Truitt named head coach for 2023 IIHF Men’s U18 World Championship
CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has announced the staff that will lead Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 20-30 in Basel and Porrentruy, Switzerland.
Head coach Jeff Truitt (Rosetown, Sask./Prince Albert, WHL) will be joined by assistant coaches John Dean (Don Mills, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) and Bruce Richardson (Montréal, Que./Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL), as well as goaltending consultant Justin Pogge (Penticton, B.C./Wolfsburg, DEL).
The coaching staff was selected by Alan Millar (Tottenham, Ont.), director of player personnel, and Benoit Roy (Sudbury, Ont.), senior manager of hockey operations.
“We are very excited to unveil our coaching and support staff for the upcoming world championship, as we believe this group provides important experience from the Canadian Hockey League and internationally,” Millar said. “Jeff, John, Bruce and Justin are thrilled to represent Canada and lead our team, and we know the athletes will benefit greatly from their leadership as we compete for a gold medal in Switzerland.”
Truitt recently completed his first season as head coach of the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League (WHL) after serving as an assistant for four seasons (2018-22). He will represent Canada behind the bench for the fifth time and first as a head coach, previously winning a World Junior gold medal in 2005 and a silver medal in 2004, both as a video coach. Truitt was also an assistant coach for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and IIHF U18 World Championship in 2007. His coaching career began in 1993 and includes stops with the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes (1993-97), Kelowna Rockets (2000-07), and Red Deer Rebels (2013-18), as well as the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons (2007-09), San Antonio Rampage (2010-11) and Texas Stars (2011-12). Truitt is a three-time WHL Champion, winning as an assistant coach in Kelowna in 2003 and 2005, and with Prince Albert in 2019. In 2004, his Kelowna Rockets captured the Memorial Cup on home ice.
Dean has been the head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the last five seasons (2018-23). Prior to joining the Greyhounds, he spent three seasons (2014-17) as assistant coach of the OHL’s North Bay Battalion and was as an assistant and head coach of the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s North York Rangers (2009-14) and the assistant general manager and head coach of the Toronto Patriots (2017-18). He made his international coaching debut at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge, serving as the video coach for Team Canada East.
Richardson returns to the international stage for the third time, and second as an assistant coach. Most recently, he was the head coach of Team Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and was an assistant with Team Canada Black at the 2014 edition of the event. He recently completed his fifth season (2018-23) as head coach of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Prior to joining the Armada, he was head coach of the Châteauguay Grenadiers (2011-2014, 2016-2018) of the Ligue de développement du hockey M18 AAA du Québec and had a two-year stint as head coach of the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres (2014-2016).
Pogge is set to make his international coaching debut at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship. The former third round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs represented Canada twice as a player, winning a gold medal at the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship and finishing with a tournament leading .952 save percentage. He was also named a reserve for Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. During the 2005-06 season, he was named the WHL’s Top Goaltender and Player of the Year while also taking home the CHL Player of the Year Award. He recently wrapped up his seventeenth season of professional hockey that spanned the NHL, AHL, ECHL, KHL, DEL, SHL and LIHG.
Hockey Canada also announced the support staff that will work with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the event:
- Video coach Andrew Boucher (Timmins, Ont.)
- Equipment manager Ashton ‘A.J.’ Murley (St. John’s, N.L.)
- Athletic therapists Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) and Jimmy McKnight (Bradford, Ont./Edmonton, WHL)
- Team physician Michael Conrad (Vancouver, B.C./Victoria, WHL)
- Education consultant Nic Reynard (Victoria, B.C./Victoria, WHL)
- Hockey operations coordinator Cassidy Wait (North Vancouver, B.C.)
Canada opens the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship against Sweden on April 20 at 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT. It will also take on Germany on April 21, Slovakia on April 23 and Czechia on April 24 to round out the preliminary round before the tournament wraps up with the bronze and gold medal games on April 30. TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners, will broadcast select tournament games, including all Team Canada games.
Since 2002, Canada has won four gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021), in addition to one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).
For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.