CJHL Announces Head Coaches for Prospects Games

CALGARY, Alberta  – The Canadian Junior Hockey League, in partnership with Hockey Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Head Coaches for the 2013 CJHL Prospects Games.   Tom McCarthy of the Espanola Rivermen (NOJHL) will lead Team East and Luke Pierce of the Merritt Centennials (BCHL) will lead Team West at the 2013 CJHL Prospects Games on November 8th & 9th in Digby and Yarmouth, NS.

“I am extremely honoured to be given this opportunity to work with Hockey Canada and the Junior A prospects,” said Merritt Centennials GM / Head Coach Luke Pierce. “I look forward to being behind the bench with some of the best young players in our country and helping them to enjoy their experience at such a prestigious event.”

Luke Pierce was born and raised in Merritt, British Columbia and has served as GM / Head Coach of the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials since 2009-2010, when he joined his hometown team following a five-year CIS career with Royal Military College. Pierce initially joined the Centennials as an Assistant Coach, but in November of 2009 was promoted to Head Coach and General Manager.

Pierce, 30, has a lengthy list of accomplishments, both personally and with the Centennials hockey club. In 2011-2012, Pierce helped guide the Centennials to the franchises most wins and points since 1979.   The Centennials have made the playoffs every season with Pierce behind the bench.  Pierce is the defending Interior Division Coach of the Year, and just prior to the conclusion of the past regular season, surpassed the 100-win plateau in the BCHL. 

“Naturally, it is an honour to be selected for this opportunity,” said Espanola Rivermen Head Coach Tom McCarthy.  “It is the dream of everyone in hockey to take part in Hockey Canada and CJHL events like the CJHL Prospects Games, and I look forward to serving as the bench boss when these 40 players come together.”

Tom McCarthy played 460 games in the NHL as a member of the Minnesota North Stars and Boston Bruins.  McCarthy was chosen in the first round (tenth overall) by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. McCarthy played in the 1983 NHL All-Star Game and finished his career with 178 goals and 399 points.

McCarthy has coached the Huntsville Otters and the Trenton Golden Hawks of the OJHL.  In 2011, McCarthy was named Head Coach of the North Bay Trappers (NOJHL) where he coached for two seasons, leading the team to an NOJHL championship in 2013.  McCarthy is now the Head Coach of the Espanola Rivermen (NOJHL).

The CJHL Prospects Game was created to showcase 40 of the top NHL prospects in the CJHL. The CJHL Prospects Games feature players from the CJHL's five western leagues competing against players from the CJHL's five eastern leagues. The event includes a two-game total goal series between Team East and Team West in a battle for the President's Cup, which is awarded annually to the winning team.

Rosters for the 2013 CJHL Prospects teams will be determined following the World Junior A Challenge Selection Camps at the end of October.    Player selection for the annual CJHL Prospects Games is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.

CJHL Prospects Game #1 will be played on Friday, November 8th at the Digby Arena in Digby, NS at 7:00PM. On Saturday, November 9th, Game #2 will take place at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, NS at 4:00PM.   Tickets to the CJHL Prospects Game in Digby, N.S., are on sale at the Digby Arena and at www.hockeycanada.ca/wjac.  Tickets to the CJHL Prospects Game in Yarmouth, N.S., will be on sale at a later date.