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Jeremy Colliton to assume head coaching duties for Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team

Colliton replaces Claude Julien, who is unable to travel to Beijing

NR.004.22
|
January 30, 2022

 DAVOS, Switzerland – Hockey Canada has announced that Jeremy Colliton (Blackie, Alta.) will replace Claude Julien (Orleans, Ont.) as head coach of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team.

During a team-building activity at training camp in Switzerland, Julien slipped on ice and sustained fractured ribs. As per the advice of the team’s medical staff and other medical experts, it was determined that he will be unable to fly to Beijing to participate in the 2022 Olympic Winter Games due to the injury.

“Claude was beyond excited and honoured to be a member of Team Canada at the Olympics, and we are all disappointed that he will no longer be able to lead our team in Beijing,” said general manager Shane Doan (Halkirk, Alta.). “Claude is in great spirits and we will continue to do everything we can to support him. We ask that Claude’s privacy please be respected at this time.

“We are fortunate to have an experienced coaching staff, and Jeremy is a talented, young coach with a long career ahead of him. We know he will do an exceptional job leading our team behind the bench in Beijing. While we are excited for Jeremy to take on this challenge, we know Claude will be supporting us every step of the way and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Colliton was the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks for parts of four seasons (2018-21) after being promoted from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. He also served as head coach of Mora IK of HockeyAllsvenskan (2013-17) and was an assistant coach with the Calgary Mustangs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) for one season (2012-13). Internationally, he won a gold medal for Canada at the 2003 IIHF World U18 Championship and 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship, as well as a silver medal at the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championship. He also played six professional seasons (2005-12) with the New York Islanders and AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

“While it is difficult to fill in for a coach that has a pedigree like Claude Julien, I am honoured to be considered as the person to lead Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team as head coach,” Colliton said. “We have a very close-knit, experienced coaching staff that has gained a lot of knowledge from Claude in our short time together, and I know our staff will continue to support each other as we look to achieve our goal of winning an Olympic gold medal.”

Nolan Baumgartner (Calgary, Alta.) and Tyler Dietrich (West Vancouver, B.C.) will continue to serve as assistant coaches, while Doan, Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), assistant general manager and senior vice-president of hockey operations, and Tom Renney (Cranbrook, B.C.) will provide day-to-day assistance to the coaching staff.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Don Sweeney and Jim Nill.

Management group named for 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off

Don Sweeney to serve as general manager alongside associate GM Jim Nill

NR.021.24
|
April 12, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced that two veteran National Hockey League (NHL) general managers will lead Canada at the inaugural NHL 4 Nations Face-Off next February.

Don Sweeney (St. Stephen, NB/Boston, NHL) will make his international management debut as general manager, working alongside associate general manager Jim Nill (Hanna, AB/Dallas, NHL), who will return to Canada’s management group for the first time since 2015.

In addition, Sweeney and Nill have been named assistant general managers of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. They will work alongside Doug Armstrong (Sarnia, ON/St. Louis, NHL), who was named general manager in March.

The management group was selected by Armstrong, who serves as management group lead for Canada’s National Men’s Team, player relations advisor Ryan Getzlaf (Regina, SK/Anaheim, NHL) and Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations. Katherine Henderson (Thunder Bay, ON), Hockey Canada’s president and chief executive officer, and Pat McLaughlin (Saint John, NB), chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy, also provided input as part of the executive committee preparing for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

“As we continue to prepare for international competition over the next two years, I am thrilled to have Don and Jim lead Team Canada at the 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off, and to welcome these two experienced general managers to our management group for the 2026 Olympics,” Armstrong said. “Both Don and Jim have enjoyed successful NHL careers and will represent the Maple Leaf with pride, and we know their experience will be a valuable asset as we build teams for two major international events in 2025 and 2026.”

Sweeney is in his ninth season (2015-24) as general manager of the Boston Bruins, winning the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award in 2018-19 and leading the team to eight-consecutive playoff appearances and two Presidents’ Trophies (2020, 2023). He also served six seasons (2009-15) as assistant general manager, three seasons as director of player development (2006-09) and two seasons (2007-09) as director of hockey operations with the Bruins. As an executive, Sweeney has helped lead the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final three times (2011, 2013, 2019), winning the Stanley Cup in 2011. He also served one season (2014-15) as general manager of the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL), and was announced as an assistant general manager of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team for the 2022 Olympics if NHL players participated. As a player, he played in 1,115 NHL games over 16 seasons with the Bruins and Dallas Stars, appearing in the Stanley Cup Final with the Bruins in 1990, and won a gold medal with Canada at the 1997 IIHF World Championship.

