Wilderness hire Wilson as assistant coach

The Moose Lake/Willow River and Cloquet-Esko-Carlton alum played 15 years as a pro and 36 games in the NHL.

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CLOQUET — The Minnesota Wilderness have added Clay Wilson to their coaching staff as an assistant, according to a release from the team on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Wilson played for Moose Lake/Willow River as a sophomore and Cloquet-Esko-Carlton as a junior and senior. He then played four seasons at Michigan Tech and went on to a 15-year professional career that included 36 games in the National Hockey League with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames.

During his pro career, Wilson played with current Wilderness head coach Brett Skinner with the American Hockey League's Portland (Maine) Pirates and Chicago Wolves. Skinner was named to the staff in August and took over head coaching duties on Sept. 12 after David Boitz left that post to focus solely on general manager duties.

“Brett gave me the opportunity to come in and help out. Me and Brett have a pretty long history playing together and against each other throughout our pro career, and I thought it would be really fun to start my coaching career working under him,” Wilson said in a release.

Wilson joins assistant Kyle Brodie on the Wilderness staff. Minnesota (2-3-1) is idle this weekend and returns to the ice for a home series against Anchorage starting on Sept. 30.

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