Kootenay capture the WHL championship and earn a berth in the Memorial Cup.

After finishing his Kootenay tenure with a total record of 82-47-7-8, Knoblauch moved behind the Erie bench November 29, 2012.  Subsequent to that season, he led the Otters to four consecutive 50-win campaigns, making the Otters the first team in the history of the Canadian Hockey League (comprised of the OHL, WHL and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) to accomplish that feat.

Knoblauch’s 2016-17 Erie club won the OHL championship and advanced all the way to the final of the Memorial Cup, and both that team and the previous year’s Otter squad won the Hamilton Spectator Trophy for compiling the best regular-season record in the OHL.  Knoblauch was named OHL Coach of the Year in 2015-16, and also guided Erie to the OHL final in 2014-15.  He finished his Erie tenure with an overall record of 216-79-9-5 (.722) in 309 games.

During his time coaching the Otters and Ice, Knoblauch played a key role in the development of numerous players who went on to successful NHL careers, including Connor McDavid, Alex DeBrincat, Sam Reinhart, Dylan Strome, Andre Burakovsky, Anthony Cirelli, Erik Cernak, Connor Brown and Travis Dermott.

Prior to becoming a head coach, Knoblauch served as an assistant coach with Kootenay for three seasons (2007-08 through 2009-10).  The first coaching experience for the Imperial, Saskatchewan native was one year (2006-07) as an assistant with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders.

Knoblauch has also coached in several international tournaments, including helping Canada to a silver medal in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship as an assistant coach.  He also served as head coach for Canada-Red at the 2015 World U17 Hockey Challenge.

Knoblauch played two seasons of pro hockey, logging 60 games with the CHL’s Austin IceBats in 2004-05 (18-22-40, 76 PIM) and 28 games in 2005-06 with Neuilly sur-Marne of FFHG Division 1 in France (29-17-46, 24 PIM).

A seventh-round pick (166th overall) by the New York Islanders in the 1997 NHL Draft, Knoblauch, who was born September 24, 1978, enjoyed a three-year playing career in the WHL, from 1996-97 through 1998-99, with the Red Deer Rebels, Edmonton/Kootenay Ice and Lethbridge Hurricanes.  He also played five seasons (1999-00 through 2003-04) of Canadian University hockey at the University of Alberta, winning a CIAU University Cup championship his first year.