John Wroblewski leaves Plymouth-based program for L.A. Kings organization

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — John Wroblewski is headed to pro hockey.

Wroblewski, 39, who had so much success coaching in the Plymouth-based U.S. National Team Development Program, was hired Monday by the Los Angeles Kings to coach their AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign.

John Wroblewski

Wroblewski has been thought by many NHL personnel to some day move into the pro ranks, especially after eight of his players were picked in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft, including No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes.

Wroblewski will be reunited with Alex Turcotte, who was the Kings’ 2019 first-round pick (No. 5 overall).

The Kings have one of the better prospect pools in the NHL, and were searching for a young coach who could develop that promising talent.

Wroblewski played college hockey at Notre Dame and professionally in the ECHL before beginning his coaching career in the USHL and ECHL.

Wroblewski spent the last four seasons (2016-20) as a head coach with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program (NTDP). Wroblewski spent two-year stints with players from the same birth year and alternated as head coach for the U.S. National Under-17 Team (2017-18, 2019-20) and Under-18 Team (2016-17, 2018-19). 

Over his four years with the NTDP, the program reached its first USHL playoff berth since 2012, its first USHL Eastern Conference Finals appearance (2018) and a top-three finish in all 12 international tournaments entered. 

"John has a proven background in working with young players and helping them develop their game," said Rob Blake, the Kings' general manager. "He's a strong leader who communicates well and he'll play an important role for our organization. We welcome John and his family to southern California and look forward to having him coach the Reign."

Twitter: @tkulfan