• 2014-15 USHL Regular Season Begins September 26th
  • Dubuque Fighting Saints to Host 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
  • 35 Players From 2013-14 USHL Season Selected in 2014 NHL Draft
  • 16 USHL Alumni Picked in 2014 NHL Draft
  • USHL Fall Classic Week Set For September 15-20

Top Story

Former USHL Defenseman Returns to the League as Coach

Monday October 17, 2011

John Gruden played his final NHL season with the Washington Capitals in 2003-04. (photo courtesy of the Washington Capitals)

Team USA announced that John Gruden has been added to the coaching staff and will serve in the role of assistant for the Under-18 squad in the USHL.

Gruden spent the 1989-90 season in the USHL with the Waterloo Black Hawks and tallied 46 points (7g, 39a) in 47 games on his way to being named the USHL Defenseman of the Year and an All-USHL First Team selection.  Following that season, he was selected by the Boston Bruins in the eighth round (168th overall) in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.

The Virginia, Minnesota native went on to a four-year collegiate career at Ferris State University (1990-94) where he totaled 104 points (40g, 64a) in 155 games.  He was selected a CCHA First Team All-Star his senior season and was named an NCAA All-American, the first All-American in Ferris State Athletics history.

Shortly after his collegiate career, Gruden made his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins in 1994.  Overall, he played parts of 11 seasons professionally, including 92 games at the NHL level split between Boston, Ottawa Senators, and Washington Capitals.  In the first game during his final pro season with the Capitals, he scored the game-winning goal in the victory vs. the New York Islanders, which would be his lone goal for the defenseman at the NHL level.

Gruden now returns to the USHL in a coaching capacity after spending the last six years coaching at the high school and AAA levels in Michigan.


Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 10th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2011-12. With 28 picks during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 18 NHL draftees on its rosters last season, and over 280 players committed to NCAA Division I schools during the 2010-11 season, the USHL is emerging as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s multiple social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive).

It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.

Go Back