CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced Friday that Jim Hulton (Kingston, Ont.) and Curtis Hunt (North Battleford, Sask.) have been named co-coaches of Canada’s men’s team, comprised of 1996-born players, for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, January 13-22 in Innsbruck, Austria.
The 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games will be the first of its kind, bringing together young athletes from around the world to participate in a unique cultural experience and international sporting competition. The first-ever Summer Youth Olympic Games took place in Singapore in August 2010, with Canada capturing 12 medals.
Upwards of 1,100 athletes from more than 60 countries are expected to come together in Innsbruck, which previously hosted both the 19 Olympic Winter Games and will become the first city in history to host three different Olympic events
Jim Hulton served as assistant coach of the NHL’s Florida Panthers from 2008-11 after more than a decade in the Ontario Hockey League with the Belleville Bulls, Kingston Frontenacs, Mississauga IceDogs and North Bay Centennials. Hulton has won a pair of gold medals with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, in 2001 as an assistant coach and in 2002 as head coach at the Eight Nations Cup. Hulton was an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning silver. Hulton won a gold medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Curtis Hunt has coached in both the NHL and Western Hockey League, serving as assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators in 2008-09 and head coach of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors and Regina Pats. He also won two gold medals as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team, at the 20 IIHF World Junior Championships. Hunt also served as an assistant coach with Canada at the IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship in 2005, winning silver.
“We are very fortunate to have Jim and Curtis serve as co-coaches for this event,” said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations/national teams. “Both have experience coaching Canada’s national teams in international competition and we are confident they will do a tremendous job working with and developing Canada’s young players at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.”
Hockey Canada will put forth nominations for the roster of 1996-born players to the Canadian Olympic Committee to compete in the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in the near future. Canada’s team will be represented with at least one player from each of Hockey Canada’s 13 branches and selected via a random draw from the long list of players that was submitted to Hockey Canada from the Branches.