On Monday USA Hockey announced that Providence College Friars Head Coach Nate Leaman is going to be the Head Coach of the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team. Leaman will be tasked to lead the U.S. team through the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship that kicks off in late December and runs through early January.
Leaman’s job will not be easy as the expectation to win will certainly be there. Team USA will be seeking its fifth medal in just six years. This year the event will take place in Edmonton and Red Deer in Alberta, Canada.
“We’re extremely excited to have Nate leading our National Junior Team,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and also the general manager of the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team. “He has a championship pedigree and is one of the top coaches in our country.”
Leaman has experience at the USA Hockey level already having been apart of the coaching staff on two previous U.S. National Junior Teams in the past. His last experience with the Junior Team was back in 2009 when he served as an assistant coach when the event was held in Ottawa.
I”t’s obviously an honor to be asked and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” said Leaman. “Any time you have the chance to represent your country it’s a proud moment, particularly in a tournament like the World Juniors. I look forward to the challenge ahead. We have one goal in mind and that is to bring home a gold medal.”
Leaman has been at the helm of the Friars for nine seasons and during his tenure PC has appeared in the Frozen Four twice, and won a national championship in 2015. His coaching staff has also had an excellent eye for young talent. A total of 24 NHL draft picks have played under him as well as six players who went undrafted but are under contract at the NHL level.
This season the Friars finished in a tie for 7th place in Hockey East with 23 points and a 10-11-3 conference record. Leaman and PC will kick-off the Hockey East Quarterfinals this Friday at Boston College with a 7:00 pm puck drop.