Calgary, Alta. – A pair of Western Hockey League head coaches will be behind the bench this summer with Hockey Canada at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Vancouver Giants head coach Michael Dyck has been named the Head Coach of Canada’s Summer Under-18 Team following the departure of Dan Lambert, who has accepted an assistant coach position with the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League.
Everett Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams had previously been named as an assistant coach for the team’s coaching staff and will continue to serve in the same role.
“It is a tremendous honour to once again have the opportunity to represent Canada internationally,” Dyck said. “We are looking forward to starting our preparation for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup this weekend.”
Under Dyck’s leadership, the Giants advanced to Game 7 of the 2019 Rogers WHL Championship Series and led the Western Conference during the regular season with a record of 48-15-3-2. He was named Western Conference Coach of the Year and helped guide the Giants to a winning percentage of .743, which was the second highest in the 18-year history of the franchise.
Before joining the Giants in 2018, Dyck had spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Giants from 2002-2005. He also served as a head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes from 2005-2009.
This will mark the fourth occasion that Dyck has represented Canada internationally. He was head coach of Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2010 and 2012, won a silver medal with Canada at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. Provincially, Dyck coached Alberta to silver at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C.
“It speaks well to the success of the entire Vancouver Giants organization when our staff get called to represent Canada internationally for such prestigious events,” said Vancouver Giants General Manager Barclay Parneta. “Michael will do a terrific job representing both the Vancouver Giants and Hockey Canada.”
Also joining Dyck on the coaching staff is Williams. With the Silvertips, Williams has guided the team to back-to-back U.S. Division titles. In his first year, Williams guided the Silvertips to a Western Conference Championship and their second-ever appearance in the Rogers WHL Championship Series. He was also a runner-up for the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as the WHL Coach of the Year. Williams coached Canada Black at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
In the coming months, more than 40 players will complete for a spot on Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team during a week-long selection camp. Twenty-two players will be selected to compete at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, set for Aug. 5-10 in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia.
With Dyck taking the reins behind the bench, Hockey Canada is working to fill the U17 head coaching position for Team Canada White at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and a replacement will be announced as soon as one is confirmed. The 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is set for Nov. 2-9 in Medicine Hat, Alta., and Swift Current, Sask.
For more information on Hockey Canada, the Program of Excellence or Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, Twitter and Twitter.com/HC_Men.
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.