DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – With Team Canada East and Team Canada West competing for gold at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge this week in Bonnyville, Alta., Hockey Canada has announced the 2019 event is heading back to British Columbia for the fourth time. Dawson Creek has been selected to host the 2019 World Junior A Challenge, set for Dec. 7-15, 2019.
The 2019 World Junior A Challenge – a showcase of Canadian and international Junior A talent – represents a partnership between Hockey Canada, the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) and B.C. Hockey, as well as the local host committee and NHL Central Scouting. Two Canadian teams – Team Canada East and Team Canada West – will compete against a group of top hockey nations for a gold medal at the 4,500-seat Encana Events Centre next December.
“We have established a great relationship with Dawson Creek and we are thrilled to be heading back to the city with the 2019 World Junior A Challenge,” said Dean McIntosh, vice-president of events and properties with Hockey Canada. “The community support at previous Hockey Canada events in Dawson Creek has been outstanding, and we know this event will be well-received by fans, community partners and volunteers in 2019.”
The 2019 World Junior A Challenge host committee will look to continue its historic success with Hockey Canada events, including Canada’s National Women’s Team Fall Festival last summer and the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2015 and 2017, when it welcomes Junior A hockey fans a year from now.
“We knew after signing a historic long-term hosting agreement with Hockey Canada that we would see a variety of events come to Dawson Creek, and having the 2019 World Junior A Challenge and its legacy of NHL draft picks is an opportunity for the hockey fans of the region to see some of the very best,” said Dale Bumstead, Mayor of Dawson Creek. “We are thrilled to showcase Dawson Creek and the Encana Events Centre to the world as we prepare to host another prestigious event.”
Since the event’s inception in 2006, more than 300 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 39 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Jacob Bernard-Docker, Brock Boeser, Alexander Burmistrov, Dennis Cholowski, Joe Colborne, Kyle Connor, Grigori Denisenko, Nikolaj Ehlers, Dante Fabbro, Nikita Filatov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Denis Guryanov, Tyson Jost, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Elias Lindholm, Hampus Lindholm, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Valeri Nichushkin, Dylan Olsen, David Pastrnak, German Rubtsov, Ilya Samsonov, Jordan Schmaltz, Nick Schmaltz, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith, Andrei Svechnikov, Evgeny Svechnikov, Vladimir Tarasenko, Kyle Turris, Alexander Wennberg, Andrei Vasilevski, Jakub Vrana, Nail Yakupov and Jakub Zboril).
“The World Junior A Challenge provides hockey fans the opportunity to experience the best Junior A hockey talent in the world, and to watch future NHL draft picks compete for a gold medal every year,” said Brent Ladds, president of the CJHL. “We look forward to bringing this event back to B.C. and providing the players and teams with the world-class experience we know Dawson Creek is capable of.”
Of the 12 gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenge, 10 have featured at least one Canadian team. Team Canada West has captured gold five times (2006, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017), silver three times (2008, 2009, 2012), and bronze once (2013). Team Canada East has won a medal six times, taking home silver five times (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016) and bronze once (2008).