As many expected, Todd Nelson has left the Oilers and is expected to be named the new head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit’s AHL affiliate, as per Elliotte Friedman.
Nelson’s coaching career started in 2001 when he became an assistant coach for the Muskegon Fury of the United Hockey League. Following a 1 year stint there, he became an assistant coach for the Grand Rapids Griffins for 1 year, before returning to the Fury as head coach until 2006, winning two championships. He then became an assistant coach for the Chicago Wolves until 2008, where he won a Calder Cup.
On July 25th, 2008, Nelson was named an assistant coach of the Atlanta Thrashers, and remained there until July 15th, 2010 when he joined the Oilers organization as head coach of the Barons. After Dallas Eakins was fired in December, Nelson was named interim head coach and remained in that position until Todd McClellan was hired as head coach on May 19th, 2015.
In Grand Rapids, Nelson replaces Jeff Blashill, who became the new head coach of the Red Wings after Babcock’s departure. Detroit is obviously well known for their prospect development, and Nelson will become a key piece in ensuring that model continues.