When the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships return to Toronto and Montreal this December, Canada will have a new head coach, but a familiar face behind the bench. An assistant to Dave Lowry with the 2016 team, Dominique Ducharme will be the head coach for the 2017 team. Ducharme has previously coached Team Canada at the Under 17 and Under 18 levels.
Ducharme was named the new head coach and general manager of the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this past April. He had spent the previous five seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads, leading the team to the Memorial Cup in 2013.
Ducharme and Hockey Canada are looking to improve on their result from this year’s tournament in Helsinki, where a quarter-final loss was Canada’s worst showing in 18 years. Heading back to the Toronto and Montreal co-hosts, they are hoping to replicate the gold medal winning form of the 2015 team on home ice.
Ducharme will be joined behind the bench by the Moose Jaw Warriors Tim Hunter, Erie Otters Kris Knoblauch, and Misha Donskov of Hockey Canada.
“Every year, we undergo an extensive process to select our national team coaches from amongst a very deep and talented pool of candidates from across the CHL – and this year was no exception,” said Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams Scott Salmond via a press release. “Dom, Tim, and Kris bring a great cross-section of experience to this team, and an understanding of what it takes to be successful at tournaments where you don’t have the luxury of time on your side. Their individual records speak for themselves, but we’re most excited about the prospect of what these three great hockey minds can produce working as a coaching unit.”
“Being part of Team Canada at any capacity is an experience like no other. The role of head coach of the National Junior Team isn’t one I take lightly,” said Ducharme. “I’m looking forward to working with Misha, Tim and Kris, and demonstrating our Canadian talent in front of a hometown crowd this December.”