The coaching staff of Team Canada West will be headed by a familiar name to Lakeland hockey fans. Bonnyville Pontiacs Head Coach Rick Swan has been named the skipper of the international club that will play at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville in December. Swan is headed into his seventh season at the helm of the Pontiacs. He says his first response to the nod was immense pride.

“Words like ‘honoured’, ‘privileged’, ‘humbled’ that I am the one that Hockey Canada and the CJHL selected to lead this year’s national team west.”

Joining Swan on the coaching staff of team west are British Columbia Junior Hockey League coach Joe Martin and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League coach Derek Sweet-Coulter. Swan worked with both men on the coaching staff of the 2017 team that won a gold medal in Nova Scotia.

“These people are driven. They force you to be out of your comfort zone. It allows you to grow as a person and a player. Those are two guys I definitely respect.”

The 2018 World Junior A challenge returns to Bonnyville December 9th through the 15th. Ticket information is available through the Bonnyville Pontiacs office.