The Edmonton Oilers have announced that head coach Jay Woodcroft will remain with the club through the 2024-25 season. In signing the interim bench boss to a new three-year deal, the Oilers’ brass has put their faith in the man called into the line of duty mid-season following Dave Tippett’s firing in early February.
Since his promotion to becoming the 17th head coach in Oilers history, Edmonton went 26-9-3 (second-best league-wide) and finished second in the Pacific Division (49-27-6) after being swept in the opening round of the playoffs last season by the Winnipeg Jets. They made it through the first and second rounds under Woodcroft, but fell to the current Stanley Cup Final participant Colorado Avalanche in four games last week.
The only thing left up in the air for the former American Hockey League coach was that of finalizing terms on a new contract with the big-league team.
“I think he did a fabulous job,” Oilers’ general manager Ken Holland said upon elimination. “The team responded to him and I told him he and I would meet early next week, Monday or Tuesday and have a discussion. Yes, I am interested in him coming back. I want to hear what he’s thinking. But I think he did a great job and was a big part of what we accomplished.”
Woodcroft went 105-71-21 record as head coach of Edmonton’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors over the past four seasons after serving as an assistant with the Oilers fro m2015-18. Prior to that, he coached with San Jose and Detroit from 2005-15.
The 45-year-old finished 12th in Jack Adams Award voting this year and owns the best points percentage (.724) among all active NHL coaches, while ranking second all-time among coaches who have appeared in more than five games (Tom Johnson, .738).