On September 22nd, 2020, the Cardiff Devils confirmed Jarrod Skalde as the new Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations.
Skalde joins the Devils after spending the past two seasons in the American Hockey League behind the bench as an Assistant Coach with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the top affiliate of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Prior to that, he was a Skills Development Coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins organisation throughout the 2017-18 season.
Skalde on the ice at Ice Arena Wales (photo James Assinder)
Before joining the Penguins organisation, Skalde was Head Coach of the Guelph Storm in the Ontario Hockey League for two seasons, which also included a stint working with Team Canada’s Under 18’s team.
Skalde cut his teeth as a Head Coach with the Bloomington PrarieThunder in the IHL before taking over as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the East Coast Hockey League. He was with Cincinnati for 3 years and in 2012-13 he was named the ECHL Coach of the Year. From there he moved up to the American Hockey League with Norfolk eventually being named Head Coach for the Admirals in 2014-15.
Skalde in training (photo James Assinder)
As a player, Skalde was a top NHL prospect, drafted 26th overall in the 1989 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils. He went on to play a total of 115 games in the NHL for 8 different teams – New Jersey Devils, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and the Atlanta Thrashers.
Skalde in action for the San Jose Sharks (credit Doug Pensinger Getty Images)
Skalde also played a total of 575 games in the American Hockey League over 11 years before spending his final 3 years playing in Europe and Asia. Over his playing career he won a Memorial Cup before turning pro, an IHL Turner Cup Title and a Slovenian Championship in his final year as a pro.