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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have named J.D. Forrest as a Syracuse Crunch Assistant Coach, Lightning vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Forrest, 43, has spent the last four seasons as head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins after serving four seasons as an assistant coach. Under his leadership, the Penguins amassed a 113-102-24-13 record and reached the Calder Cup Playoffs two of the three years that the postseason was held.

“We’re excited to add J.D. to our coaching staff in Syracuse,” Syracuse Crunch General Manager Stacy Roest said. “He brings valuable experience having developed players in the American Hockey League for the past eight seasons. We know he will make an immediate impact and help contribute to the pipeline of future Tampa Bay Lightning players.”

Prior to joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Forrest spent the 2015-16 season coaching the U-20 team for EC Red Bull Salzburg in Austria. He also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team Development Program in 2014-15 winning gold with the team at the IIHF U18 World Junior Championship. Forrest additionally served on the U.S. coaching staff at the 2017 and 2021 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup.

A native of Auburn, NY, Forrest skated in 417 games during his nine-year professional career as a defenseman. Between 2004 and 2014, he spent time with SaiPa (SM-Liiga), Assat (SM-Liiga), Florida (ECHL), Albany (AHL), Elmira (ECHL), Worcester (AHL), Karpat (SM-Liiga), Kloten HC (Swiss), Jokerit (SM-Liiga), Malmo (Swe) and Augsburg (DEL). He attended Boston College from 2000 to 2004 where he posted 97 points (24g, 73a) in 144 games and led defensemen in goals all four years. The team won the NCAA Championship during his freshman season and were Hockey East regular season champions during his senior season. Forrest was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the sixth round, 181st overall, at the 2000 NHL Draft.

Assistant Coach Daniel Jacob and the Tampa Bay Lightning have mutually parted.

Ticket packages for the 2024-25 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit or follow the club on Facebook (, X (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch).



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