While the Boston Bruins have finished up hiring for their coaching staff, that hasn’t stopped distinguished B’s alumni from picking up other coaching gigs around the league. Former first round pick (21st overall in the 2003 NHL Draft) and Boston Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart jumped into the NHL coaching ranks this week as he was hired for Jay Woodcroft’s staff with the Edmonton Oilers after spending the last couple of seasons working in the college hockey ranks.
The plan is for Stuart to be the “eye in the sky” working from the press box before joining the bench for third periods, and to work on faceoff coverage and skills development with the depth players on Edmonton’s roster.
Former NHL defenceman Mark Stuart has been added to the Oilers coaching staff as an assistant. Stuart worked as a volunteer assistant on Todd Woodcroft’s staff at the University of Vermont in 2020.
The plan is for Stuart to be an eye in the sky. (1/2)
— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) July 26, 2022
Mark Stuart spent last season as an assistant coach with his alma mater, Colorado College, and coached two seasons ago as an unpaid assistant coach with the University of Vermont’s Todd Woodcroft, brother to Jay.
Stuart was always a heady, tough defenseman that played through injuries and reflexively stood up for his teammates and is exactly the kind of player that one might expect to turn into a coach at the NHL level.
Here’s a classic Stuart moment with the Bruins where he lit up Ruslan Fedotenko in the neutral zone and then fought Sean Avery in the ensuing moments.
The 38-year-old Stuart played 673 career games for the Bruins, Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets as a hard-nosed, physical shutdown defenseman and was referred to as having “caveman strength” while playing in Boston for his sheer physical strength. Stuart was traded away from the Boston Bruins to the Thrashers during the 2010-11 Stanley Cup-winning season along with Blake Wheeler in the deal that brought Rich Peverley into the fold for the Black and Gold.
Stuart wrapped up with one final season in Germany for the 2017-18 season before calling it a career and jumping into the coaching world first working with the Manitoba Moose during the 2018-19 AHL season.