CALGARY – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced on Friday that Benoit Groulx (Gatineau, QC/ Gatineau, QMJHL) will serve as head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, ON.
In addition, Hockey Canada and the CHL announced that Dave Cameron (Charlottetown, PEI/ Mississauga St. Michael’s, OHL) and Willie Desjardins (Climax, SK/ Medicine Hat, WHL) have been named assistant coaches with Canada’s National Junior Team.
Hockey Canada will hold its National Junior Team development camp from July 26-29, 2008 at the University of Ottawa. A detailed schedule will be posted prior to the camp.
Benoit Groulx, 40, has twice represented Canada in international competition, serving as an assistant coach under Brent Sutter for the 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series, which Canada won with a 7-0-1 record and helping Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team win a gold medal at the 2004 Junior World Cup, where he also served as an assistant coach, under head coach Dave Cameron. Groulx has been the head coach of the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques since midway through the 2001-02 season, and has guided Gatineau to three QMJHL championships (2003, 2004, 2008).
“It is a great honour to get the opportunity to represent Canada as the head coach of the National Junior Team,” said Groulx. “With this honour comes great responsibility, especially with this event which is such a great hockey institution in Canada. I look forward to working with Dave and Willie in giving our players every opportunity to succeed at this year’s IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa.”
“Benoit Groulx has been a successful head coach at every level, including leading Gatineau to great success in the QMJHL,” said Brad Pascall, senior director of communications/men’s national teams with Hockey Canada. “Benoit also played a large role in Canada’s successful participation in the Canada-Russia Super Series last summer. We are confident that Benoit, along with Dave and Willie, will represent Canada proudly in the coming season and help our players perform at their best in Ottawa.”
Dave Cameron, 49, will be serving behind the bench with Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for the third time, his first with Canada’s National Junior Team. Cameron guided the National Men’s Summer Under-18 team to a gold medal at the 2004 Junior World Cup, and was also an assistant coach, under head coach Bob Lowes, with the National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2003 Junior World Cup, where Canada finished fourth. Cameron is the head coach/general manager of the OHL’s Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, a position he has held for eight seasons.
Willie Desjardins, 51, was an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Team in 1998-99, under head coach Mike Johnston, including serving in that role at the 1999 IIHF World Championship, where Canada finished fourth. Desjardins will be behind the bench for Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for the first time at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship. Desjardins has just completed his fifth season as head coach with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers, adding the general manager responsibilities to start the 2005-06 season. He has guided Medicine Hat to two WHL championships, and was named the 2006 CHL Coach of the Year.
Canada has medaled at ten straight IIHF World Junior Championships including four consecutive gold medal performances in 2005, 2006, 20, silver medals in 1999, 2002, 20, and bronze medals in 20.