Dan Bylsma has filled his coaching staff with an interesting hire announced by the Sabres today: Tom Ward, head coach for the last 18 years at Shattuck St. Mary’s Boys Prep team in Minnesota, will be joining the Buffalo staff in place of the departed Dave Barr.
Shattuck St. Mary's is one of the most well-known prep schools in American hockey and has sent many players to the NHL. The most prominent, of course, is Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who played for Ward in 2003 and helped the school win the Tier I 17 & Under National Championship. Former Sabre Drew Stafford was on that team, as was current Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson.
Under Ward, SSM has won nine USA Hockey National Championships and finished as runners-up once. There is a voluminous list of his standouts, which includes new Sabres signee Kyle Okposo, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, Minnesota's Zach Parise, Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon and Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers.
The Sabres have also hired Adam Nightingale as video coach. The brother of Buffalo video specialist Jason Nightingale, Adam Nightingale led Shattuck St. Mary's bantam team to a national championship earlier this year and was the director of hockey operations and video coordinator for Michigan State for four seasons.