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Hakstol Leaves North Dakota for NHL New Coaching Search Underway

In a surprising move, Dave Hakstol, coach at North Dakota the past 11 years, has decided to accept an offer to become head coach of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.

After North Dakota’s loss in this year’s NCAA semifinals in Boston, and all the recent success of the program, many in the hockey world were shocked. It was the seventh Frozen Four appearance in Hakstol’s 11-year tenure as UND head coach.

The connections were there though.  Someone capable of reading tea leaves may have been able to anticipate the move when you consider Hakstol coached the son of Flyers general manager Ron Hextall from 2008-2011.

The departure leaves a large vacancy at North Dakota, though there will be no shortage of candidates.  One name that may be brought up is University of Minnesota Duluth Assistant Coach, and North Dakota Alumni Jason Herter.

A native of Hafford, Saskatchewan, Herter doubled as the head coach and generatl manager for the United States Hockey League’s Fargo (N.D.) Force four years ago and guided that franchise to a regular season record of 33-22-5.  He joined the Force in 2008-09 for their inaugural season as an assistant coach (under current University of Nebraska Omaha bench boss Dean Blais) before spending the following year scouting for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL.

Along with Pat Ferschweiler (now an assistant coach with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins), Herter started the Russell Stover AAA midget U16 and U18 teams out of Overland Park, Kan., and spent five years with that program and coaching the U16 club before moving on to Fargo.

Those connections to the USHL and the Tier 1 Elite Midget AAA league could prove very valuable in consideration for the North Dakota position.

TJHN will update this story as more information becomes available.

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