44 of the top Junior A players in Canada will wear the Maple Leaf this month. The players selected to represent their country participated in a three-day selection camp at the Cornwall Civic Complex, with Canada East selecting players from the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s five eastern leagues – the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL), Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ) and Maritime Hockey League (MHL). Canada West selected its players from the CJHL’s four western leagues – the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).
Canada East’s 22-player roster was selected by head coach Billy McGuigan (Summerside, P.E.I./Summerside, MHL), alongside director of operations Chris Vanstone (Mississauga, Ont./Ontario Junior Hockey League). The roster includes Milton Menace Captain Owen Forester and Alternate Captain Lucas Buzziol.
“We had a highly-competitive selection camp, and it was great opportunity to gather in Cornwall and allow our players to compete for a spot on Team Canada East,” says McGuigan. “We are confident in the team we have selected, and our staff and players are eager for the opportunity to represent Canada and compete for a gold medal.”
Of the 14 gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenge, 11 have featured at least one Canadian team. Canada East will look to earn its first gold medal, having won silver six times (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2019) and bronze once (2008), while Canada West has won gold five times (2006, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017), silver three times (2008, 2009, 2012) and bronze twice (2013, 2018).
The tournament will run from Sunday, December 11th – Sunday, December 18th in Cornwall, Ontario. Canada East will open the 2022 World Junior A Challenge against Latvia on Sunday, December 11th at 1:00 p.m., followed by Canada West taking on the United States at 5:00 p.m. Fans looking to secure their seats can purchase a full-event ticket package for $189 here.