CALGARY – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced on Friday that Trent Yawney will lead Canada at the 2007 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Tampere and Rauma, Finland from April 11-22nd.
The World Under-18 event brings together the best Under-18 aged players, many of whom will be top NHL picks at the June NHL Entry Draft. Canada’s team will be comprised of best eligible Under-18 aged players that are not involved in the playoffs in the CHL or other leagues. Canada’s roster will not be named until early April.
Canada has participated at the World Under-18 Championship since 2002, winning gold at the event in 2003.
Yawney, a defenceman during his playing career, has a strong international background as both a player and a coach.
As a coach, Yawney was an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2006 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Latvia, where Canada finished fourth. Yawney was head coach of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks for just over one season (2005-06). The native of Hudson Bay, SK served as the head coach of the Blackhawks' American Hockey League affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, for five seasons (2000-2005). He took over the coaching reins of the Admirals on , for their inaugural season in the AHL. Under Yawney's guidance, Norfolk posted a 189-144-42-25 regular season record over five seasons while winning back-to-back South Division titles in 2001--03.
Yawney was honored by The Hockey News as their "Minor Pro Coach of the Year" for the 2003-04 season, citing his ability to "work wonders." The only coach in the AHL to work without an assistant coach. The 2004-05 season saw the Admirals establish a new franchise record for wins (43) as well as points (93) in a season during one of the most competitive years in AHL history on the ice.
Yawney played a total of 208 international games for Canada, registering 68 points. He represented Canada at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, as the team’s captain, played for Canada at the IIHF Men’s World Championship on two occasions, in 1991, in Helsinki Finland, winning a silver medal, and in 1992, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, finishing 8th, and also played for Canada’s National Team for three seasons, from 1985-1988.
In his 12-year NHL playing career, Yawney played in 593 regular season games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues recording 27 goals and 102 assists for 129 points with 783 penalty minutes. He also played in 60 career Stanley Cup Playoff games recording nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points and 81 penalty minutes. Yawney played parts of four seasons with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, from 1982-1985.
Hockey Canada and the CHL will name, over the coming weeks, assistant coaches and staff that will work with Yawney.
Canada’s team will be put together in early April, led by Hockey Canada head scout Jim Hammett. The team will fly to Europe on April 5th, playing two pre-competition games on April 7 vs. Sweden and April 9th versus Germany, before opening up the event on April 12 versus Germany.
TSN/RDS, the official broadcaster of Hockey Canada, will be broadcasting from the World Under-18’s beginning with Canada’s game vs. Russia on April 17th (check local listings).