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Ryan Smith named to coaching staff of Canada’s national U17 program

Larry Brunt

Calgary, Alta. — Spokane Chiefs coach Ryan Smith is one of 15 Canadian Hockey League coaches selected to guide Canada’s national under-17 program for the 2022-23 season, as announced by Hockey Canada.

Smith will be an assistant coach under head coaches Mark O’Leary (Moose Jaw, WHL), Bruce Richardson (Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL) and Greg Walters (Owen Sound, OHL). He’s joined by fellow assistant coaches Carl Mallette (Victoriaville, QMJHL), Devan Praught (Swift Current, WHL), Jordan Smith (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL), Rick Steadman (London, OHL) and Chad Wiseman (Guelph, OHL).

“The under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, and we are excited to welcome 15 coaches from across the CHL to help introduce the country’s top young players to our program,” said Alan Millar, director of player personnel with Hockey Canada. “All 15 coaches bring a unique skill set, combining international and junior hockey experience, and we look forward to the coaching staff helping deliver a world-class camp for all participants.”

Smith was named interim head coach of the Chiefs on February 10 after serving as an associate coach for the past two seasons (2020-22). He was previously an assistant with the Swift Current Broncos (2015-18) and Medicine Hat Tigers (2018-20). He also served as an assistant coach with Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in 2012 and 2013, winning silver and bronze, respectively.

The coaching staff will oversee and lead 100 players at Canada’s national under-17 development camp, including Chiefs prospects F Berkly Catton and D Will McIsaac.

The camp is set for July 10-16 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. The staff will also lead Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Langley and Delta, B.C., November 5-12.

Full U17 Program Team Staff

  • Mark O’Leary (Moose Jaw, WHL) – Head Coach
  • Bruce Richardson (Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL) – Head Coach
  • Greg Walters (Owen Sound, OHL) – Head Coach
  • Carl Mallette (Victoriaville, QMJHL) – Assistant Coach
  • Devan Praught (Swift Current, WHL) – Assistant Coach
  • Jordan Smith (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) – Assistant Coach
  • Ryan Smith (Spokane, WHL) – Assistant Coach
  • Rick Steadman (London, OHL) – Assistant Coach
  • Chad Wiseman (Guelph, OHL) – Assistant Coach
  • Steve Mongrain (Shawinigan, QMJHL) – Goaltending Coach
  • Franky Palazzese (Sarnia, OHL) – Goaltending Coach
  • Byron Spriggs (Lethbridge, WHL) – Goaltending Coach
  • Nick Biamonte (Guelph, OHL) – Video Coach
  • Andrew Boucher (Ottawa, OHL) – Video Coach
  • Landon Watson (Regina, WHL) – Video Coach

The Spokane Chiefs are a member of the U.S. Division of the Western Hockey league, the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players. Since 1985 the Chiefs have been a pillar in the Spokane community, offering family-friendly entertainment and a winning tradition which includes: two Memorial Cup Championships in 1991 & 2008, two WHL Championships in 1991 & 2008 and four Western Conference Championships in 1991, 1996, 2000 & 2008. Over 60 alumni have gone on to play in the National Hockey League.

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