CALGARY, Alberta – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), in partnership with Hockey Canada, announced the hiring of the directors of operations for Canada East and Canada West for the 2016 World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, AB to be held in December.
Trevor Alto, the executive director of the BCHL, will repeat his role as director of operations for defending champions Team Canada West at this year’s event, being held December 11-17. “The World Junior A Challenge is a great event that showcases some of the top players in the CJHL,” said Alto. “For the players, it's a chance to represent not only their own team, league, and the CJHL, but also to wear the maple leaf on their chest an international competition. It's an honour to be able to work in this capacity with such great players and coaches working towards a gold medal.”
The CJHL has also hired Brent Garbutt, manager of hockey operations for the OJHL, as director of operations for Team Canada East. Garbutt brings experience to the table holding the same position back in the 2014. “It’s an honour to be selected to represent the five Eastern CJHL leagues at such a prestigious event,” said Garbutt. “I look forward to getting to work and building on my experiences from the event in 2014 to help lead Team Canada East to its first gold medal.”
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in 2006, more than 230 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 32 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Brock Boeser, Alexander Burmistrov, Joe Colborne, Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, Nikita Filatov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Denis Guryanov, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Elias Lindholm, Hampus Lindholm, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Valeri Nichushkin, Dylan Olsen, David Pastrnak, Ilya Samsonov, Jordan Schmaltz, Nick Schmaltz, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith, Evgeny Svechnikov, Vladimir Tarasenko, Kyle Turris, Alexander Wennberg, Andrei Vasilevski, Jakub Vrana, Nail Yakupov and Jakub Zboril).
Eight of the ten gold-medal games at the World Junior A Challenge have featured at least one Canadian team. Canada West won gold at the first two tournaments, in 2006 and 2007, and also took the top prize in 2011 and 2015. The team also earned silver in 2008, 2009, and 2012, and won bronze in 2013. Canada East earned silver medals in 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011, and claimed bronze in 2008.