North Dakota, already facing an outflux of talent to the pros this season, will also be without a key member of its coaching staff for 2006-07.
Associate head coach Brad Berry will depart UND to take an assistant coaching position in the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks organization, head coach Dave Hakstol announced.
Berry, a member of the Fighting Sioux coaching staff for the past six seasons, has signed a three-year NHL contract with Vancouver and will be an assistant coach for the Manitoba Moose, an American Hockey League affiliate of the Canucks.
Hakstol said a search for Berry’s replacement would begin immediately.
“I want to thank Dave Hakstol for giving me an opportunity to be a part of his coaching staff and be a part of three Frozen Four teams in my six years at UND,” said Berry. “I also want to thank all the people of Grand Forks and fans of UND for their support during my time there. I’ll always be part of the Fighting Sioux family.”
Berry, 41, has spent the past two years as UND’s associate coach under Hakstol after serving for four seasons (2000-04) as an assistant coach under head coach Dean Blais.
During Berry’s six years on the UND coaching staff, the Fighting Sioux won two WCHA regular-season titles and one WCHA playoff title while advancing to the NCAA Frozen Four three times. UND was 149-78-25 (.641) in Berry’s six years.
Among his duties at UND, Berry played a key role in recruiting. During his six years with UND, 22 Sioux players have been drafted by NHL teams, including 11 on the team’s current roster. Seven players he has coached during his six years at UND have played in the NHL.
Prior to UND, Berry was the interim assistant coach for the IHL’s Michigan K-Wings in 1999-00 after completing a 15-year professional playing career.
As a player, Berry spent 1994-99 with the K-Wings. He also played for the Dallas Stars (NHL) in 1993-94 and the Minnesota North Stars (NHL) in 1992-93. He played an earlier stint with the K-Wings in 1991-92 and in 1990-91 was with Brynas IF of the Swedish Elite League.
Berry’s other NHL experience came from four seasons with the Winnipeg Jets from 1986-90. Berry played in 405 IHL games and 241 NHL games. He was a three-time IHL All-Star (1992, 1994, 1995) and was also chosen as the Defenseman of the Year for the K-Wings in 1992, 1994, and 1995.
Berry attended UND and played hockey from 1983-86. The defenseman was a three-year letterwinner who played in 112 games, scored 12 goals and had 62 assists.