The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that they have hired Samuel Kim to be their new video and coaching coordinator. Meanwhile, Jordan Bean has had his role changed to video coordinator and statistical analyst.
The @mapleleafs announced today the hiring of Sam Kim as the club’s video and coaching coordinator. Kim previously served as video coordinator with the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL for the previous two seasons.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) September 1, 2020
The club also announced Jordan Bean’s contract was renewed while his title has changed to video coordinator and statistical analyst.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) September 1, 2020
Congratulations to video coordinator Sam Kim who was named video and coaching coordinator with the @MapleLeafs after two seasons in #Condorstown.— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) September 1, 2020
He is the second member of the hockey ops staff to reach the @NHL in two seasons.
➡️ https://t.co/wpAE978GTD pic.twitter.com/0XH5G5J18P
Kim, 35, has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Boston College and a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from UMass-Amherst. He began his coaching career in 2009 in the third division of college hockey with Columbia University, moved up to the NCAA with American International College, becoming their Director of Hockey Operations for a year. He then got his shot at pro hockey in 2015 with the AHL Springfield Falcons for half a season before joining the South Korean national team for several tournaments including the World Championships and 2018 Olympics. Kim returned to the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors in 2018 as their video coach and video coordinator (and travel agent) before landing this job with the Leafs.
Kim’s path to the NHL saw him start at ground zero, work his way through amateur and professional hockey, wearing multiple hats, and eventually getting to the NHL with one of its biggest teams. It’s an incredible and inspiring accomplishment from someone with no professional playing experience or obvious connections, a rarity in hockey and something I hope we can see more of.
Kim, a first generation Asian American born and raised in Flushing, NY, had no idea what hockey was until he saw someone playing hockey in roller skates when he was seven. That, plus the Mighty Ducks movie, and he was hooked. In a story by the Athletic, Kim tells his hockey story, including where he got the nickname “Sparky” (spoiler: it has to do with the New York Islanders mascot). It’s a great story:
“Kim ripped through the demo perfectly, pivoting like a menacing blueliner. The children ate it up, laughing and hollering.
‘That was perfect, Sparky,’ the coach said.”
Kim’s hiring comes on the back of the departure of assistant coaches Paul McFarland and Andrew Brewer, the latter of the two did video analysis for the team. The Leafs are still looking for an assistant coach to join the bench for next season.