Nill has served as the general manager of the Dallas Stars for the past 11 seasons (2013-24), winning GM of the Year in 2022-23 and leading the team to seven playoff appearances and the Stanley Cup Final in 2020. He also spent 19 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, serving as assistant general manager (1998-2013) and director of player development (1994-98), helping lead Detroit to the Stanley Cup Final six times (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2009), winning the Stanley Cup four times (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008). Nill was also the GM of the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings for one season (1988-89), leading the team to a Calder Cup championship, and a professional scout with the Ottawa Senators for three seasons (1991-94). Internationally, he has served as director of player personnel (2003) and general manager (2004, 2015) of Canada’s National Men’s Team at the IIHF World Championship, winning gold in 2004 and 2015. As a player, Nill played 524 career NHL games, played in the Stanley Cup Final with the Vancouver Canucks in 1982, suited up for Canada’s National Men’s Team during the 1979-80 season and wore the Maple Leaf at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.

The coaching staff and first six players for the 2025 NHL Four Nations Face-Off are expected to be announced in June, while additional announcements regarding Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team will be made at a later date.

The 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off is a new international event that will feature NHL players from Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States. The event will take place in two North American cities – one in Canada and one in the United States – in February 2025 and will consist of seven games played with NHL rules.

For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Men’s Team and Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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Doug Armstrong.

Doug Armstrong named general manager for 2026 Olympic Winter Games

Veteran GM to serve as management group lead for Canada’s National Men’s Team over next two seasons; Ryan Getzlaf, Scott Salmond among executive committee members

NR.014.24
|
March 15, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced that Doug Armstrong (Sarnia, ON/St. Louis, NHL) will serve as general manager of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team at the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, and as management group lead for Canada’s National Men’s Team, overseeing the appointment of management groups that will lead Team Canada at various events over the next two seasons.

In preparation for the 2026 Olympics, Armstrong will serve on an executive committee with Ryan Getzlaf (Regina, SK/Anaheim, NHL), who will serve as player relations advisor, Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations, Katherine Henderson (Thunder Bay, ON), president and chief executive officer, and Pat McLaughlin (Saint John, NB), chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy.

Armstrong will oversee Team Canada at the 2024 IIHF World Championship, 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off and 2025 IIHF World Championship, appointing and working with Canadian general managers and executives to help build Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team for the 2026 Olympics. Getzlaf will work directly with Armstrong and Salmond, acting as a liaison between athletes, the executive committee and management groups for the four upcoming events, ensuring consistency between teams, athletes and staff.

“There is a wealth of experienced and successful Canadian executives throughout the NHL, and we believe Doug is the best person to lead our National Men’s Team and build our management groups from a talented pool of executives at each event leading up to and including the 2026 Olympics,” McLaughlin said. “Doug and Ryan both bring accomplished careers and many years of NHL and international experience to Hockey Canada, and Scott has been instrumental in the success of Canada’s national teams at all levels for more than 20 years.

“We know all three individuals will be invaluable pieces of our executive committee as we build teams that will make Canadians proud over the next two years. Wearing the Maple Leaf is an honour and a privilege, and our executive committee is committed to ensuring our players and staff are supported on and off the ice to achieve continued success, while upholding the character and values that Canadians expect of our organization and teams.”

Armstrong has won two Olympic gold medals as a member of the management group with Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team (2010, 2014), as well as the 2016 World Cup of Hockey championship as general manager. He was also announced as general manager of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team for the 2022 Olympics if NHL players participated. Armstrong has won gold medals at the IIHF World Championship in 2007 (special assistant), 2016 (senior advisor) and 2023 (general manager), and silver in 2008 (assistant general manager) and 2009 (general manager). He was also part of the Worlds staff in 2002 and 2013. Armstrong is in his 14th season (2010-24) as general manager of the St. Louis Blues, also serving as president of hockey operations, winning the Stanley Cup in 2019 and the NHL GM of the Year Award in 2011-12. He recently became the 11th NHL general manager to record 800 career wins, and is the second-fastest to reach 800 win milestone. Armstrong previously spent 16 years (1992-2008) with the Dallas Stars, winning the Stanley Cup as assistant general manager in 1999.

