Arneson Named to 2023 WJAC Staff – Truro, Nova Scotia

CALGARY, AB  Hockey Canada has announced that eight Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) coaches have been selected to lead Team Canada East and Team Canada West at the 2023 World Junior A Hockey Challenge in Truro, Nova Scotia this December.

Billy McGuigan (Summerside, P.E.I./Summerside, MHL) returns to Team Canada East as head coach for the second-straight year after winning a silver medal in 2022. He will be joined by assistant coaches Peter Goulet (Kingston, Ont./Powassan, NOJHL), Derek Smith (Belleville, Ont./Trenton, OJHL) and Josh Hardiman (Montréal, Que./Powassan, NOJHL). Hardiman will be making his international coaching debuts, while Goulet and Smith served as assistant coaches with Team Canada East in 2018 and 2022 respectively.

For Team Canada West, Scott Barney (Oshawa, Ont./Humboldt, SJHL) returns to the bench to take the reins as a head coach after serving as an assistant in 2019. He will be joined by assistant coaches Alex Mandolidis (Calgary, Alta./Winnipeg, MJHL), Kelvin Cech (Edmonton, Alta./Niverville, MJHL) and Bryan Arneson (Sherwood Park, Alta/Canmore, AJHL) who will all make their international coaching debuts in Truro.

“The coaches selected to lead Team Canada East and Team Canada West are an excellent representation of the level of talent within the coaching ranks of Junior A hockey in Canada,” said Andy Harkness, president of the CJHL. “All eight of these individuals bring a wealth of coaching and playing experience both internationally and in Canada. It is an honour for them to be named to these positions, and we look forward to them guiding our Canadian teams through a fantastic event in Nova Scotia.”

“We are excited about the quality of coaches that will lead two teams of highly-skilled players from across the country as they compete for a gold medal at the 2023 World Junior A Challenge in Truro,” said Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), senior vice-president of hockey operations with Hockey Canada. “We look forward to showcasing the talent from across the CJHL, and we know fans in Truro and across Nova Scotia will be treated to an exciting week of hockey.”

It was also announced that Chris Vanstone (Mississauga, Ont.) will return as director of operations for Team Canada East after previously serving in the same role in 2018 and 2022, while Nigel Dube (Lampman, Sask./Lloydminster, AJHL) has been named director of operations for Team Canada West.

Of the 15 gold medal games at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge, 12 have featured at least one Canadian team. Team Canada East will look to earn its first gold medal, having won silver seven times (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2019, 2022) and bronze once (2008), while Team Canada West has won gold five times (2006, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017), silver three times (2008, 2009, 2012) and bronze twice (2013, 2018).

Full-event ticket packages for the 2023 World Junior A Hockey Challenge are now available for an early-bird price of $192 and can be purchased at The package includes one ticket to all 14 games, including the medal games, while the first 100 packages purchased include an exclusive World Junior A Hockey Challenge toque and scarf.

The 2023 World Junior A Hockey Challenge represents a partnership between Hockey Canada, the CJHL, NHL Central Scouting and Hockey Nova Scotia. The international showcase features two Canadian teams along with Slovakia, Sweden and the United States.

CJHL contact
Andy Harkness

Canadian Junior Hockey League