Sharks make assistant Ryan Warsofsky new head coach

Sharks win NHL draft lottery to receive No. 1 pick (0:28)

The San Jose Sharks are awarded the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, setting up the team to draft standout Macklin Celebrini. (0:28)

San Jose Sharks assistant coach Ryan Warsofsky was promoted to head coach Thursday as the franchise looks to turn the corner after having the second-fewest points in the salary cap era.

Warsofsky, who at 36 is now the youngest coach in the NHL, had been an assistant for two seasons under previous Sharks coach David Quinn. Warsofsky oversaw the San Jose defense and a penalty-killing unit while working with one of the league's youngest rosters.

"I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement to be named as the head coach of the San Jose Sharks," Warsofsky said in a statement. "This is a tremendous opportunity to continue to be part of a well-respected organization, and my family and I couldn't be more excited for this next chapter."

Finding a new coach was among the priorities for an organization that is undergoing what might be one of the most pivotal offseasons in franchise history. The Sharks hired Quinn before the 2022-23 season to take over a team that was in transition but then opted to go in another direction after they finished with the NHL's worst record at 19-54-9.

Having the NHL's poorest record meant the Sharks had the strongest odds to win the NHL draft lottery. They won the lottery and are expected to take Boston University center and consensus No. 1 pick Macklin Celebrini.

Celebrini, who won the Hobey Baker Award as the nation's top collegiate player, scored 32 goals and 64 points for BU last season as a 17-year-old while playing against competition that is at least three years older. He is a North Vancouver native, and his father, Rick Celebrini, works for the Golden State Warriors, which led to their family moving to the Bay Area and the younger Celebrini spending a year with the San Jose Jr. Sharks.

Drafting Celebrini would see him join a franchise that has used the past few years to rebuild the team around a mix of homegrown talent. It's a group that includes Thomas Bordeleau, William Eklund, Mario Ferraro and Will Smith, the former Boston College center who signed his entry-level contract with the Sharks in late May. Smith, the fourth pick of the 2023 NHL draft, scored 25 goals and 71 points in 41 games in what ultimately became his only season at BC.

Warsofsky will now be charged with developing that group and getting the Sharks back to their once-familiar place of being a perennial playoff team. Before hiring Quinn and starting their rebuild, the Sharks had missed the playoffs only twice between the 2003-04 and 2018-19 seasons.

Before joining the Sharks, Warsofsky was a head coach in the AHL. He was the head coach of the Chicago Wolves for two seasons and guided them to the Calder Cup in his second season. Before he came to Chicago, he spent three years with the Charlotte Checkers, where he was an assistant for two seasons and a head coach for one year. His only year as the head coach of the Checkers and his first year as head coach of the Wolves would have seen his teams make the playoffs, but the AHL didn't host a postseason tournament because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the AHL, Warsofsky was with the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays. He spent three years as an assistant coach before getting promoted to head coach and director of hockey operations for the club. Warsofsky made the playoffs in the two years he was the Stingrays' head coach.

"We're very excited to announce Ryan as the 11th head coach of the San Jose Sharks," Sharks general manager Mike Grier said in a statement. "His track record of success at nearly every level of hockey as a head and assistant coach speaks for itself. Ryan knows our existing group well, has the respect of the players who he will be working with, and will be a great teacher for the young players who will be joining our organization."