Getzlaf is set to make his international management debut after a 17-year playing career with the Anaheim Ducks (2005-22), with whom he served as captain for 12 seasons (2010-22) and won the Stanley Cup in 2007. Getzlaf appeared in 1,157 NHL games, recording 1,019 points (282 goals, 737 assists), appearing in three NHL All-Star Games (2008, 2009, 2015). Internationally, he won gold medals at the 2003 IIHF World U18 Championship, 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship, and 2010 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games, in addition to the2016 World Cup of Hockey. Getzlaf also won silver at the 2004 World Juniors and 2008 IIHF World Championship, suited up at the 2002 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and captained Team Canada at the 2012 Worlds. He is in his first season as player development coordinator with Anaheim.

Salmond was promoted to senior vice-president of hockey operations with Hockey Canada in 2018 after serving as vice-president of national teams for four years. In this position, Salmond oversees all operations for Canada’s men’s, women’s and para hockey teams. He has helped lead Canada to gold medals at two Olympic Winter Games (2010, 2014), six IIHF World Championships (2003, 2004, 2015, 2016, 2021, 2023), seven IIHF World Junior Championships (2007, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2018, 2022, 2023), two IIHF U18 World Championships (2013, 2021), one IPC World Para Hockey Championship (2017) and one Paralympic Winter Games (2006), as well as a World Cup of Hockey championship (2016) and a Spengler Cup three-peat (2015, 2016, 2017). Salmond joined Hockey Canada in 2001 and has held increasingly senior high-performance roles during his tenure with the organization.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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Hockey Canada statements on NHL participation at 2026 and 2030 Olympic Winter Games, 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off

February 02, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – The following are statements on behalf of Hockey Canada on the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) decision to participate in the 2026 and 2030 Olympic Winter Games, and host the 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off:

“Earlier today, the NHL, NHLPA and International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) made a highly anticipated announcement that NHL players will participate in the 2026 and 2030 Olympic Winter Games, and that the NHL will host the 2025 4 Nations Face-Off. Hockey Canada recognizes this was a lengthy process that required a lot of deliberation and consideration, and we believe this decision is in the best interest of not only Team Canada, but international hockey as a whole.

“The participation of NHL players on the international stage in 2025 and at the Olympics marks a return to best-on-best competition in men’s hockey, and we know this decision will be well-received among the sporting community and hockey fans across the globe. We look forward to supporting our men’s, women’s and para hockey teams in their journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”

  • Katherine Henderson (Thunder Bay, ON), president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada and co-chair of Canada’s Winter Sport Caucus 

“Representing Canada at the Olympic Winter Games is the pinnacle of sport, and the decision by the NHL and NHLPA to return to the Olympics and host the NHL 4 Nations Face-Off in 2025 is a significant announcement for our organization. We are excited to begin the process of building teams that include the best Canadian NHL players from across the country for the first time since the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, and to surround those athletes with high-quality management, coaching and support staffs that will do everything they can to help our athletes achieve their goal of winning Olympic gold medals. 

“We look forward to working with our hockey operations staff to build teams for the 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off, and the 2026 and 2030 Olympics, with the goal of returning to the top of the podium beginning in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.”

  • Pat McLaughlin (Saint John, NB), Hockey Canada’s chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Canada’s National Men’s Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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OIS/Joe Toth

Canada finishes fourth at 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games

Di Iorio notches record-tying goal as Canada falls to Finland in a shootout

NR.006.24
|
January 31, 2024

GANGWON, South Korea Canada’s men’s hockey team has finished in fourth place at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games after falling 5-4 in a shootout to Finland in the bronze medal game Wednesday at the Gangneung Hockey Centre.

Alessandro Di Iorio (Vaughan, ON/Vaughan, GTHL), Tynan Lawrence (Fredericton, NB/Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS) and Keaton Verhoeff (Fort Saskatchewan, AB/RHA Kelowna, CSSHL) scored 41 seconds apart to give Canada a 3-0 lead less than seven minutes into the first period. Di Iorio’s tally marked his tournament-leading sixth goal, tying Ryan Gropp (2012) for most goals by a Canadian in a single Youth Olympics.

Finland responded with a pair of first-period goals from Jiko Laitinen and Luka Arkko before Wilmer Kallio and Viljo Kahkonen scored in the middle frame to give the Finns a 4-3 lead.

Mathis Preston (Penticton, BC/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL) evened the score for Canada with just over six minutes remaining in the third period, firing home a cross-crease pass from Ryan Lin (Richmond, BC/Delta Hockey Academy, CSSHL) and sending the game to a shootout.

