Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, has announced Team Canada’s two assistant coaches, who will join Trent Yawney, who was named Team Canada’s head coach earlier this month, for the 2007 World Under-18 Championship, which runs April 11-22 in Tampere and Rauma, Finland.
Mike Stapleton, a former member of Canada’s National Men’s Team and current associate coach with the OHL’s Erie Otters, and Jeff Truitt, head coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, will serve as Team Canada’s assistants under Yawney.
Stapleton, a 40-year-old who is from Sarnia, ON, played parts of 16 seasons in the NHL. He also was a member of Canada’s National Men’s Team from 1986-87, helping Canada win the Spengler Cup that year.
Truitt, a 41-year-old from Rosetown, SK, recently completed his third season as head coach of the Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Truitt has been with Kelowna since 2001-02, serving as an assistant coach until 2004-05, when he became head coach. Truitt was an assistant in 2004, when the Rockets won the Memorial Cup. Truitt also has international experience, as he was the video coach for the National Junior Team in 2004 and assistant coach for the National Under-18 Team in August 2006 at the Junior World Cup in Slovakia and Czech Republic, where Canada won gold.
The World Under-18 Championship brings together the best under-18-aged players in the world, many of whom will be high selections at the NHL Entry Draft in June. Canada’s team will be made up of the best eligible under-18 players who are not involved in the playoffs in the CHL or other leagues.
Jim Hammett, Hockey Canada’s Head Scout for National Men’s Teams, will continue to evaluate players over the next two weeks. Team Canada will be announced in early April. Hammett will work with the coaching staff in assembling the players to represent Canada.
Canada has competed in the World Under-18 Championship since 2002, winning the gold medal in 2003. For more information on the World Under-18 Championship, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, the official website of Hockey Canada.