5 assistants that Sheldon Keefe should target with New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils officially announced that Sheldon Keefe will be their next head coach. Now that this has been
Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Mike Van Ryn

Many new head coaches will bring whoever they can from their old staff to their new location. We wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happens here. Mike Van Ryn would likely be at the top of Keefe’s list. 

Keefe just hired Van Ryn last season. After he was fired from the St. Louis Blues staff, Van Ryn immediately went to work under Keefe. He ran the defense in Toronto, so that would likely mean the Devils aren’t retaining Ryan McGill. We’ve had our issues with McGill and believe his change to a system that failed this team led, in part, to the disappointing season. Therefore, we would not be surprised if the Devils went in this direction.

However, ironically, Van Ryn was also on Craig Berube’s staff, and Berube is now the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Some believe he will stay, but there are others that believe the entire Toronto staff is doing a mass exodus. 

Then, there’s the absolutely hilarious situation of Mike Van Ryn’s history with the Devils. Did you know the Devils actually drafted him? You wouldn’t because he didn’t play a single game with the Devils. Yet, they used a first-round pick in 1998 to take Van Ryn. Then, he sued and took the Devils and the NHL to court so he didn’t have to sign with them. He left the NCAA and went to the Sarnia Sting of the OHL just so he could get out of his Devils contract and sign with the Blues. Maybe there’s too much baggage here.