“I am so proud of our team. We played great the entire tournament, but unfortunately there were a few unlucky bounces that did not go our way,” Di Iorio said. “Wearing the Maple Leaf is an honour, and I know our entire group will remember this experience for a long time.”

Carter Esler (Okotoks, AB/Okotoks, AEHL) was stellar in the Canadian goal, turning aside 32 shots.

“We had a good start to today’s game. We went up by three goals early, but Finland was able to bounce back and put us on our heels,” said Markus Ruck (Osoyoos, BC/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL). “While we would have loved to go back to Canada with a medal, the Youth Olympics was an amazing experience and everything about our time in Gangwon has been great.”

Canada finished the preliminary round in first place in Group B after wins over South Korea and Finland before losing 6-5 in a shootout to the United States in the semifinals.

Since 2012, Canada has collected one silver medal (2016) and two bronze (2012, 2020) at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s men’s hockey team at the Winter Youth Olympic Games, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram, and by using #Gangwon2024 and #YouthOlympics.

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Markus Ruck and Liam Ruck

Bonded as brothers, together through hockey

They learned to skate together, they were drafted by the Medicine Hat Tigers together, and now identical twins Markus and Liam Ruck are wearing the Maple Leaf together at the Youth Olympics

Jonathan Yue
|
January 27, 2024

Markus and Liam Ruck are twins through and through. Born eight minutes apart on Feb. 21, 2008, the brothers have been inseparable on and off the ice ever since.

From playing minor hockey in the small town of Osoyoos, B.C., to rising through the ranks in the South Okanagan Minor Hockey Association, to being drafted by the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first round of the 2023 Western Hockey League (WHL) Prospects Draft, Markus and Liam have been by each other’s side, stride by stride.

The Rucks are what the medical community categorizes as mirror identical twins, which is when a pair twins possess opposite traits that mirror each other. Markus is a playmaking left-handed centre, while Liam is the goal-scoring right-handed winger. By definition, they complement each other perfectly.

“We do everything together, on and off the ice,” Liam says. “We’re competitive off the ice, always trying to beat each other, and on the ice, we push each other, want to make each other better, and make our jobs easier out there.”

“It’s been really special to have us together,” Markus adds. “It’s always a little bit easier to have my twin with me throughout my whole life.”

Now, the brothers are making their international debuts together at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon, South Korea.

“We’re going to go out there and show what we can do on the international stage, as a team and as individuals and play the way we play,” says Liam.

“We’re looking forward to putting our names out there, wearing that Canadian jersey,” Markus adds. “The goal is to find success with the team and come back with the gold.”

A family affair

Markus and Liam first hit the ice when they were two years old on the family's backyard rink and then at public skates. By the time they were four, they were already making plays to each other in games. With hockey smarts to back their chemistry, their skills were quickly noticed in their hometown.

“They loved the game from a very young age,” says Jim Liebel, the twins’ coach from ages four to 12. “They were committed to hockey, from shooting in their living room to showing up to the rink. They were soft spoken, but you could tell they really wanted to be hockey players back then. The plays they made, they just knew where the other brother would be, and that connection was just so special to see.”

Their connection has been evident for as long as they’ve been lacing up their skates. In 2018, the pair were members of the B.C. Junior Canucks at The Brick Invitational in Edmonton. Liam finished with a team-leading seven goals and co-led with 10 points. Markus had four points, including two assists, both of which came on goals scored by Liam.

Skating with the U15 Prep team at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, B.C., last season, Liam led the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) with 90 points (53-37—90) in 27 games, just ahead of Markus and his 87 points (22-65—87). So it was no surprise when Liam was selected ninth overall in the WHL draft by the Medicine Hat Tigers, 12 spots before the Tigers traded up to select Markus.

“We love playing together,” Markus says. “We love our give-and go-plays, our passes in between sticks and feet to create those two-on-one opportunities on the ice against the defenders, but the small community here [in Osoyoos] gives us lots of ice time and that support is always there.”

“We support each other a lot out there,” Liam adds. “Markus makes my job as a goal scorer a lot easier when he sets me up, so we definitely get a lot of good chances out there together. Our parents spend countless hours supporting us as well, and the all-around support from them and the community, it makes our lives easier to focus on hockey.”

It’s not only on the ice where the family connection is strong. Away from the rink, hockey has become an activity that has brought the Ruck family together on numerous occasions.

From the competitive mini-stick battles with their younger brother Landon, to family vacations scheduled around hockey, the sport has brought the whole family together. It’s something that the brothers’ parents, Nina and Derek, are thankful for.

“We’ve got to go all over Canada and the United States as a family,” Nina says. “We’ve had so many great memories with hockey and people sometimes ask if we even do family vacations, and I tell them ‘Of course,’ whether it’s to The Brick tournament or to Montreal for Meltdown, its some of the best memories of our lives so far together.”

The Youth Olympics will be a proud moment for family and friends, who will be cheering them on from Osoyoos.

“Kids in Osoyoos look up to them as leaders,” Liebel says, thinking about how emotional it will be to see the twins take the ice in Gangwon. “It’s a small town here and the kids see what Markus and Liam are doing on the ice and their level of commitment to hockey; they are the perfect types of people for kids in the community to look up to.”

International success runs in the family

When Markus and Liam hit the ice for Canada’s preliminary-round opener against the host Koreans on Jan. 27, it won’t be the first time a member of the Ruck family competes with the Maple Leaf on their chest. Their father played three years in the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (1998-2001) before winning the Allan Cup in 2007 as a member of the Powell River Regals, a year before the twins were born. The Regals were invited to represent Canada’s National Men’s Team at the Belarus Cup and Derek skated in three games for Canada.

And then there’s their second cousin, Taylor Ruck. She is a four-time Olympic medallist (a silver and three bronze) in the swimming pool, representing Canada at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Games, and tied a Commonwealth Games record with eight medals (one gold, five silver, two bronze) at the 2018 Games in Australia.

With all that success in the family, the twins hope to continue to represent the Ruck name with pride on the international stage.

“We’ve both dreamed of putting on that jersey,” Liam says. “A lot of Canadian kids have that dream, and to have the opportunity to do that is really exciting for us and the family."

“Ever since watching the World Juniors and the Olympics, we always dreamed to be in their positions and in their shoes,” Markus adds. “We have the opportunity now, it’s going to be unbelievable.”

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Men's hockey team named for 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games

Ryan Smith named head coach; Travis Crickard, Bruce Richardson to serve as assistants

NR.098.23
|
December 21, 2023

CALGARY, Alberta - Hockey Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s men's hockey team selected to compete at the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

The Team Canada men's hockey team for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games is:

  • Goaltenders Mateo Beites (Sudbury, ON/Barrie, OMHA-U16), Colin Ellsworth (Aurora, ON/York Simcoe, OMHA-U16) and Carter Esler (Okotoks, AB/Okotoks, AEHL-U18)
  • Defencemen Cameron Chartrand (Saint-Lazare, QC/Bishop Kearney Selects, USHS), Callum Croskery (Oakville, ON/Oakville, OMHA-U16), Ryan Lin (Richmond, BC/Delta Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18), Zach Nyman (Toronto, ON/Vaughan, GTHL-U16), Daxon Rudolph (Lacombe, AB/Northern Alberta, CSSHL-U18) and Keaton Verhoeff (Fort Saskatchewan, AB/RHA Kelowna, CSSHL-U18)
  • Forwards Alessandro Di Iorio (Vaughan, ON/Vaughan, GTHL-U16), Beckham Edwards (London, ON/Detroit Little Caesars, US15U), Tynan Lawrence (Fredericton, NB/Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS), Aiden O’Donnell (Cole Harbour, NS/Dartmouth, NSU18MHL), Mathis Preston (Penticton, BC/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18), Liam Ruck (Osoyoos, BC/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18), Markus Ruck (Osoyoos, BC/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18), Adam Valentini (Toronto, ON/Toronto Marlboros, GTHL-U16) and Braidy Wassilyn (Puslinch, ON/Markham, GTHL-U16)

“Congratulations to the tremendous athletes, coaches and staff who have been selected to represent Canada in men’s hockey at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games,” said Katherine Henderson (Thunder Bay, ON), president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada and co-chair of Canada’s Winter Caucus of Sport. “Wearing the Maple Leaf at the Games is an incredible honour and we know fans across our country will be cheering on this group and the rest of Team Canada on as it goes for gold.”

The roster was selected by Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB), Hockey Canada’s U17 head scout, and Kurt Keats (Winnipeg, MB), manager of hockey operations. A long list of players was shared by Hockey Canada’s 13 Members in the summer, with regional scouts Pierre Cholette (Quebec), Rob Simpson (Ontario), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario) also providing input.

Of the 18 players, eight are from the Ontario Hockey Federation, four are from BC Hockey, three are from Hockey Alberta, and Hockey New Brunswick, Hockey Nova Scotia and Hockey Québec are represented by one player each.

“We are thrilled to announce the 18 players from six Members who will have the unique opportunity of representing Canada for the first time at the Winter Youth Olympic Games," said Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations. "This event gives us an opportunity to introduce players to Hockey Canada while providing athletes with the chance to develop the skills and experience needed in international competition, all while competing for a gold medal and taking in an experience of a lifetime in Gangwon.”

Team Canada has participated in the men's hockey tournament at each Winter Youth Olympic Games to date, winning the bronze medal at Innsbruck 2012 and Lausanne 2020, and the silver medal at Lillehammer 2016.

Men’s hockey will take place Jan. 27-31 (Days 8-12) at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. Team Canada opens the Youth Olympic tournament against host South Korea on Jan. 27 at 6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT and will play Finland on Jan. 29 at 6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT. Semifinals will be played on Jan. 30, with the medal games set for Jan. 31.

“Congratulations to the athletes named to Canada's men's hockey team,” said Lisa Weagle, Team Canada’s Gangwon 2024 chef de mission. “These young athletes are the future of Canadian hockey and represent the skill, sportsmanship and excellence that define our nation’s passion for the sport. As chef de mission for Team Canada, my message to each of the athletes is to play with heart, seize the moment and represent Canada with pride.”

The Team Canada coaches and support staff for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games are:

  • Head coach Ryan Smith (Headingley, MB/Spokane, WHL)
  • Assistant coach Travis Crickard (St. John’s, NL/Saint John, QMJHL)
  • Assistant coach Bruce Richardson (Montréal, QC)
  • Equipment manager AJ Murley (St. John’s, NL)
  • Athletic therapist Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown, PE)

Smith is currently in his second season (2022-23) as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL) after two seasons (2020-22) as an associate coach. He previously won a silver medal as an assistant coach with Canada Red at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and won silver and bronze as an assistant with Canada West at the 2012 and 2013 World Junior A Hockey Challenge.

Crickard is in his first season as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) following one season as an assistant. He won a gold medal as video coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship and was a video coach and assistant coach with Canada Black at the 2016 and 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, respectively, winning a silver medal in 2016.

Richardson most recently served as head coach of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada for five seasons (2018-23). He won a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship, was the head coach of Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and served as an assistant with Canada Black at the November 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The Youth Olympic Games are the world’s largest multi-sport event for high-performance young athletes aged 15–18. Gangwon 2024 will run from Jan. 19-Feb. 1, and will feature 1,900 athletes. It will be the fourth edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games and the first in Asia, and will have a fully gender-balanced sporting program with seven sports, 15 disciplines and a total of 81 events.

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all national sport organizations.

The latest Team Canada Gangwon 2024 roster can be found here, and additional press resources can be found here.

For more information on Hockey Canada and the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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Men's Olympic Recap: Sweden 2, Canada 0

Tomkins finished with 24 saves, but Canada saw its run in Beijing come to an end in the quarterfinals

February 16, 2022

GAME STATISTICS | LIVE GAME BLOG

BEIJING, China – Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team has been eliminated from the 2022 Olympic Winter Games after falling to Sweden 2-0 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

• Matt Tomkins (Sherwood Park, Alta./ Frölunda HC, SHL) made 24 saves.
• Mark Barberio (Montréal/Ak Bars Kazan, KHL) led all Canadian skaters with five shots on goal. Maxim Noreau (Montréal/ZSC Lions, NL) and Adam Tambellini (Edmonton, Alta./ Rögle BK, SHL) had three shots apiece.
• Owen Power (Mississauga, Ont./University of Michigan, Big Ten) led all skaters in ice-time with 24:54.
Sweden outshot Canada 26-22.

Quotes:

“There was a lot of adversity, but every team had to go through that. At the end of the day, our group was pretty resilient. They never got rattled or frustrated, they just rolled with the punches. We came [to Beijing] with a great group of players that combined youth and veterans, and everyone seemed to come together so quickly. As a coach, I just wish our team would have been rewarded with something better than what we are left with.”
- Head coach Claude Julien (Orleans, Ont.) on being eliminated

“Consistency is always one of those things that you strive for in a tournament like this. We had some moments in all our games that were better than others, and maybe at times we didn’t have the amount of consistency that we would have liked. Our team competed hard and there were a lot of moments where we were really solid. Tonight was just one of those games where we knew that one or two plays could make the difference, and we had chances that we came close to capitalizing on. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way.”
- Captain Eric Staal (Thunder Bay, Ont./Iowa, AHL) on finding consistency

“When you have a chance to play together more often, you get familiar with your teammates, you know who you are going to play with and who is going to be on the power play. We know how hard it is to come together quickly and find success, especially at a tournament like this. Our guys did a really good job, and we became such a tight-knit group over a short period of time. We had a great group with veteran leadership and young talent, but we just needed to get inside [Sweden’s] defenders more and create some more traffic around the net.”
- Noreau on establishing chemistry

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow through social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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Game-worn Olympic hockey jersey auction now open

Support grassroots hockey and bid on game-worn jerseys from Beijing 2022 until Feb. 21

NR.007.22
|
February 16, 2022

BEIJING, China – Hockey fans across the world can own a piece of Hockey Canada history and bid on game-worn jerseys from Canada’s women’s and men’s Olympic hockey teams.

Bidding will remain open until Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT at HockeyCanada.ca/Auction.

Proceeds from the online auction benefit the Hockey Canada Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation and will be invested in programs to grow the game at the grassroots level in Canadian communities.

As Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team prepares for tonight’s gold medal game, fans can join the excitement of the Games and bid on game-worn jerseys from captain Marie-Philip Poulin, tournament scoring leader Sarah Nurse, first-time Olympian Sarah Fillier and the rest of Team Canada.

The online auction for Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team is also open, with game-worn jerseys available of captain Eric Staal, No. 1 NHL draft pick Owen Power, Kent Johnson and the other 22 members of the Canadian roster.

“All month, hockey fans from coast to coast to coast have been cheering on Canada’s men’s and women’s teams at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games as they proudly represent our country,” said Donna Iampieri, executive director of the Hockey Canada Foundation. “Now, they can own a piece of hockey history and support the development of grassroots hockey across Canada.

“Proceeds from the online auction will help establish a legacy for our Olympic hockey teams that goes well beyond the Games and inspires the next generation of hockey players to chase their Olympic dreams.”

Through the auction, hockey fans have already raised over $35,000 for grassroots hockey.

For more information on the Hockey Canada Foundation, please visit HockeyCanada.ca/Foundation.

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Answering the call

It wasn’t the career path he imagined, but playing in Switzerland has led to countless Hockey Canada opportunities for Maxim Noreau

Lee Boyadjian
|
February 16, 2022

He led Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team in scoring and captured a bronze medal in PyeongChang. He has won four Spengler Cup titles in six appearances, including four times as captain. And yet even with so much international success, Maxim Noreau may not be a household hockey name in Canada, thanks to the majority of his career being overseas.

“I’m not going to dwell on the ifs, ands or buts,” Noreau says of his time working his through the North American system. “At the end of the day, I’m 34 and still getting paid to play hockey but I don’t even consider it a job.

“I still love going to the rink in the morning. I jump out of bed, I just love doing it.”

It’s that passion exhibited by the Montreal product that has made him a repeat representative of the red and white. No matter when the call comes, Noreau answers.

“For him to always answer the call the way he has and not only answer but deliver when he’s there, says a lot about him and his willingness to support the program and his country,” says Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of hockey operations with Hockey Canada.

Noreau spent three seasons with the Victoriaville Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but was undrafted to the National Hockey League (NHL). In 2008, the defenceman signed an entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild and spent the majority of three seasons with their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Houston Aeros.

He made his NHL debut in the 2009-10 season, appearing in just one game. The following season, Noreau played five more NHL contests, though didn’t record a point. He finished the year with the Aeros, was named to the AHL First All-Star Team, then traded to the New Jersey Devils in the off-season.

In 2011-12, Noreau made the decision to head overseas to play in the Swiss National League. And it was during that season he first put on the Maple Leaf at the Spengler Cup.

“It’s always an honour and a privilege [to represent Canada] and I don’t take it for granted,” Noreau says. “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to [go to the Olympics] once, let alone twice so I’m definitely happy to have the opportunity.”

The lead up to the 2018 Games was very different from his Beijing experience, Noreau says. A handful of European tournaments provided Team Canada management with scouting opportunities to form a more cohesive team. Though it also made for a busier schedule for the players.

“Every time I’d get a break in Switzerland, instead of going on vacation like everyone else I’d be jumping on a plane in Zurich and going to Moscow or Finland or wherever [the tournament] was,” Noreau recalls. “So, to get that call [that he made the Olympic team], I definitely got choked up … just knowing all the stuff I had to go through to get there.

