(ISN) – The Team Pacific management group, (BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, Western Hockey League and Hockey Canada) announced today the staff selections for Team Pacific that will compete at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be held December 28, 2012 – January 4, 2013 in Victoriaville and Drummondville, Quebec.

Head Scout

Wade Klippenstein

Coaldale, AB

Director of Operations

Brent Polischuk

Victoria, BC

Head Coach

Jason Becker

Prince George, BC

Assistant Coach

Steve Hamilton

Edmonton, AB

Assistant Coach

Brandon West

Kelowna, BC

Video Coach


Athletic Therapist

Brian Cheeseman

Edmonton, AB

Equipment Manager

Troy Clifford

Kamloops, BC

“I am very honoured and excited for this opportunity to be the Head Coach for Team Pacific at the U-17 World Challenge. I am looking forward to working alongside our staff, Brent Polischuk, our D.O.P, Assistant Coaches Steve Hamilton and Brandon West, and our trainers Brian Cheeseman and Troy Clifford,” commented Team Pacific Head Coach, Jason Becker. “I am very happy to get the chance to work with not only two very good coaches, but quality individuals as well. Each of them brings different elements to the table.”

Wade Klippenstein has been the Assistant General Manager/Director of Player Personal with the Prince George Cougars since 2009. Prior to this position he served as the Director of Player Personal with the Moose Jaw Warriors. Wade has been involved with Team Alberta Programs as well as the BC Hockey High Performance Program and served as the Team Yukon Coach Mentor at the 2011 Canada Winter Games. The head scout position for Team Pacific was added this year to support BC Hockey and Hockey Alberta now that Team Pacific will be assembled as a true regional team.

Brent Polischuk has an extensive background with the BC Hockey High Performance program serving as the Vancouver Island District Evaluator. He has represented BC Hockey on the International Stage as Head Coach of Team BC U16 that competed at the Nagano Cup in 2008.

Jason Becker has been with the Prince George Cougars since 2009 serving as an Assistant Coach. After a successful career in the WHL he went on to play at the University of Saskatchewan and Europe. He has been involved with the BC Hockey High Performance program since 2010.

Steve Hamilton has been an Assistant Coach with the Edmonton Oil Kings since 2010. Prior to this position he was the Head Coach/General Manger of the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). He has served as a camp coach for Hockey Alberta in the U17 program as well as serving as a presenter at coach development sessions.

This past year Brandon West completed his first year behind the bench for the Westside Warriors of the BCHL. Prior to this he was the Head Coach for the Okanagan Rockets in the BC Major Midget League. His most recent involvement with the BC High Performance Program was at the 2012 Male U17 BC Cup.

Brian Cheeseman has served as the Athletic Therapist for the Edmonton Oil Kings since 2010, prior to this he was with the Tri City Americans. He has served as the Team Alberta Under-17 camp therapist.

This will be Troy Clifford’s second time as part of the Team Pacific staff. He has extensive experience within the BC High Performance Program; additionally he serves as the trainer for the Thompson Rivers University men’s team that competes in the BCIHL and with the Okanagan Hockey Academy.

Team Pacific will be comprised of the top 22 players from the Pacific region. Each province will hold programming to identify 34 players (4 G, 12 D, 18 F) to move on to the Team Pacific Regional Camp that will consist of 68 players. The Team Pacific Regional Camp will be held July 25-29 in Kamloops, B.C. From this camp players will be scouted with their club team until the top 22 players are named to Team Pacific in November.

“Our work has already begun with BC Cup just finishing up last weekend. The BC staff had an opportunity to watch the best 16 year olds. And next week we have an opportunity to watch the best 16 year olds from Alberta. Our summer will be busy, but will be worth all the hours and work we put into it,” commented Becker.

Team Pacific has included some of the top hockey players that Canada has ever produced. Some notable graduates who have competed on Team Pacific include:

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Team Pacific 2010
  • Evander Kane, Team Pacific 2008
  • Brent Seabrook, Team Pacific 2002
  • Dion Phaneuf, Team Pacific 2002
  • Mike Green, Team Pacific 2002
  • Jarome Iginla, Team Pacific 1994
  • Joe Sakic, Team Pacific 1986
  • The Under 17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under 18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.