Dennis Williams named Canada’s head coach for 2023 World Juniors

Dennis Williams pats defenceman Daemon Hunt on the helmet during a training camp practice in Calgary on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022 (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

Dennis Williams will be the head coach for Team Canada at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship to be held in Moncton, N.B., and Halifax.

The 43-year-old — who served on the 2022 staff as an assistant coach — was unveiled alongside the entire coaching staff by Hockey Canada on Wednesday afternoon.

Williams is in his sixth season as head coach and second as general manager for Everett Silvertips of the WHL.

Joining him on the bench as assistant coaches will be Stéphane Julien of the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix, Brent Kisio of the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes and Alan Letang of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting.

Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel, Alan Millar, U20 lead for the Program of Excellence management group James Boyd and senior vice-president of hockey operations Scott Salmond selected the coaches.

Also among the coaches named were goaltending consultant Kelly Guard from the Prince Albert Raiders and video coach James Emery.

Williams was part of Dave Cameron’s staff for Canada’s team that won a rare summer tournament in Edmonton with a 3-2 win over Finland in the Aug. 20 gold-medal game.

He won a silver medal as an assistant with Canada’s summer under-18 team at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and served as head coach of Canada Black at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The 2022 championship was postponed from its normal time due to an outbreak of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

Canada’s National Junior Team will begin its hunt for a repeat of August’s gold medal victory with a four-day selection camp from Dec. 9-12. The tournament officially starts on Dec. 26.

“The coaching and support staff for Canada’s National Junior Team is a well-rounded, experienced group that have been integral to the recent success of Hockey Canada’s national teams,” said Salmond in the release. “We know these individuals will play a major role in the success of our team at the World Juniors, and we look forward to the opportunity to once again compete for a gold medal on home ice in Halifax and Moncton.”

–with files from The Canadian Press

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