Despite falling to the United States in the gold medal game at the latest World Junior Championships, Dominique Ducharme and the entire Team Canada coaching staff will return for 2017 according to Tim Wharnsby of CBC. The former head coach of the Halifax Mooseheads and current bench boss and GM of the Drummondville Voltigeurs, Ducharme is considered an excellent upcoming prospect in the coaching ranks.
The Team Canada job is one that is often a stepping stone for future NHL coaches, and has been held by names like Mike Babcock, Willie Desjardins, and Claude Julien over the years. Obviously there is no guarantee that Ducharme is headed for the NHL, but at just 43 years old he has a long career ahead of him.
- The San Jose Sharks have sent Kevin Labanc to back to the AHL according to Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News. With Jannik Hansen finally arriving to practice with the team today, Labanc no longer had a spot. The young winger has played 49 games for the Sharks this season, scoring 19 points and generally auditioning well for a full-time spot next season. At just 21-years of age, he’s already progressed much faster than any sixth-round pick is expected to.
- Speaking of draft picks, Jeff Marek of Sportsnet has released his latest prospects rankings for the upcoming draft. While he still has Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings at number one—and calls him Jonathan Toews-lite—Nico Hischier has climbed over Timothy Liljegren into the number two spot. Mississauga’s Owen Tippett jumps up to fourth, while Klim Kostin drops more than 11 spots due to his season-ending shoulder surgery. One to watch is Nicolas Hague of Mississauga, who will get a chance to show his all-around ability in the OHL playoffs soon enough.