skip navigation

2019 WJC | Scott Sandelin, Assistant Coach

Scott Sandelin returns to the U.S. National Junior Team bench for the fourth time and his second as head coach. Sandelin, who coached the U.S. to a fourth-place finish on home ice in 2005 in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Thief River Falls, Minnesota, was an assistant coach on last year’s silver medal-winning entry and fulfilled the same duties in 2012. Sandelin, who skated in the 1982 World Junior Championship, joins Phil Housley as the only two U.S. head coaching members to both coach and play in the World Junior Championship.

Head coach of the University of Minnesota Duluth men’s ice hockey team, Sandelin’s time behind the Bulldogs bench has been highlighted by a trio of NCAA national championships, including back-to-back title wins the last two seasons (2017-18, 2018-19). This season will mark a program-record 20th campaign for Sandelin, who in 2011 led the program to its first-ever national championship. Since taking the helm in 2000-01, Sandelin has helped the Bulldogs claim three conference tournament titles (2009 WCHA, 2017 NCHC, 2019 NCHC) and a total of 369 wins, the most-ever by a single head coach in program history. Additionally, his 21-6 record and .778 win percentage in NCAA Tournament play is the best of any active bench bosses. The 2004 Spencer Penrose Award recipient as the top coach in D1 men’s hockey, Sandelin has been a finalist for the award on four other occasions. 

Prior to joining Minnesota Duluth, Sandelin spent six seasons with the University of North Dakota where he helped UND claim two NCAA titles (1997, 2000), three WCHA regular-season championships (1996-99) and two WCHA playoff crowns (1997, 2000).

Sandelin spent the 1993-94 season as the head coach of the Fargo-Moorhead Junior Kings of the Junior Elite Hockey League after working in that same capacity - and doubling as general manager - the previous winter with the American Hockey Association's Fargo-Moorhead Express.

Before joining the coaching ranks, Sandelin enjoyed a four-year playing career at North Dakota which saw his senior year (1985-86) include being a Top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, an All-WCHA first team pick and NCAA All-American Second Team selection. Named North Dakota's Most Valuable Player as a senior after amassing a career-high 38 points in 40 games, Sandelin went on to play seven years of professional hockey, including NHL stints with the Montreal Canadiens (1986-88), Philadelphia Flyers (1990-91) and Minnesota North Stars (1991-92). The second-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1982 NHL draft (40th selection overall), he was credited with four assists in 25 lifetime NHL outings. 

Sandelin, one of just three current NCHC coaches with NHL playing experience, also skated for Team USA at the 1989 Goodwill Games, the 1986 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship and the 1984 IIHF World Junior Championship.