CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has announced a roster of 113 players invited to its virtual national under-17 development camp, set for July 19-25, as well as the coaching staffs that will lead Canada’s national men’s under-17 teams at the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, presented by TELUS.
12 goaltenders, 37 defencemen and 64 forwards will be split into six teams for the week-long virtual camp, participating in a variety of sessions with a focus on player development through online education.
Behind the bench, Kelly Buchberger (Langenburg, Sask./Tri-City, WHL) will head Team Canada White, with Stéphane Julien (Shawinigan, Que./Sherbrooke, QMJHL) leading Team Canada Black and Chris Lazary (Toronto/Saginaw, OHL) serving as head coach of Team Canada Red.
Joining Buchberger’s staff will be assistant coaches Maxime Desruisseaux (Victoriaville, Que./Victoriaville, QMJHL) and Chad Wiseman (Burlington, Ont./Guelph, OHL), while Josh Hepditch (Fredericton, N.B./Moncton, QMJHL) and Ryan Kuwabara (Hamilton, Ont./Flint, OHL) will work with Julien, and Kris Mallette (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna, WHL) and Brad Yetman (Mount Pearl, N.L./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) will assist Lazary.
“The national under-17 development camp is the first stage in introducing these athletes to the Program of Excellence, and it is a great opportunity for them to develop as players and learn what it takes to wear the Maple Leaf,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams with Hockey Canada. “Our three under-17 teams are very fortunate to have these nine experienced coaches, and we know our coaching and support staffs will embrace the opportunity to guide the development of the top young players in Canada.”
Buchberger has spent two seasons as head coach of the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He previously served as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders (2017-18) and held various positions with the Edmonton Oilers from 2008-17, including six seasons as an assistant coach (2008-14). Buchberger twice won the Stanley Cup with the Oilers as a player, in 1987 and 1990, and represented Canada three times at the IIHF World Championship, winning gold in 1994 and silver in 1996.
Julien won the Trophée Ron-Lapointe as QMJHL coach of the year this season, his fourth with the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He took over the head coach position during the 2015-16 season after serving more than three seasons as an assistant coach with the Phoenix (2012-15). Julien served as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship and, as a player, won the Spengler Cup in 2000 and Deutschland Cup in 2008 with Team Canada.
Lazary was promoted to head coach of the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in November 2018 after more than two seasons (2016-18) as an associate coach with Saginaw and two seasons (2014-16) as an assistant coach with the Sarnia Sting (OHL). Prior to his Canadian Hockey League (CHL) coaching career, he spent two seasons (2010-12) as an assistant coach with the St. Michael’s Buzzers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) and one season (2012-13) as an assistant with York University.
Desruisseaux was hired as associate coach of the Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL) in May 2020, returning to Victoriaville after spending six seasons with the Tigres as an assistant coach (2013-19). He will make his second appearance with the under-17 program; he was an assistant coach with Team Canada White at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Wiseman is entering his third season with the Guelph Storm (OHL), second as associate coach, having helped the team to the OHL championship in 2019. He began his coaching career as head coach of the New York Riveters of the National Women’s Hockey League in 2015, winning the Isobel Cup with the team (renamed the Metropolitan Riveters) in 2018.
Hepditch has spent the past three seasons (2017-20) as an assistant coach with the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL). He also coached the Amherst Ramblers (2014-15) and St. Stephen County Aces (2015-17) of the Maritime Hockey League (MHL), and served as a guest coach at Canada’s national under-17 development camp in 2019.
Kuwabara recently completed his first season as an associate coach with the Flint Firebirds (OHL) after two seasons (2017-19) as an assistant with the Saginaw Spirit (OHL). He served as a video coach with Team Canada White at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and was a guest coach at U17 camp in 2019. As a player, Kuwabara competed in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games and five IIHF World Championships with Japan.
