The Hamilton Bulldogs are proud to announce Jay McKee as the 5th head coach in franchise history. McKee, an OHL veteran both on the ice and behind the bench played 180 games over 3 seasons for the Sudbury Wolves & Niagara Falls Thunder, and was a 1st round NHL Draft pick, 14th overall, by the Buffalo Sabres in 1995. McKee would become one of the premier shutdown defensemen of his era, playing in 802 regular season games with the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues & Pittsburgh Penguins and won the 1999 Eastern Conference Championship with the Sabres.
Following his playing career, McKee would immediately transition to coaching in the 2010-11 season with Niagara University, as an assistant coach and then the AHL Rochester Americans in the same role for the 2011-12 season. A brief return to play as a player coach with the Dundas Real McCoys in 2013-14 would see McKee lead the McCoys to the 2014 Allan Cup Championship. Coming back to the OHL for the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach with the Erie Otters, McKee would help guide his team to the OHL finals before heading to Kitchener as associate coach for the 2015-16 season and then head coach in 2016 to 2020. While a head coach with Kitchener, McKee would rack up 120 wins, making the playoffs in all 3 full seasons and coming within one win of playing the Bulldogs in the 2018 OHL Championship.
Andreas Karlsson Joins the Bulldogs
Arriving in Hamilton with Jay McKee is newly appointed assistant coach Andreas Karlsson, who like McKee brings an extensive background on the ice and behind the bench. A native of Ludvika, Sweden, Karlsson grew up in the Leksand IF system, playing 4 full seasons in the SHL before arriving in the NHL in 1999 with the expansion Atlanta Thrashers. Stints in Switzerland & Sweden would lead him back to the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2006-2008. Following his playing career Karlsson would move behind the bench in 2011-12 as head coach with Frolunda’s J18 team as well as development coach for the vaunted Frolunda senior team. Serving as head coach with Frolunda’s top development team from 2012-2015 would lead Karlsson back to North America first for a pair of seasons at York University, and then to become assistant coach to Jay McKee in Kitchener from 2017-20.
Andrew Campbell Returns to the Bulldogs Bench
Andrew Campbell, who joined the Bulldogs during the 2019-20 season returns to his role as an assistant coach. Campbell’s leadership and character are unparalleled as has been evident through his playing career and has carried on to his coaching career. Three seasons in the OHL with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds would lead Campbell to being selected in the 3rd round, 74th overall, by the Los Angeles Kings. Playing 6 seasons in the Kings organization Campbell would become captain of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs in 2013, a feat he would repeat with both the Toronto Marlies from 2015-17 and the Tuscon Roadrunners for the 2017-18 season. Campbell would appear in 42 games in the NHL over his career with Los Angeles, Toronto & Phoenix before bringing his tremendous character and hockey smarts to the coaching ranks with the Hamilton Bulldogs.
“We are extremely excited to introduce Jay McKee as our head coach for the Hamilton Bulldogs” said Bulldogs President & General Manager Steve Staios. “Jay brings the type of character, leadership and experience to lead our young men forward both on and off the ice. Our coaching staff all have experience at the NHL level as players and all showed commitment and leadership through their playing careers”.
For more information on Hamilton Bulldogs 2021-22 season tickets call 905-529-8500 or visit hamiltonbulldogs.com