MONTREAL (AP) – Canadian world junior championship coach Dominique Ducharme has made the jump to the NHL as an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens.
The Canadiens dropped assistant coaches Jean-Jacques Daigneault and Dan Lacroix and hired Ducharme away from the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Friday.
The club also gave a contract extension to goaltending coach Stephane Waite, who has been with the team for five years.
The moves are part of an offseason shakeup by a Canadiens team that missed the playoffs for a second time in three years. On April 17, the club fired Sylvain Lefebvre, coach of their American Hockey League team, the Laval Rocket, which also missed the playoffs. Lefebvre has yet to be replaced.
Ducharme, 45, has built an impressive resume in junior hockey and may be seen as a potential future replacement for Canadiens head coach Claude Julien.
Ducharme coached 10 years in the QMJHL with Halifax and Drummondville. In 2013, he took a Mooseheads team that included future Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon and Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin to a Memorial Cup title, as well as winning the QMJHL coach of the year award. He moved to Drummondville in 2016 to be closer to his family.
Ducharme coached Canada twice at the world juniors, winning silver in 2017 and gold in 2018.
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