The Canadian Junior Hockey League, in partnership with Hockey Canada, has announced that Billy McGuigan (Summerside, MHL) and Rod Aldoff (Minnesota, SIJHL) have been named head coaches of Team East and Team West, respectively, for the 2012 CJHL Prospects Games.
The two-game, total-goal series between East and West will take place in conjunction with the 2012 World Junior A Challenge; Game 1 is scheduled for Nov. 10 in Digby, N.S., with Game 2 set for the following afternoon in Yarmouth, N.S., immediately preceding the World Junior A Challenge gold medal game.
“Billy and Rod not only have tremendous track records within their leagues, but over the past few years have also been valuable contributors to Junior A and hockey nationally,” said CJHL president Kirk Lamb. “The CJHL is very proud to have them serve as coaches in the CJHL Prospects Games.”
McGuigan is in his second year as head coach of the MHL’s Summerside Western Capitals, having previously held the same position with the Charlottetown Abbies and Miramichi Timberwolves. He was also an assistant coach with Canada’s National Sledge Team for the past two seasons, helping the team to a bronze medal at last April’s IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship.
Aldoff has been head coach and general manager of the SIJHL’s Minnesota Wilderness since the start of the 2010-11 season, leading the team to a 94-12-2-4 record and back-to-back Bill Salonen Cups as league champions. He was presented with the SIJHL’s coach of the year award in 2011-12 and executive of the year honour in 2010-11.
Both coaches also have professional hockey backgrounds as players: McGuigan played four seasons in the Colonial Hockey League, Central Hockey League and West Coast Hockey League from 1995-99, while Aldoff played more than 800 pro games from 1995-2010, including stops in the East Coast Hockey League, International Hockey League, West Coast Hockey League, United Hockey League and Central Hockey League, along with time spent in Switzerland, Germany and Italy.
The CJHL Prospects Games were created to showcase the top 40 NHL draft-eligible players in Junior A hockey. They will feature players from the CJHL's five western leagues (BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL, SIJHL) competing against the top prospects from the CJHL's five eastern leagues (NOJHL, OJHL, CCHL, LHJAAAQ, MHL) and will be a unique opportunity to give CJHL prospects an unprecedented audience of scouts from across North America. Player selection is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.