April 4, 2012
Princeton, N.J. - Former Notre Dame hockey player John Wroblewski `03, currently the coach of the East Coast Hockey League's Gwinnett (Ga.) Gladiators, has been named co-winner of the John Brophy Award as the ECHL's coach of the year. He will share the award with Alaska Aces coach Rob Murray.
Wroblewski, in his first season as head coach in Gwinnett, led the Gladiators to a 41-20-11 record and the South Division championship, their first division championship since 2006. Gwinnett, a suburb of Atlanta, Ga., opened the ECHL playoffs on April 3 as the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs against South Carolina. The Gladiators are affiliated with the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres and the Phoenix Coyotes.
The John Brophy Award is the trophy presented annually to the ECHL coach selected to have contributed the most to his team's success as selected in a vote of league coaches. The trophy is named for John Brophy, who won a record three ECHL titles with Hampton Roads in 1991, 1992 and 1998, and was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2009.
The former Irish standout was named Gwinnett's head coach on August 10 after serving as an assistant coach with the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers during the 2010-11 season. With Wheeling, the 30-year old Wroblewski helped the Nailers advance to their best postseason finish since 1998 as they advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.
Prior to joining the Wheeling franchise, Wroblewski began his coaching career with the USA Hockey National Development Program from 2007 to 2010. In 2010, he helped the USA Under 18 Team capture the gold medals in 2008 and 2009 at the Under-18 World Junior Championships.
A four-time monogram winner with the Irish from 1999-03, Wroblewski was a team captain during his junior and senior years and was named the team's Monogram Club most valuable player following the 2002-03 campaign. He finished that season second in scoring with career highs in goals (17), assists (16) and points (33) as Notre Dame was 17-16-6 on the year and advanced to the CCHA Super Six. For his Irish career, Wroblewski played in 144 games, scoring 29 goals with 35 assists for 64 points.
From Notre Dame, the hard-working right wing went on to play four seasons in the ECHL with the Fresno Falcons from 2003-07, serving as the team captain in the final two years (2005-07). He attended NHL training camp with the Vancouver Canucks in 2003 and AHL training camps with the Cleveland Barons (2003) and the Worcester Sharks (2006). In his four-year professional career, Wroblewski earned 125 points (65 goals, 60 assists) in 273 career ECHL games.
The native of Neenah, Wis., is a product of USA Hockey's National Team Developmental Program where he played on the Under-17 and Under-18 teams from 1997-99 before attending Notre Dame.