CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced Tuesday that Greg Walters, head coach and general manager of the OJHL’s Georgetown Raiders, will be the head coach of Canada East for the 2012 World Junior A Challenge, scheduled for November 5-11 in Yarmouth, N.S.
Walters will be joined by assistant coaches Sheldon Keefe (head coach and general manager, Pembroke Lumber Kings, CCHL) and Jason Nobili (head coach, Markham Waxers, OJHL) for the tournament.
Greg Walters, 41, will return to the Canada East coaching staff for a second consecutive year after winning a silver medal last year. Walters just completed his first season with the Raiders after serving as an assistant coach with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting for the previous eight seasons, helping Georgetown to the OJHL’s best regular season record. As a player, Walters played 12 seasons of professional hockey, including parts of six seasons in the AHL with Rochester and St. John’s.
Sheldon Keefe, 31, will make his first appearance with Canada East at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge. He has been head coach, general manager and owner of the Lumber Kings for the past six seasons. Keefe has twice led the Lumber Kings to the RBC Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship, reaching the semifinals in 2007 before winning the national title in 2011. Keefe played eight seasons of professional hockey, including 125 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightning
Jason Nobili, 38, will be an assistant coach for the second time with Canada East. Along with Walters, Nobili was also an assistant coach on last year’s silver medal-winning team. Nobili is entering his first season as head coach of the Waxers. Prior to joining Markham, Nobili spent two seasons as head coach of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens and one season at the helm of the Oakville Blades. Nobili has also spent time coaching in the ECHL, as a head coach with the Reading Royals during the 2008-09 season and as an assistant with the Florida Everblades for four seasons. Prior to his time in the ECHL, Nobili was an assistant coach with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL.
Hockey Canada will announce details for Canada East’s camp prior to the World Junior A Challenge in the near future.