NHL Network analyst William (Billy) Jaffe and Dallas Stars player Eric Nystrom will serve as head coach and assistant coach, respectively, for the U.S. hockey team at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Jaffe participated in the 15th Maccabiah Games as captain of the U.S. hockey team, leading them to a silver medal. He also played hockey for the University of Michigan from 1987 to 1989.
Prior to his work for the NHL Network, he was colour analyst for the New York Islanders, Versus Network, MSG Network, NESN and Rogers Sportsnet.
“Going to Israel in 1997 as the team captain was a fun learning and cultural experience that I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for ice hockey,” Jaffe said.
“My expectations are to help the players understand what a wonderful opportunity it is to experience something unique and special like the Maccabiah Games. It will be an incredible athletic and life experience.”
The United States is expected to ice a strong team, with many NCAA Division 1 players to draw from. Canada has announced its team, which consists of players from the NCAA, major junior leagues and non-NHL professional ranks.
Mike Keenan, a Stanley Cup-winning coach with the New York Rangers, will coach the Canadian entry.
Nystrom, the son of former New York Islander Bob Nystrom, has experience representing the United States at various levels: he played in the under-18 World Championship and in the World Championships in 2010.
Nystrom attended the University of Michigan, qualifying for the all-rookie team during his debut season and becoming the captain during his final year.
His NHL career has included stints with the Calgary Flames, who took him in the first round of the 2002 entry draft, the Minnesota Wild and currently the Dallas Stars.