St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the Blues have named Drew Bannister head coach of the club’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.
“We are very excited to have Drew join our organization,” said Armstrong. “He has proven himself over the past few seasons in the OHL and will be a perfect fit as we continue to develop our prospects through our affiliation with San Antonio.”
“I’m incredibly appreciative of the opportunity that the Blues and Rampage have afforded me,” said Bannister. “I want to express my gratitude to all of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound staff members, players and ownership. I look forward to instilling a winning culture in San Antonio as we continue to develop the young and talented players in the St. Louis system.”
Bannister, 44, has spent the past three seasons as head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. In 2017-18, Bannister led the Greyhounds to franchise records in both wins (55-7-6) and points (116) en route to capturing the franchise’s fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL regular season champion.
The Sudbury, Ontario native also guided the club to an appearance in the OHL Finals, where they lost in six games to the Hamilton Bulldogs. For his efforts, Bannister was named the coach of the year in both the OHL (Matt Leyden Trophy) and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) overall (Janes Brian Kilrea Award).
Overall, he posted a 136-50-18 regular season record as head coach of the Greyhounds.
Prior to joining Sault Ste. Marie, he began his coaching career with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack, where he spent three seasons as an assistant coach.
Bannister was a second-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992. He enjoyed a six-year National Hockey League (NHL) career, including stints with Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Anaheim and New York (Rangers). Overall, he collected 30 points in 164 career NHL regular season games. He also spent four seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL), including 1999-2000, when he captured the Calder Cup Championship with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Along with his professional career in North America, Bannister played nine seasons overseas before retiring after the 2011-12 season.