World Junior A Challenge camp dates announced

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) in partnership with Hockey Canada announced today the evaluation camps of Team Canada West heading into the 2008 World Junior A Challenge.

The evaluation camps will be held in order for the coaching and management staff of Team Canada West to get a strong grasp on the level of talent found in the 5 Junior A leagues in Western Canada.

The Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) will be holding a camp on Monday, October 6 in Sherwood Park. The camp will follow the AJHL Showcase which is being held in the same community.

“We are delighted to work in cooperation with the AJHL and their league showcase,” stated Team Canada West General Manager, Leonard Strandberg. “The AJHL has a history of putting top athletes in the World Junior A Challenge, and with the 2008 event taking place in Camrose, Alberta it is a nice touch to have a camp right on Alberta soil.”

The Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL), the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) will be holding a camp with talent from these three leagues on October at the Gallagher Centre.

“The western based Junior A leagues are very excited about this opportunity to gather this collection of players in one location,” declared Kim Davis – CJHL Team Canada West Representative, commenting on the camp in Yorkton. “The SIJHL, MJHL, and SJHL are all very strong leagues with a wide range of talent and skill in its players. It is our intention to pick out the best possible players in an effort to have Team Canada West win its third consecutive gold medal. The Gallagher Centre in Yorkton was the host of the 2006 World Junior A Challenge, where ironically, Team Canada West won their first gold medal.”

Assisting in the evaluation camp include the following coaches; Ed Zawatsky (Yorkton – SJHL), Jamie Fiesel (Melville – SJHL), Barry Butler (Waywayseecappo – MJHL), and Doug Hedley (OCN – MJHL). Also assisting are trainers Ron Holloway (Yorkton – SJHL), Dave Melynchuck (Melville – SJHL).

Leonard Strandberg will be making scouting trips to various British Columbia markets in an effort to assess the strong talent found in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). As well, Team Canada West Assistant Coach – Rylan Ferster will be keeping close tabs on the skilled players found in his league. Ferster is the Head Coach and General Manager of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL.

The 2008 World Junior A Challenge will take place from November 1st to 9th in Camrose, AB. Canada will look to continue its success at the event, as Team Canada East played Team Canada West in the championship finals of both the 2006 and the 2007 World Junior A Challenge events.

The CJHL is an amalgamation of ten Junior A hockey leagues from across Canada. More information on the CJHL can be found by clicking on the league website, www.cjhlhockey.com.