HELSINKI – The Finnish Ice Hockey Association signed a two-year contract with Jukka Jalonen as head coach of the Finnish men’s national team for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons.
Jalonen will succeed Lauri Marjamaki, who will be the head coach for a second season but leave the national team after the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Denmark.
“As the selection process went on, Jukka became our number-one candidate and it’s great to have him back as head coach of the Lions for the upcoming season,” said FIHA President Harri Nummela.
Jalonen has a long resume with the FIHA. He was coaching younger junior selections in the ‘90s before having his breakthrough as head coach in the top Finnish league. In 2007/08 he came back as an assistant coach of the men’s national team followed by five seasons as head coach including winning the 2011 World Championship as well as Olympic bronze in 2010.
Later he coached Russian top team SKA St. Petersburg, led the U20 national team to World Junior gold on home ice in Helsinki in 2016 and has been working for the Finnish KHL club Jokerit Helsinki since last season – a position he will conclude until the end of this season before leaving the club for the national team.