MONTREAL – The Laval Rocket have hired their third Coach in franchise history with the announcement late Tuesday morning that Jean-Francois Houle will join the team as their Head Coach.
Houle spent the last six seasons as the assistant coach of the Bakersfield Condors, recording a 158-132-38 record. Before that, he served as the Head Coach of various QMJHL clubs and the Head Coach of the Condors while they were in the ECHL.
— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) July 20, 2021
Houle was drafted in by the Canadiens and played on the AHL’s Fredericton Canadiens for two seasons, scoring 30 points (eight goals, 22 assists) through 69 games. Houle never stepped foot in a Canadiens Uniform.
“My family and I have enjoyed our time in [Bakersfield],” Houle said. “We had a lot of success on and off the ice. It is a fantastic organization with great people and facilities. I am proud of the accomplishments we have had and I look forward to what is ahead.”
In a press release, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin told the media he’s excited about the new chapter:
“The Montreal Canadiens organization proudly welcomes Jean-François Houle as head coach of the Laval Rocket. After meeting with him, we quickly concluded that his philosophy and values aligned with ours. His dedication, passion for hockey, attention to detail, and leadership ability are among his top qualities. Jean-François’ many years of experience, along with his knowledge of the American Hockey League and the Quebec market, made him the perfect candidate for the position. He has proven himself at all levels and has a great reputation. His expertise will be a key element in the development of our organization’s young players.”
Houle will replace Joel Bouchard, who the San Diego Gulls picked up on July 10. Bouchard had a 60-58-20 record while with the Rocket.
Bouchard replaced Houle from his position in the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in 2014-15 after Houle went on to Coach the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors.
Houle joins Sam Kim (Bakersfield Condors 2018-20) who is a video and coaching coordinator with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Patrick Love (Condors 15-19) who was an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Edmonton Oilers as members of the hockey operations staff who have progressed in their careers from Condorstown over the past three years.
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