USA Hockey Magazine

November 2018

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"The players we turn out, they can play any style of play," Hynes said. "They play with speed, good hockey sense, and puck skills." One doesn't need to look any far- ther than the Devils current roster to see that. This year's squad features 12 players with American roots, includ- ing forwards Kyle Palmieri, Stefan Noesen, Blake Coleman and Miles Wood, defenseman Andy Greene and Will Butcher, and goaltenders Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid. "With the growth [of hockey] across America, there's more and more players to choose from," Hynes said. "With the quality of hockey in the U.S., with youth hockey and the American Development Model, you can play hockey in any Junior league and be recognized. The growth is strong, and you don't have to leave the U.S. to have extreme competition against Canada and countries around the world." The same can be said for an influx of American coaches working at the highest levels of the game. For Hynes, the road to the NHL ran through Ann Arbor, Mich., where he served two terms at the NTDP, help- ing develop the next wave of budding college and pro stars. "The NTDP spurred development in the U.S., and the USHL and other Junior leagues have raised their level of commitment to development," Hynes said. "The colleges have done a great job of moving that along. The coaches emphasize player development and quality competition, with off-ice training and good practice habits. College has been a feeder system for the pros and the NHL, with the coaching you receive at that level and the quality of competition in games." A n d t h a t f e e d e r s y s t e m h a s expanded to all corners of the coun- try. Two of Hynes' Devils in Coleman and Noesen were both born in Texas, and played their early hockey there. " I t g o e s b a c k t o t h e A D M , a n d doing the right things at the younger ages," Hynes said. "If they [players] love the process, they will love going to the rink. You put them in the right training environment, and you get better as a country. It's making U.S. hockey more competitive, with the national teams and such." P r i o r t o h i s p r o m o t i o n t o t h e NHL, Hynes was head coach for six years with the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Penguins, whom he guid- ed to five consecutive Calder Cup Playoff berths. He was also named AHL Coach of the Year in 2010-11 in his first year at the helm. Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin credits Hynes with helping him develop his game over three seasons in the AHL, to the point where the Biddeford, Maine, native became a mainstay on Pittsburgh's blue line during back-to-back 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup championships. "After my first year, I realized I had to put in the time and get bet- ter defensively," said Dumoulin, a two-time All-America selection and NCAA champion at Boston College. "John Hynes really taught me. He was great for me, and I'm thankful for him." It's a lesson that he learned from legendary coach Jack Parker when he arrived at Boston University in the mid-1990s. Over the course of his three seasons with the Terriers, Hynes was never the biggest or the most talented player, but few of his teammates worked harder. After an injury cut short his senior season, Hynes discovered his true calling as a coach as he served two seasons as a graduate assistant at BU before joining the NTDP. A f t e r t w o s e a s o n s a s a n a s s i s - tant, he joined Mike Eaves at the U n i v e r s i t y o f W i s c o n s i n b e f o r e returning to Ann Arbor, where he became a cornerstone of the NTDP's development efforts, winning 188 games in all, while training the next generation of NHL stars. "Coach Hynes is just one of those guys that you just feed off him," said Palmieri, who played for Hynes at the NTDP and has been reunited with him in New Jersey. J O H N H Y N E S DANTON COLE NTDP Tenure: 2010-17 Current Team: Michigan State University MIKE EAVES NTDP Tenure: 2000-02 Current Team: St. Olaf College DON GRANATO NTDP Tenure: 2011-16 Current Team: Chicago Blackhawks JOHN HYNES NTDP Tenure: 2003-09 Current Team: New Jersey Devils JEFF JACKSON NTDP Tenure: 1997-2000 Current Team: Notre Dame University JOHN GRUDEN NTDP Tenure: 2010-15 Current Team: N.Y. Islanders DAVID QUINN NTDP Tenure: 2002-04 Current Team: N.Y. Rangers RON ROLSTON NTDP Tenure: 2004-11 Current Team: Providence College "You still see the passion, that's a l w a y s b e e n t h e r e . H e 's o n e o f those guys that you can't help but feed off of. He brings that intensity and the passion with him on the bench and in practice. It's conta- gious for his players and his coach- ing staff. "He's always been that way, which makes it pretty clear for players. T h e r e 's n o g r a y a r e a a n d t h a t 's something that makes me really enjoy playing for him." No matter where the game takes him, Hynes has never strayed far f r o m h i s r o ot s. Fr o m h i s y o u t h hockey days in Rhode Island, to his time with the NTDP and the opportunities he's had to coach various national teams, Hynes has appreciated all that USA Hockey has done for him. The feeling is more than mutual. "It's been such a great experi- ence, and it's who I am as a coach," said Hynes, who coached the U.S. National Team at the 2016 World Championship and was an assistant at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. "I remember the select festivals at Lake Placid, with players and coach- es from all over the country, and it helped me to go into coaching. "I've had tremendous opportuni- ties to be around U.S. and interna- tional coaches, and I've taken a lot of pride in that, in my exposure to great players and coaches." "I want to get better, and continue to have opportunities to represent the U.S. as a coach," he said. Based on how far he's come already, there are no worries there. P Roman J. Uschak is a freelance writer based out of Union, N.J. 26 // NOVEMBER 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM k Even though he's reached the pinnacle of his profession, John Hynes has never forgotten his USA Hockey roots and is always willing to do what he can to help grow the game around the country. Springboard To Success The National Team Development Program has produced some of top coaches in the game today:

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