The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) and Hockey Canada have selected the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) to compete in the 2019 Junior Club World Cup in Sochi, Russia. A league-wide team of returning AJHL players will complete in the eight-team international tournament from August 23-31, 2019.
The AJHL team will represent the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) at the event, an honour bestowed on the Central Canadian Hockey League (CCHL) in 2018. Teams from Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and USA will dispute the 2019 trophy.
North America will delegate two teams to the tournament for the first time since 2014. Canada will be represented by Team AJHL while the USA delegate will be Team North American Hockey League (NAHL). The only Canadian team to win the tournament in its nine-year history is the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2013.
“For the first time in ten years Russia will have just one representative at Junior Club World Cup,” said Junior Hockey League managing director Alexei Morozov. “It will give our players the maximum opportunity to compete against international junior hockey programs. We are very happy that we managed to attract as many as two teams from North America. They will consist of players from different teams, which is great way to add excitement to the games. Sochi has everything so that the players could show their best hockey. Given the participants, and the number of national champions and medalist, we expect the upcoming Junior Club World Cup to be one of the most exciting and interesting in history.”
“Following the success of the CCHL representative team in the 2018 tournament, both on and off the ice, we are looking forward to the event this summer from both a competitive and educational perspective,” stated CJHL President Brent Ladds. “I am sure that the AJHL will ice a very competitive team, with a very strong coaching and support group having already been selected to work, with the group. We are grateful to Hockey Canada, for all their support to date, with this initiative.”
“Canada is synonymous with hockey in the eyes of the Russian community, and their hospitality and care to detail on behalf of our team, at last year’s event was greatly appreciated!”
Players and team staff members will travel to Moscow for a pre-tournament camp from August 16th – 22nd prior to travelling to Socchi for the tournament. The AJHL-All Star roster will be announced in June.
Selected to lead the AJHL squad is Camrose Kodiaks GM / Head Coach Boris Rybalka and Bonnyville Pontiacs GM / Head Coach Rick Swan. Joining the team as support staff will be Canmore Eagles Athletic Therapist Megan Hansen and Athletic Therapist Josh Armstrong of the Sherwood Park Crusaders.