Chicago, IL – The United States Hockey League announced today that Doug Christiansen has joined the organization as Director of Player Development & Recruitment.
The position is a newly-created role as the League expands its emphasis on promoting the opportunities available in the USHL as the only Tier 1 Junior league in the nation. In his new position, Christiansen will manage the League’s player recruitment efforts with communications targeted at players, parents, and family advisors – the latter of which are playing an increasing role in evaluating opportunities for players. He will also be charged with developing a strategy for expanding the League’s player development events, such as the USHL Player Combines.
“We’re excited about growing our efforts to tell a more complete story about the benefits of playing in the USHL to a number of constituent audiences,” said Bob Fallen, USHL President and Commissioner. “His experience as a player in our league, as a college student-athlete, and ultimately as a professional hockey player and coach give him a unique perspective on the developmental opportunities for young, elite players.”
The 36-year-old Christiansen comes to the USHL after spending the last seven years as the Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for three teams in the Elite Ice Hockey League, the top professional league in the United Kingdom. He was twice named EIHL Coach of the Year, once each with the Belfast Giants (2011-12) and Edinburgh Capitals (2009-10). In addition to coaching in league play, Christiansen coached on the international stage, serving as the Head Coach of the Great Britain National Team in 2013 where he was responsible for team selection, development strategy, and game management. Great Britain attained their highest world ranking since 1989 when they climbed to #20 in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) rankings last year.
Christiansen also has experience at the NHL level as he recently assisted the Boston Bruins in their summer development camp for the organization’s prospects.
Prior to embarking on his coaching and management career, Christiansen played professionally in the AHL, ECHL, UHL, and Serie A (Italy) from 2002-07. He played NCAA Division I hockey at Union College and was a four-year letter winner at Union College (1998-2002). He was collegiate teammates for three seasons at Union with Jay Varady, Head Coach of the Sioux City Musketeers.
It is a return to the USHL for Christiansen after he played two seasons in the League with the Green Bay Gamblers (1996-98). He helped the team capture the Anderson Cup during the 1996-97 regular season under Head CoachDon Granato who now serves in that same role for Team USA’s Under-18 squad in the USHL. The Gamblers also went on to win USA Hockey’s National Championship that spring.
Christiansen is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He and his wife Meghan currently reside in Elm Grove, Wisconsin where he will be based for his USHL activities.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 13h season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2014-15. A record 35 players were chosen in the 2014 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL 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 social media platforms, including Facebook (/ushlhockey), twitter (@USHL), and YouTube (/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).