For the 3rd straight day this week, the Vegas Golden Knights organization has filled another hole in the coaching department by welcoming former NHLer Ryan Craig as the 2nd Assistant Coach to served alongside fellow Assistant Mike Kelly and Head Coach Gerard Gallant.
The other hiring that took place this week was the addition of Rocky Thompson who will lead the Chicago Wolves franchise behind the bench this fall.
For Gallant, he expressed his praise by adding the former NHLer to his team of coaches for the Golden Knights this upcoming season.
“I am proud to add Ryan as an assistant coach,” said Vegas Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant. “He is well-respected in the hockey community and has been a tremendous leader throughout his playing career, both on and off the ice. I am confident that the leadership characteristics he exuded as a player will translate well behind the bench in his new role as an assistant coach.”
The 35-year-old was originally selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft in the 8th round when they picked that far into the talent pool at 255th overall.
Craigs Playing Career Resume
Craig has spent a total of 198 games in the NHL with Tampa, Pittsburgh, and Columbus. In that span, he scored 32 goals and added 31 assists for 63 points.
In the AHL he played a lot more in fact during his 14-year playing career with Hershey, Springfield, Norfolk, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Lake Erie and Cleveland Monsters. He suited up for a total of 711 games and recorded 172 goals and tallied 188 assists for 360 points.
He has proven leadership having been captain for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, Springfield, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, both the Lake Erie and Cleveland Monsters hockey clubs.
For Craig, he brings a bit of championship hardware with him to the Vegas Golden Knights organization having won the 2016 Calder Cup with the Lake Erie Monsters.
“I would like to thank Bill Foley, George McPhee, Gerard Gallant and the rest of the Golden Knights staff for this tremendous opportunity,” said Vegas Golden Knights Assistant Coach Ryan Craig. “I would also like to thank my family, former teammates and coaches for their continued support as I make the transition from a player to a coach. I look forward to the challenge and the excitement that this new phase in my career will bring.”