5 things to know about new Oilers AHL affiliate coach Colin Chaulk

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There was a lot of buzz when the Edmonton Oilers fired head coach Dave Tippett and replaced him with Jay Woodcroft of the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League (AHL), and the uproar did only increase when the Oilers started 5-0 under their new bench boss.

All the excitement surrounding Woodcroft’s takeover in Edmonton made it easy to forget the vacant coaching position in Bakersfield, where the coach has spent the past three and a half years grooming young players for the NHL. Only now that things have calmed down does it suddenly appear to Oilers fans, who might sound a bit like panicked parents asking, “Wait a minute – who’s taking care of the kids?”

The answer is Colin Chaulk, who was named interim head coach of Bakersfield on Feb. 11, and is now responsible for developing the Oilers’ top prospects at their AHL-affiliated club.

Chaulk is not well known in Oil Country; the 45-year-old only joined the organization in September when the Condors named him assistant coach and since then goes about his business in the relative anonymity of professional minor hockey. Suffice to say that there is a bit of mystery and a lot of curiosity about who now leads the Bakersfield bench. Here are five things to know about Chaulk.

He paved the way for major junior

Chaulk played four seasons, from 1994-95 to 1997-98, in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the Kingston Frontenacs and was captain in his final season. The 6-foot forward led Kingston in scoring for three consecutive seasons, beginning in 1995-96, and in 1997-98 he finished fifth in the OHL with a career-high 96 points (34 goals and 62 assists).

In total, Chaulk had 91 goals and 177 assists for 268 points in 233 regular season games with the Frontenacs. By the end of his major junior career in 1998, Chaulk was second and third respectively on the team’s all-time leading lists in assists and points, and nearly a quarter of century later, it still ranks in the top five in both categories.

In 2020, Chaulk started a new chapter with his former junior club, play a role in the Frontenac scouting team as a scout for the Greater Toronto Hockey League area.

He had a long professional career

Although his NHL experience didn’t extend beyond training camp, Chaulk carved out a 15-year career in minor professional hockey, playing more than 1,000 games combined between the regular season and the playoffs with 12 different teams in eight separate leagues.

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