The East Ridge High School boys hockey team has a new head coach, one with quite a bit of name recognition around hockey circles in Minnesota.
Former Minnesota Wild player, Wes Walz, was hired as the boys hockey coach at East Ridge. The Woodbury Bulletin reports Walz was the head girls coach at East Ridge the last two years.
According to the Bulletin, Walz was named the Section 3A Coach of the Year during the 2012-2013 season.
Prior to taking over the girls program at East Ridge, Walz assisted with the boys program. He also was an assistant coach for the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.
He played 11 seasons in the NHL. He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1989 and spent seven seasons with the Wild. In his career, Walz scored 109 goals and had 151 assists. He was named a Masterton Trophy finalist and a Selke Trophy finalist twice.
With the Wild, Walz became one of the best checkers in the NHL, according to the Pioneer Press. He was known for shutting down some of the league's top players under then Wild coach Jaques Lemaire.
Walz retired from the Wild midseason in 2007, he became an assistant coach with the Lightning in 2008.