Providence bench boss Leaman tabbed head coach of 2021 U.S. World Junior team

Providence coach Nate Leaman (2019 Omar Phillips)
Providence coach Nate Leaman led the Friars to a 16-12-6 overall mark (10-11-3 Hockey East) during the 2019-20 season (photo: Omar Phillips).

Providence coach Nate Leaman has been named head coach of the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team.

The announcement was made Monday by USA Hockey.

“It’s obviously an honor to be asked and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” said Leaman in a news release. “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.”

The team will take part in the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held Dec. 26, 2020 to Jan. 5, 2021, in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.

Team USA will be seeking its fifth medal in six years at the event.

“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, in a statement. “He has a championship pedigree and is one of the top coaches in our country.”

Leaman has been a part of two previous U.S. National Junior Team coaching staffs, including as an assistant coach for the bronze medal-winning 2007 squad that competed in Leksand and Mora, Sweden. He also served as an assistant coach for the 2009 team that played in Ottawa, Ont. Leaman made his USA Hockey coaching debut as an assistant coach in 2005 at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, where the U.S. won gold in Ceske Budejorke and Plzen, Czech Republic.

The 2019-20 campaign is Leaman’s ninth as head coach at Providence.