RELEASE: Oil Barons Hire Sam Klassen as Head Coach

The Fort McMurray Oil Barons would like to announce the hiring of Sam Klassen as Head Coach.

The Watrous, Saskatchewan Native brings a wealth of hockey experience. Klassen played his junior career with the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League (WHL) before turning pro in 2010 with a contract from the New York Rangers. Sam went on to play 7 seasons of professional hockey in the AHL, ECHL, and Europe.

Upon retiring from pro, Klassen took over head coaching duties with the Briercrest Clippers in the ACAC. Sam’s impact was immediate, and he led the team to a dramatic turn around, marking its best season in program history. Under Sam’s leadership the team experienced a historic ascend from the bottom of the standings to 1st place overall in 2023-24 season. Klassen’s coaching success earned him back-to-back titles as the ACAC Head Coach of the Year in 2023 and 2024.

“I’m thrilled to introduce Sam as our new Head Coach. Sam is a very detailed individual who is respected for his competitive qualities and his ability to get the best out of his players while maintaining high standards.” Said General Manager Joey Bouchard. “With his experience as a professional player and the success he has had as a coach, I am confident that he is the right guy to lead our program. Ultimately, Sam is a quality person, and we are fortunate to have him as an Oil Baron.”

“I’d like to thank President David Fitzgerald, General Manager Joey Bouchard, and the rest of the Fort McMurray Oil Barons organization for this opportunity. The Oil Barons have long been a prominent Junior A program in Canada. My family and I are honored to join the MOB family. We do not take this opportunity lightly and we are excited to work alongside Joey, David and the rest of the staff as we pursue championships on the ice and develop men of character off the ice.” Said newly hired Head Coach Sam Klassen.

“I want to thank the Briercrest Hockey program for the last two seasons. I’m incredibly thankful for my players and their hard work and commitment. I’d also like to say thanks to the Briercrest Alumni Committee for their support and enthusiasm which has fueled the program for years.”

The Fort McMurray Oil Barons would like to welcome Sam, his wife Jaylin, daughters Avalie, Kate, and son Jace to the organization.