Jim Hiller is seen behind the bench with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL in 2012. He’s just been named an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Jim Hiller is seen behind the bench with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL in 2012. He’s just been named an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Former Nelsonite joins Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Jim Hiller has been named an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Jim Hiller has been named an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Hiller, who grew up in Nelson and played minor hockey here until the midget level, worked as an assistant under Mike Babcock last season with the Detroit Red Wings.

Hiller, 46, moved to Saskatchewan in 1987 to play Junior A and also played at the college level with Northern Michigan University and was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1989.

His NHL career only lasted 63 games, but he found professional success during six seasons in Germany and Italy before returning to Canada to coach in the Western Hockey League in 2002 and a brief stint with the BCHL’s Alberni Bulldogs in 2005-06.

“I’m excited at the opportunity of working again with Mike, and to also add to the value that both D.J. and Andrew bring,” Hiller said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many great organizations — most recently the Red Wings — and am grateful for the chance to now join the Leafs.”

Babcock signed a lucrative long-term deal with the Maple Leafs last month after a 10-year run with the Red Wings.

Hiller was in charge of Detroit’s power-play unit last season.