USA Hockey taps Wilson to coach 2016 World Junior squad

USA Hockey announced Thursday that Ron Wilson has been named head coach of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team that will play in the IIHF World Junior Championship from Dec. 26, 2015 to Jan. 5, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland.

“We’re extremely pleased to have Ron guiding our National Junior Team,” said USA Hockey assistant executive director for hockey operations Jim Johannson in a news release. “His resume speaks for itself, both as a player and a coach, and we know he’ll do an outstanding job.”

“It is always an honor to serve as head coach for the United States,” added Wilson. “The World Junior Championship has evolved into one of the great events on the hockey calendar and with so many highly-skilled players in USA Hockey’s player pool, expectations have never been higher.”

Wilson, who played at Providence from 1973 to 1977, led the men’s U.S. Olympic hockey team to a silver medal at the 2010 games in Vancouver. He still holds Providence school records (and NCAA records for defensemen) in career points (250), assists (172), most points in a single season (87) and single-season assists (61).

Wilson has coached 1,401 NHL games and has 648 wins to his credit in 18 seasons as a head coach in Toronto (2008-2012), San Jose (2002-08), Washington (1997-2002) and Anaheim (1993-97).

Team USA finished fifth at the 2015 World Junior event under former Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki.