CALGARY, Alta. – Darren Rumble (Barrie, Ont./Moncton, QMJHL) returns to the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence men’s under-18 program, this time as Team Canada’s head coach at the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Rumble, an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in 2015 and 2016, winning gold in his first appearance, will be assisted by Steve Hamilton (Edmonton/Edmonton, WHL) and Stéphane Julien (Shawinigan, Que./Sherbrooke, QMJHL).
Rounding out this year’s coaching staff are Jory Stuparyk (Vermilion, Alta./Edmonton, WHL) as video coach, and Fred Brathwaite (Ottawa/Hockey Canada) as goaltending consultant.
“The experience this coaching staff has with short tournaments like a world championship is important because the approach and preparation is completely different,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams. “We’ve had Darren working with our National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team for the past two years, and Steve has been part of the Under-17 program as a coach for Team Pacific. We’re confident that together with Stéphane, Jory, and Fred they will ensure that our players are ready to compete for gold next month in Slovakia.”
Rumble’s head-coaching experience spans two seasons with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, and he just finished his fourth season with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL. In addition to his experience with Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, Rumble was an assistant coach at the 2013 IIHF World Championship, Division II with Iceland, winning bronze. His playing career included 193 NHL games with Ottawa, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay, as well as stints in the AHL and IHL. Rumble also played three seasons with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers.
Hamilton coached at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, as both assistant coach then head coach for Team Pacific, and was tapped as assistant coach for the WHL All-Stars during Canada/Russia Series last fall. He joined the Edmonton Oil Kings as an assistant coach for the 2010-11 season following five seasons as general manager and head coach in the Alberta Junior Hockey League – with the Fort Saskatchewan Traders (2005-06) and Spruce Grove Saints (2006-10). Hamilton was promoted to head coach of the Oil Kings before the start of the 2014-15 season.
Julien joined the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix as assistant coach for the 2012-13 season following his final season as a player in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) in Germany. He was promoted to head coach midway through the 2015-16 season. Julien’s playing career included five seasons in the QMJHL (1990-95) with Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke, and 18 seasons of professional hockey in France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland Austria. He won the Emile Bouchard Trophy as QMJHL defenceman of the year in 1994-95.
Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel, Ryan Jankowski, and the coaching staff will select Canada’s roster for the upcoming 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship. The roster will include players whose CHL teams either missed the playoffs or are no longer competing in the postseason.
Canada opens the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship on April 13 against Latvia; it will also play Finland, Slovakia and Switzerland in preliminary-round action.
Canada has won seven medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship, including three gold medals (2003, 2008, 2013).