Steelheads Head Coach & GM extended through the 2029-30 season

The Mississauga Steelheads announced on Monday that the team’s Head Coach and General Manager, James Richmond, has been signed to a five-year contract extension, carrying through to the 2029-30 season. 

Richmond’s time in Mississauga has been nothing short of excellent, posting an overall record of 194-164-24-18. In his first season as Head Coach, he took the Steelheads all the way to the OHL Finals after securing the Eastern Conference Championship. His leadership on and off the ice earned him the Coach of the Year title in the 2021-22 season, which saw the Steelheads win a franchise record 37 games and reach the second round of the playoffs. This past season, Richmond helped the team secure their future by trading for three former first round picks in Angus MacDonell, Porter Martone, and Jack Van Volsen, several other key lineup pieces, and numerous draft picks. 

“First and foremost I’d like to thank Elliott Kerr for having the confidence in me to give me this wonderful opportunity.” stated the newly extended Head Coach. “I’m very humbled and excited to know I will be a Steelhead for a long time. 

“Secondly I’d like to thank my wife, Ainsley, for being so supportive and pushing me to be better. My family, Ainsley, Kennedy and MacGregor are as happy as I am knowing they will be part of the Steelheads family for the future. 

“I’d also like to thank our Front Office Staff, who have been a pleasure to work alongside of. It’s pretty cool to work with people you genuinely like. Keep up the great work. 

“To the billet families and fans, a huge thank you for all of your support you give to our team. 

“Lastly, thank you to all the past and present players that I’ve had and continue to have the pleasure of coaching. It’s my passion and to see all the players grow not only as hockey players but more importantly as young men means the world to me. Go Steel Go!”

The bench boss’s resume extends across all levels. Prior to joining the coaching staff for the Steelheads, the Mississauga native spent time in Europe and with the OJHL, where he was awarded Coach of the Year on two occasions. Richmond is also a premier skills development instructor, working with both junior and professional players in North America and Europe. In 2014, he won a Stanley Cup as part of the Los Angeles Kings player development staff. 

Throughout his time with the club, Richmond has had 18 players drafted to the NHL, four of which were selected in the first round. Drafted players include:

Angus MacDonell2023Dallas Stars6 (#189 Overall)
Owen Beck2022Montreal Canadiens2 (#33 Overall)
Luca Del Bel Belluz2022Columbus Blue Jackets2 (#44 Overall)
Ethan Del Mastro2021Chicago Blackhawks4 (#105 Overall)
Ole Bjorgvik-Holm2020Columbus Blue Jackets5 (#145 Overall)
Thomas Harley2019Dallas Stars1 (#18 Overall)
Cole Schwindt2019Florida Panthers3 (#81 Overall)
Keean Washkurak2019St. Louis Blues5 (#155 Overall)
Ryan McLeod2018Edmonton Oilers2 (#40 Overall)
Jacob Ingham2018Los Angeles Kings6 (#175 Overall)
Owen Tippett2017Florida Panthers1 (#10 Overall)
Nicolas Hague2017Vegas Golden Knights2 (#34 Overall)
Alexander Nylander2016Buffalo Sabres1 (#8 Overall)
Michael McLeod2016New Jersey Devils1 (#12 Overall)
Nathan Bastian2016New Jersey Devils2 (#41 Overall)
Sean Day2016New York Rangers3 (#81 Overall)
Jacob Moverare2016Los Angeles Kings4 (#112 Overall)
Austin Osmanski2016Buffalo Sabres7 (#189 Overall)

Other players to sign with NHL teams include Kai Schwindt (FLA), Spencer Watson (LA), Villi Saarijarvi (DET) and Stefan LeBlanc (MTL).

“We are thrilled and proud to announce that JR has agreed to continue to lead our Steelheads over the long term as our Head Coach and General Manager.” said Team President and Owner, Elliott Kerr.

“JR truly cares about his team and his players and his Steelheads family. His leadership, his commitment to excellence and his keen hockey knowledge combined with his dedication to our Steelheads players both on and off the ice are trademarks of his approach to hockey and to the well-being of all those he works with.”

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