Jim Paek will continue with the Korean national team program. He signed a new three-year contract with the Korea Ice Hockey Association.
Paek will continue to oversee the entire national team program including the men’s senior, U20 and U18 national teams as well as the women’s senior and U18 nationals teams, and will continue as head coach of the men’s national team that played at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games on home ice and qualified for the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
The former NHL player joined the KIHA in the summer of 2014 and improved the men’s national team from 23rd to 16th in the IIHF Men’s World Ranking.
The biggest success on the ice has been earning promotion to the top-level for the first time in history with a second-place finish at last year’s 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Ukraine. However, the Koreans finished the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament with a 0-4 record and also lost all seven games at the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
The closest top-level results were a 2-1 loss against the Czech Republic in the opening game at the Olympics and a 3-1 loss to host Denmark at the Worlds. On the other end of the scale the Koreans suffered a 13-1 loss against the United States at the World Championship.
For the Koreans the relegation back to the second level is not the end but the beginning of what KIHA President Mongwon Chung describes as the “second challenge”: to qualify for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
The Koreans will participate in the Euro Ice Hockey Challenge tournament in Budapest, Hungary during the international break in November.
At the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Astana, Korea will battle for promotion with Belarus, host Kazakhstan, Hungary, Slovenia and Lithuania from 29 April to 5 May 2019.