Friday, April 24, 2015
OJHL Awarded 2015 World Junior 'A' Challenge:
OJHL Awarded the 2015 WJAC
Jan 23, 2015
The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), in conjunction with the Cobourg Cougars Junior 'A' Hockey Club and the Whitby Fury Junior 'A' Hockey Club, announced today that Hockey Canada in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) has awarded the 2015 World Junior 'A' Challenge (WJAC) to the OJHL with the Cobourg Cougars and Whitby Fury to serve as the Official Host Sites from December 13–19, 2015.
The 2015 event will mark the first time that the WJAC has been held in Ontario since the tournament’s inception in 2006.
The 2015 World Junior 'A' Challenge will follow the same format as previous years – two Canadian entries will be joined by four international teams, with two groups of three teams. The group winners will receive an automatic bye to the semifinals, while the second-place and third-place teams will crossover for the quarter-finals. The 2015 WJAC will be based out of two Official Host Sites in the town of Cobourg, playing out of the Cobourg Community Centre and the town of Whitby playing out of Iroquois Park Sports Centre. The full tournament schedule, ticket and sponsorship information will be announced in the coming weeks.
The OJHL also announced that former Oshawa MPP, Jerry Ouellette has been named Chairman of the 2015 WJAC Host Committee. “I very much appreciate this opportunity in promoting the great game of Junior 'A' hockey that can be found here in Ontario and showing the wonders that can be found here in Whitby and Cobourg,” stated Jerry Ouellette, 2015 WJAC Host Committee Chair.
“The CJHL continues to build its brand across Canada through elite events showcasing our players such as the WJAC,” stated Kirk Lamb, CJHL President and Chairman. “This is the first time that the WJAC will be hosted in Ontario and by the OJHL and we are very excited to award this world class international junior hockey event to the great communities of Cobourg and Whitby.”
“The OJHL is extremely excited about being awarded the 2015 WJAC,” said OJHL Commissioner, Marty Savoy. “The OJHL strives to bring high profile Junior 'A' hockey events to our fans such as the recent CJHL Prospects game held in Oakville this week. As we continue to promote the brand of the CJHL and OJHL within Ontario we are confident that the host sites of Cobourg and Whitby will do an outstanding job in the organization and execution of the 2015 WJAC.”
“The entire Cobourg Cougars Junior 'A' Hockey Club and the Town of Cobourg are very honoured to have been selected as an Official Host Site for the 2015 WJAC,” said Cobourg Host Site Chair, Ashley Haynes. “I am very excited to work with the amazing team of people that we have assembled to act as the Cobourg Organizing Committee. We look forward to working with the Whitby Fury as the other Official Host Site and our governing partners to bring international junior hockey to all supporters of the OJHL.”
In an unprecedented decision, the OJHL Board of Governors have approved a black-out of all OJHL regular season games from December 15–19, 2015 to allow for all OJHL fans, volunteers, staff and supporters to take part in the event.
“We are thrilled to be one of the two Official Host Sites for the 2015 WJAC,” stated Mark Vinintz, Chair of the Whitby Host Site. “Partnering with such a strong OJHL franchise such as the Cobourg Cougars and our governing partners, we are excited to bring this world class international junior hockey event to Ontario and the fans of the OJHL.”
Six of the seven gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenge have featured at least one Canadian team. Canada West won gold at the first two tournaments, in 2006 and 2007, before taking the top prize in 2011; it also earned silver in 2008, 2009 and 2012, and won bronze in 2013. Canada East was silver medalist in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011, and claimed bronze in 2008.
About the WJAC
Since the first World Junior 'A' Challenge in 2006, more than 100 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 18 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Alexander Burmistrov, Joe Colborne, Nikita Filatov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Elias Lindholm, Hampus Lindholm, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Valeri Nichushkin, Dylan Olsen, Jordan Schmaltz, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith, Kyle Turris, Alexander Wennberg, Andrei Vasilevski and Nail Yakupov).