CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Hockey League and Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence management group, announced Friday that Tim Hunter (Calgary, Alta./Moose Jaw, WHL) will be the head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, April 16-26 in Zug and Lucerne, Switzerland.
Ian Herbers (Jasper, Alta./University of Alberta, CWUAA) and Louis Robitaille (Montreal, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL) will serve as assistant coaches alongside Hunter.
The coaching staff was selected by the Program of Excellence policy committee, alongside Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams, and Tom Renney, Hockey Canada’s president and chief executive officer.
Tim Hunter, 54, will make his first appearance behind the Team Canada bench after completing his first season as head coach of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors. Before joining the Warriors, Hunter coached in 1,089 games over 14 seasons as an assistant coach in the NHL with Washington, Toronto and San Jose. As a player, he appeared in 815 NHL games over 16 seasons with Colorado, Calgary, Vancouver and San Jose after being selected in the third round (54th overall) of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, recording 138 points (62 goals, 76 assists) and winning the Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989.
Ian Herbers, 47, just completed his third season as head coach of the University of Alberta men’s hockey team, leading the Golden Bears to back-to-back CIS national championships in 2014 and 2015. Prior to joining the Golden Bears, Herbers spent three seasons with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, serving as head coach for the final five months of the 2011-12 season, and was head coach of the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs from 2007-09. He also worked with the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit from 2004-07, spending one season as an assistant coach and two as associate head coach. Herbers played 12 seasons of professional hockey from 1992-2004, including 65 NHL games with Edmonton, Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders.
Louis Robitaille, 33, has spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs, joining the Voltigeurs in December 2011 after serving as head coach and general manager of the LHJAAAQ’s Valleyfield Braves. Robitaille played four seasons with the QMJHL’s Montreal Rocket before an eight-year professional career, which included two NHL games with the Washington Capitals, and a Calder Cup championship with the Hershey Bears in 2006.
Ryan Jankowski, director of player personnel with Hockey Canada, will select Canada’s roster for the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, with support from the coaching staff. The roster will include players whose CHL teams either missed the playoffs or are no longer competing in the playoffs.
Canada opens the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship on April 16 against Latvia, and will also face the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland during preliminary round play.
Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team has won three gold medals the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, in 2003, 2008 and 2013.
For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, or follow on social media at www.facebook.com/hockeycanada, www.twitter.com/hockeycanada and www.twitter.com/hc_men.