The Grande Prairie Storm will have a presence at the World Junior A Challenge Team West selection camp being held Dec. 1-5 in Calgary.
Storm head coach/assistant general manager Matt Keillor will participate as a guest coach for Team Blue at the 2017 WJAC Team West camp.
Keillor, who has guided the Storm to its best start in the Alberta Junior Hockey League in years, has previously served as video coach and assistant coach for Team Alberta winning back-to-back gold medals at the Western Canadian Championships and was a guest coach for Team Red at the 2016 Team Canada U17 summer selection camp.
Alongside Keillor on Team Blue will be Brandon West, head coach of the Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Hockey League. Fellow AJHL head coach Kevin Hasselberg of the Drumheller Dragons has also been selected as a guest coach for Team White at the camp. Rick Swan, head coach of the AJHL Bonnyville Pontiacs, will be an assistant coach for Team Canada West, which will compete at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge in Truro, N.S. Dec. 10-16.
“It’s a special opportunity to work within Hockey Canada’s program of excellence,” said Keillor. “You’re going to be surrounded by the best people in the sport, with the best resources, the best coaches, the best support staffs and the best players.
“You’re going to learn something new every day and you’re going to be pushed outside your comfort zone as a coach. You get to listen and observe how other coaches at this level conduct themselves, how they handle certain situations, how they communicate with players”
Keillor hopes the experience will help make the Storm stronger.
“I owe a tonne to Hockey Alberta – from the Peewee Prospects Cup, Alberta Cup, U16 top 80 Camp and Team Alberta. They do an incredible job preparing coaches for these types of experiences.
“What I hope to bring back to our team is the level of preparation and commitment to details that the WJAC staff has. These coaches are every-dayers, and so are the players. This is a level and type of commitment we want from our staff and players in Grande Prairie.”
The Storm are back in action tonight when they host the Sherwood Park Crusaders at 7:30 p.m.