Mallette was named head coach of the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) in March 2020, having joined the Rockets as an assistant coach ahead of the 2014-15 season. His coaching career also included stops with the Vernon Vipers (BCHL) and the North Okanagan Knights (KIJHL). Mallette was drafted 62nd overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
Yetman is entering his second season as an assistant coach with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) after two seasons (2017-19) as head coach of the East Coast Blizzard of the Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget League (NLMMHL). He returns to the under-17 program after serving as a guest coach at U17 camp in 2019. As a player, he represented Team Atlantic at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The support staff that will work with the three Canadians teams at the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, presented by TELUS, includes:
Directors of operations Connor Cameron (Summerside, P.E.I.), Kirt Hill (Winnipeg, Man./Edmonton, WHL) and Nick Sinclair (Fenelon Falls, Ont.)
Video coaches Noah Bucholtz (Peterborough, Ont./Peterborough, OHL), Elliott Mondou (Grand-Mère, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL), and Landon Watson (Neilburg, Sask./Regina, WHL)
Goaltending consultants Paul Drew (Merlin, Ont./Charlottetown, QMJHL), Charles McTavish (Ottawa, Ont./Ottawa, OHL) and Dany Sabourin (Val-d’Or, Que./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL)
Mental performance consultants Kyle McDonald (Regina, Sask.), Ashwin Patel (Guelph, Ont./Guelph, OHL) and Connor Primeau (Cornwall, Ont.)
Equipment managers Ramandeep Dhanjal (Saskatoon, Sask./Prince George, WHL), Clayton Johns (Shelburne, Ont./Barrie, OHL) and Andrew MacNeill (Charlottetown, P.E.I./Charlottetown, QMJHL)
Athletic therapists Andrew Oddy (Hudson, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL), Andrew Sachkiw (Winnipeg, Man./North Bay, OHL) and Chris Trivieri (Welland, Ont./Niagara, OHL)
Team physicians Dr. Ben Cameron (Summerside, P.E.I./Lethbridge, WHL), Dr. R.J. MacKenzie (Albert Bridge, N.S./Cape Breton, QMJHL) and Dr. Wanda Millard (London, Ont./London, OHL)
The 2020 edition of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be presented by TELUS, Hockey Canada’s official telecommunications partner and title sponsor of the TELUS Cup, Canada’s National U18 Club Championship. Through its signature community hockey program, “The Code”, TELUS provides meaningful tools, information and inspiration to players, families, coaches and fans to end bullying and encourage positive behaviour online and on the ice.
For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.
June 22, 2020
Dominique Cormier, Abby Hustler and Erica Plourde Invited to National Women’s Under-18 Team Summer Camp
CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has announced a pool of 109 of the country’s top young players invited to participate in a pair of virtual camps with Canada’s National Women’s Program.
Fifty players (eight goaltenders, 16 defencemen and 26 forwards) are attending the BFL CANADA National Women’s Development Team Summer Camp, presented by Sobeys, meeting weekly until athletes return to university in the fall.
Fifty-nine players (nine goaltenders, 20 defencemen and 30 forwards) attending the BFL CANADA National Women’s Under-18 Team Summer Camp, presented by Sobeys, will meet weekly until the 2021 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
The under-18 roster includes three players who won a silver medal at the 2020 IIHF U18 Women’s Championship (Gascon, Paul, Wozniewicz), with another five part of the development roster (Cherkowski, Cooper, Gosling, Messier, Naud).
“It is important to recognize the accomplishment of these athletes being identified in our program at the under-18 and development level; they are a big part of our future moving forward,” said Gina Kingsbury, director of women’s national teams with Hockey Canada. “The virtual sessions taking place allow us to connect and educate our athletes on their development. We are also trying to take advantage of this opportunity to connect our next-gen athletes with our current senior athletes, creating a strong tie between generations of our program.”
As the virtual meetings progress through the summer, the athletes will cover topics that include at-home strength and conditioning plans, mental performance plans and check-ins, nutrition, dry-land skills, skating simulations, team-building activities, short-term international competition preparation and meetings with coaches.
