Toby Petersen enters his second season with the Rochester Americans and fifth as an assistant coach in the American Hockey League after being named to the position on July 13, 2017.
During his first season in Rochester, Petersen, who worked primarily with the forwards, helped the team to a third-place finish in the AHL’s North Division standings in addition to helping the Amerks snap a four-year playoff drought. Petersen also helped assemble one of the top power-play units that ranked among the top five (18.3%) in the Eastern Conference.
Petersen’s biggest success story, however, came in rookie forward C.J. Smith, who led the club’s first-year skaters in every offensive category while tying for second on the team in goals (17), third in points (44) and fourth in assists (27). The Amerks Rookie of the Year finished the campaign ranked 10th and 11th among all AHL rookies in points (44) and assists (27), respectively. Smith was also named MVP of the 2018 AHL All-Star Challenge during his first AHL All-Star Classic.
Petersen spent the previous two seasons (2015-17) as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League. During his first season in Cleveland in 2015-16, Petersen guided the team to a 43-28-5 record in the regular season before helping the Monsters capture their first Calder Cup championship in franchise history. Cleveland went 15-2 during the postseason, which included series sweeps over Rockford, Ontario and Hershey as the Monsters finished with a 7-1 record on home ice in the playoffs.
A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Petersen made his pro coaching debut as an assistant coach with the Springfield Falcons in 2014-15 following a 14-year playing career as a forward. Originally a ninth-round selection of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Petersen recorded 81 points (33+48) in 398 career NHL games with Pittsburgh, Edmonton and Dallas while also adding 374 points (148+226) in 550 AHL appearances for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Edmonton, Iowa and Texas. He retired from playing after winning a Calder Cup with the Texas Stars in the 2013-14 campaign.
Before turning pro, Petersen played four years at Colorado College, where he was named to the All-WCHA Rookie Team as a freshman. He also represented the United States at several international events, including winning a silver medal at the 1997 World Junior Championship.
Petersen resides in Cleveland during the offseason with his wife, Alexa, and their children, Bjorn (12), Elliott (9) and Nola (6).