The Steelheads announced on Thursday that they have extended the contract of Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Neil Graham through the end of the 2018-19 season.

 Graham, 32, is preparing for his third season as the head coach of the Steelheads. Currently the second-youngest bench boss in the ECHL, Graham was the youngest head coach in Steelheads history when he was hired prior to the 2015-16 season. Since then, Graham has led the Steelheads to two playoff berths and a 43-win season last year.

 “It’s certainly very exciting for me. I think we’ve had two successful seasons, and there’s a lot more to be done and a lot more to be accomplished,” said Graham. “I like what we’ve built so far, but it’s important to maintain our goal of getting to that next level and bringing a Kelly Cup back to Idaho.”

 Graham has a regular-season head coaching record of 81-46-17 with the Steelheads. Last season, the Steelheads earned their fifth-highest points total (93) and tied for their fifth-highest win total (43) in the ECHL era. Under Graham’s leadership, the Steelheads had eight call-ups to the American Hockey League for ECHL contracted players last season.In each of the past two seasons, Graham has led Idaho to the ECHL’s second-best penalty kill, an 85.8 percent success rate last season and 86.5 percent in 2015-16.

 "Neil has been a tremendous leader for our hockey team over the last two seasons,” said Steelheads President Eric Trapp. “He has maintained a tradition of winning for our organization, and he has helped us foster a strong relationship with our fans and the community.”

 “We expect that he will take our team to even greater heights during the next two seasons.”


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