The online sessions will take place up to twice weekly, with critical information being communicated to athletes to allow them to continue to evolve as high-performance athletes in this new environment, and will utilize the strengths and experience of Canada’s National Women’s Program leadership to help connect one-on-one, athlete-to-athlete.
Coaching staff named for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team
In addition to the announcement of the rosters, Hockey Canada unveiled the coaching staff tasked to lead Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for the 2020-21 season.
Howie Draper (Edmonton, Alta./University of Alberta, CW), who has led Canada to gold (2019) and silver (2020) at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, returns behind the bench as head coach.
He will be joined by assistant coaches Alison Domenico (Ottawa, Ont./Providence College, HE) and Team Canada alumna Tara Watchorn(Newcastle, Ont./Boston University, HE), who was an assistant at the 2020 U18 women’s worlds, and goaltending coach Gord Woodhall (Winnipeg, Man./Winnipeg, MFMHL), who joined Draper as part of the medal-winning staffs in 2019 and 2020.
Hockey Canada also announced the support staff that will work with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team throughout the 2020-21 season, including:
- video coach Steph Thomson (Oshawa, Ont./NAIT, ACAC)
- therapist Danielle McNally (Wolfville, N.S.)
- massage therapist Julie Yew (Montreal, Que.)
- team physician Dr. Andi Jones (Penetanguishene, Ont./Penetang, PJHL)
- strength and conditioning coach Jason Weber (Saskatoon, Sask./University of Saskatchewan, CW)
- mental skills coach Paula McQuaid (Charlottetown, P.E.I.)
- equipment manager Brittany Simpson (Ottawa, Ont.)
- national teams manager Tania Kenny (Toronto, Ont.)
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June 11, 2020
CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has recognized 46 of the country’s top under-18 players that were invited to attend Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp, as well as the coaching staff for the camp and 2020 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Six goaltenders, 14 defencemen and 26 forwards were set to compete for a chance to represent Canada at the 2020 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, which was scheduled for Aug. 3-8 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., before it was cancelled April 28 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The camp roster featured 42 players who played for Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red or Team Canada White at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat, Alta., and Swift Current, Sask., last November.
In addition, Louis Robitaille (Montreal, Que./Gatineau, QMJHL) was to take the reins behind the bench as head coach, while Alan Letang (Renfrew, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) and Dennis Williams (Stratford, Ont./Everett, WHL) were to serve as assistant coaches.
“It is important for Hockey Canada to recognize the work the players and coaching staff already put in to prepare for the summer and a chance to compete for gold on home ice,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada. “It was a difficult decision to cancel the tournament, as it provides the opportunity to showcase the top under-18 players in a best-on-best international showcase. We want to recognize the 46 players and our three coaches for this tremendous accomplishment, and we look forward to watching all players continue to develop as they look ahead to next season and a chance to compete at the IIHF U18 World Championship.”
Robitaille was named head coach and general manager of the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) on April 8 after spending four seasons (2016-20) as head coach of the Victoriaville Tigres. He also spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Drummondville Voltigeurs (2011-15) and Val-d’Or Foreurs (2015-16). Robitaille was the head coach of Team Canada Red (2018) and an assistant coach with Team Canada Black (2017) at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and won a bronze medal as an assistant coach at the 2015 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Letang was named head coach of the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in January 2019 after joining the team as an assistant coach in 2016. He also spent two seasons (2014-16) as an assistant with Medvescak Zagreb in the KHL following an 18-year pro career. Letang won a gold medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and, as a player, helped Canada’s National Men’s Team win the 1998 Spengler Cup, along with a bronze medal at the 2006 Deutschland Cup.
Williams is entering his fourth season as head coach of the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He has led the Silvertips to two U.S. Division titles and was named WHL Western Conference Coach of the Year in 2017-18. Williams won a silver medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and served as head coach of Team Canada Black at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
With the cancellation of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, focus will now turn to the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship next spring; a host city has not yet been announced. The Czech Republic and Slovakia will host the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup before it returns to Edmonton and Red Deer in 2022.
For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Twitter.com/HC_Men.
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