The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), in partnership with Hockey Canada, has announced the coaching staffs for Canada East and Canada West for the 2010 World Junior A Challenge.
Larry Wintoneak of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Kindersley Klippers will take over as head coach of Canada West after serving as an assistant coach in 2009. The assistant coaches for Canada West include Jomar Cruz (OCN Blizzard, MJHL), Andrew Milne (Canmore Eagles, AJHL) and Kevin Hasselberg (Olds Grizzlys, AJHL).
"It was a tremendous opportunity to be involved in the World Junior A Challenge and work with Hockey Canada last year," says Wintoneak. "Experience is everything and it will benefit me as a head coach and our entire staff in the preparation for this year's tournament. The expectation to win remains the same."
Cruz held the position of video coach at the 2009 World Junior A Challenge, while Milne and Hasselberg were both members of the Team Pacific coaching staff at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Timmins, Ont.
Rylan Ferster of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks was recently named as Canada West’s general manager. Ferster represented Canada West as an assistant coach in 2008 and head coach in 2009. Leonard Strandberg, who served as general manager in 20, has been appointed as head scout.
Head coach Todd Gill of the Central Junior Hockey League’s Brockville Braves will lead Canada East alongside general manager Troy Ryan of the MJAHL’s Halifax Lions. Gill returns for his second season as head coach while Ryan has served as an assistant coach for Canada East since the inaugural World Junior A Challenge in 2006.
For a third consecutive year, Patrice Bosch (Inouk de Granby, LHJAAAQ) has been selected as an assistant coach, while Curtis Hodgins (Bowmanville Eagles, CCHL) will also join Canada East as an assistant coach.
"Last year I enjoyed the experience and learned a lot, but did not achieve the goal we set out for our team," says Gill, who led Canada East to a fourth-place finish in 2009. "The experience I earned through competing at such a high level of international competition, and the knowledge I gained of the selection process and team building was invaluable."
The 2010 World Junior A Challenge will feature the best 19-and-under Junior A aged players from six competing countries. The World Junior A Challenge tournament will be held in November 2010; the respective dates and location will be announced shortly.