Drakkar coach Veilleux moves up to Norfolk

Mike Sanderson

Baie-Comeau coach Eric Veilleux is reportedly heading to Norfolk to become bench boss of the Admirals. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)

Eric Veilleux is moving on up to the east side of the AHL, leaving his QMJHL team, the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, high and dry in July.

Veilleux has reportedly accepted an offer to coach the Norfolk Admirals, AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. The announcement, as per Mikael Lalancette at TVA Sports, will be made this afternoon.

It goes without saying that a young coach wants to coach at the highest level, and Veilleux is making a move to inch closer to that. Former Admirals coach Trent Yawney has moved up alongside Bruce Boudreau as an assistant with the big club, leaving a space for Veilleux to fill.

The Admirals went 40-26-3-7 last season, enough for 90 points. They lost in the second round of the AHL playoffs to the St. John’s Ice Caps.

Veilleux is a coach with a lot of success at the QMJHL level, having won a Memorial Cup with Shawinigan in 2012 and two deep playoff runs with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar the past two seasons, losing in the finals both years. His two-season record with Baie-Comeau is an impressive 91-35-10.

Most coaching vacancies have already been filled at the junior level, leaving the Drakkar scrambling for a coach before their main training camp opens on August 10. GM Steve Ahern, who’s ink is drying on a three-year contract extension, will have his work cut out for him to fill Veilleux’s spot with only two and a half weeks to go.

While this does suck for Baie-Comeau, we just hope more of this moves up with Veilleux to the pro level: