CALGARY, AB – With less than three months until the puck drops on the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, Hockey Canada has named the staff that will lead Canada’s National Junior Team in its gold medal defence in Gothenburg, Sweden.
After helping Canada win gold at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship as an assistant coach, Alan Letang (Renfrew, ON/Sarnia, OHL) returns to take the reins as head coach. He will be joined by assistant coaches Gilles Bouchard (Normandin, QC/Sherbrooke, QMJHL), Shaun Clouston (Viking, AB/Kamloops, WHL) and Scott Walker (Cambridge, ON/Guelph, OHL), as well as goaltending consultant Justin Pogge (Penticton, BC) and video coach James Emery (Calgary, AB).
In addition, three-time Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medallist Brent Seabrook (Tsawwassen, BC) will serve as a member of the management group alongside Peter Anholt (Naicam, SK/Lethbridge, WHL), the U20 lead for the Program of Excellence management group. Anholt helped select the staff alongside Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations.
“We are thrilled to welcome back Alan after a successful year where he helped Canada capture gold medals at the World Juniors and Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and to have Peter and Brent’s extensive management and playing experience leading our National Junior Team,” said Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of hockey operations. “We are also excited to have Gilles, Shaun, Scott, Justin and James round out our coaching staff, as they all bring a winning pedigree at the international and Canadian Hockey League levels. We believe this is an exceptional staff that will provide our players with an opportunity to be successful as we look to win our third-straight World Juniors gold medal.”
Seabrook is set to make his international management debut after a 15-year professional playing career. As a player, he won a gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, silver and gold at the 2004 and 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship, respectively, gold at the 2003 IIHF World U18 Championship and silver at the 2001 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Seabrook also played in more than 1,100 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks, amassing 464 points and winning three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013, 2015). He recently served as an assistant coach (2021-22) and development coach (2022-23) with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Letang most recently won a gold medal as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, as well as a gold medal as an assistant with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship. He also won a gold medal as an assistant at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. Letang is in his third season as head coach of the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and previously spent five seasons with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack as an assistant coach (2016-19) and head coach (2019-20).
Bouchard has represented Canada three times at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (2014, 2015, 2018), winning a silver medal as the head coach of Team Canada Red in 2018 and gold as an assistant with Team Canada White in 2015. He is currently in his first year as head coach of the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) after five years (2018-23) as an assistant with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL). He also served five years (2013-18) as the general manager and head coach of the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, leading the team to a QMJHL championship in 2016.
Clouston won two gold medals with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2014 and 2015 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, as well as a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship. He is currently in his fourth season as head coach of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, adding the title of general manager in 2021-22. Clouston previously spent 16 seasons (2003-19) with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers as general manager and head coach, associate coach and assistant coach, helping lead the team to Memorial Cup appearances in 2004 and 2007.
Walker has served behind the Team Canada bench at all levels of the Program of Excellence. As an assistant, he won a bronze medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, bronze and gold at the 2012 and 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, respectively, and gold at the 2012 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament. He also won a gold medal as head coach of Team Canada White at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Walker is currently a partner and president of hockey operations with the OHL’s Guelph Storm, where he also served as head coach for six seasons (2010-15, 2022-23). He also spent time with the Vancouver Canucks (2015-17, 2018-19, 2021-22) and Arizona Coyotes (2019-21) in various hockey operations roles.
The support staff that will work with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship includes:
- Athletic therapists Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown, PE) and Andy Brown (Owen Sound, ON/Owen Sound, OHL)
- Team physician Dr. R.J. MacKenzie (Albert Bridge, NS/Cape Breton, QMJHL)
- Equipment managers Chris Cook (Ottawa, ON/Brantford, OHL) and Tyler Jay (Charlottetown, PE/Saint John, QMJHL)
- Strength and conditioning coach Sean Young (Ennismore, ON/Ottawa, OHL)
- Mental performance consultant Luke Madill (Kirkland, QC)
- Manager of hockey operations Mitchell Furlotte (Bathurst, NB)
- Media relations manager Esther Madziya (Lethbridge, AB)
“I am excited to work with this world-class staff as we look to achieve our collective goal of defending gold and winning a World Junior Championship,” Anholt said. “I know every staff member is grateful for this opportunity and will represent our country with pride in Sweden, and we look forward to assembling a roster that will make Canadians proud as they cheer us on this holiday season.”
Canada’s National Junior Team will gather at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Ontario for a four-day selection camp, Dec. 10-13, before selecting a final roster ahead of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship. The selection camp will include a pair of games against a team of U SPORTS all-stars on Dec. 12-13.
For more information on Hockey Canada and the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.