“Now I think my career, trying to be consistent, trying to be a good person, be a good guy in the room I think has paid it back where for [these Games] I didn’t have to showcase … people know what they’re getting.”

Noreau is in his third season with the ZSC Lions, his third club in Switzerland. Head coach Rikard Grönborg says ZSC has seven players in Beijing, not the least of them their lone Canadian defenceman.

“Max is a natural leader and continually inspires his teammates to perform to the best of the capabilities,” Grönborg says. “It is my honour and privilege to work with such talented players but more importantly wonderful and stand-up people.”

Salmond agrees, pointing out Noreau is wearing an ‘A’ at the Games.

“I think he’s a real pro … the way he handles himself, the way he is around the younger players and, again, that experience around Team Canada,” Salmond says. “Understanding the expectations we have as a program and a country in the way that we want to win and the way we want to play [is an asset to the team].”

“Anytime you get Canadians together in a room, especially a hockey room we all know what is expected of us,” Noreau says. “You can’t be scared to say your ultimate goal is to win the gold medal.”

A gold medal which would certainly be the featured item in an already packed Team Canada trophy case for one of the least well-known though highly decorated Canadian hockey players.

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Men’s Olympic Preview: Canada vs. Sweden

Wednesday, February 16 | 8:30 a.m. ET | Beijing, China | Qualification Round

Jason La Rose
|
February 15, 2022

GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. SWEDEN (FEB. 16)

TV: CBC | Stream: CBC.ca

Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team is into the final eight at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, with a tough quarterfinal matchup on tap – it takes on Sweden on Wednesday.

LAST GAME

Canada rode its power play to a 7-2 win over host China in the qualification round on Tuesday. The Canadians scored four times in eight chances, with Jordan Weal scoring twice with the man advantage along with one each from Adam Tambellini and Jack McBain. Tambellini also scored a penalty-shot goal, Canada’s first since Petr Nedved in 1994, and added three assists for the first five-point game by a Canadian at the Games since Dave Gagner against Norway in 1984.

The Swedes closed out their preliminary round on Sunday, taking a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes through goals from Lucas Wallmark, Lukas Bengtsson and Anton Lander, only to see Finland erase that deficit in the third period and steal a 4-3 overtime win. While the loss dropped them out of first place in Group C, the single point was enough to earn them a bye through to the quarters.

LAST MEETING

The last Olympic meeting was a memorable one for Canadian hockey fans. That was Feb. 23, 2014, when Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz scored the goals and Carey Price made 24 saves to give Canada a 3-0 win and its ninth, and most recent, Olympic gold medal.

That was the last top-level meeting at any event; the teams last clashed at the IIHF World Championship in 2017 – also for gold – when Ryan O’Reilly scored and Calvin Pickard made 40 saves, but Sweden earned a 2-1 shootout victory for its 11th world title.

WHAT TO WATCH

Canada’s power play was deadly against the Chinese, counting four goals on eight chances. That could be key against the Swedes, who come into the game with the worst penalty kill in the tournament – they have allowed four PP goals on just 10 chances through three games. The Canadians, meanwhile, own the best PK in the field at 92.9% (just one PPG allowed in 14 opposition chances). Nobody wants a win-or-go-home game to be a parade to penalty box, but if that happens … the Canadians have a clear edge.

For the Swedes, Wallmark has been the straw that stirs the drink. He has scored four times in three games – almost half of the team’s total of 10 and sits tied for the tournament lead with 17-year-old Slovak wunderkind Juraj Slafkovsky.

A LOOK BACK

Canada has dominated the head-to-head history, winning 13 of 17 meetings (along with one tie). The early years were one-sided (as many games were in the first Olympic tournaments), with Canada outscoring Sweden 45-1 in a trio of wins between 1920-28. The Swedes didn’t earn their first win over Canada until 1984.

This is the third time the teams have met in an elimination game at the Olympics, and the first two were both for gold. Sweden had the edge in 1994 when Peter Forsberg scored his ‘Stamp’ goal in the shootout to give the Swedes their first gold, and Canada got its gold in 2014 (see ‘Last Meeting’ section above).

All-time record: Canada leads 13-3-1 (0-1 in shootout)
Canada goals: 89
Sweden goals: 30

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For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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Schedule
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Prague & Ostrava, Czechia
Date: May 10 to 26
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Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10