Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) have announced the head coaches for the 2011 CJHL Prospects Games, scheduled for Nov. 12-13 at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C.
Jason McKee, head coach and general manager of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Spruce Grove Saints, has been named head coach of Team West, while Team East will be led by Sheldon Keefe, head coach and general manager of the Central Canada Hockey League’s Pembroke Lumber Kings.
For the first time, the CJHL Prospects Games will be held in conjunction with the World Junior A Challenge. The newly-combined event will be a unique opportunity for CJHL stars to showcase their talent on an international stage and will provide CJHL prospects an unprecedented audience of scouts from across North America.
The CJHL Prospects Game was created to showcase the top 40 NHL draft-eligible players in the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Player selection is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to work with elite players at our level. It’s exciting for myself, the players and the hockey community,” said McKee, who has won back-to-back AJHL championships with the Saints. “This is a great avenue for our elite players to showcase their ability on a big stage. There will be a lot of eyes on our athletes and it is a tremendous opportunity for exposure.
“It is a great honour to be selected as head coach for the CJHL Prospects Games,” said Keefe, who has led the Lumber Kings to five consecutive CCHL championships and won the RBC Cup with Pembroke in 2011. “Through my time at the RBC Cup and by working with Canada East for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge, I have learned that Hockey Canada and the CJHL run world-class events. This will be a premier event at a great facility and a tremendous opportunity for all involved.”
The CJHL Prospects Games feature players from the CJHL's five western leagues – BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL and SIJHL – competing against the top prospects from the CJHL'S five eastern leagues – NOJHL, OJHL, CCHL, LHJAAAQ, MHL. The event is a two-game total-goal series between Team East and Team West, with the winner receiving the President's Cup.
CJHL PROSPECTS GAME HISTORY
Full-tournament 15-game ticket packages are on sale, including tickets to all 13 games at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, both CJHL Prospects Games and a free souvenir tournament program, for only $150, as well as single-game tickets and a flex package
The first-game of the 2011 CJHL Prospects Games will take place at 4 p.m. PT on Saturday, Nov. 12, with the second game facing off at noon PT on Sunday, Nov. 13.