Spokane’s Smith, Kamloops’ De Palma to join Canada’s coaching staff for 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

Spokane’s Smith, Kamloops’ De Palma to join Canada’s coaching staff for 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

April 11, 2024 at 12:41 pm  Kamloops Blazers, Sports

Calgary, Alta.- Spokane Chiefs Head Coach Ryan Smith and Kamloops Blazers goaltending coach Dan De Palma have been selected to join Team Canada’s coaching staff for the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship.

The tournament runs from April 25 to May 5 in Espoo and Vantaa, Finland.

Smith joins the group as an assistant coach, along with Head Coach Gardiner MacDougall (UNB Varsity Reds, AUS) and fellow assistants Travis Crickard (Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL) and Bruce Richardson (Team Canada U16), while De Palma will handle goaltending.

Smith recently completed his second year as the Head Coach of the Spokane Chiefs after serving as an associate coach for the two previous seasons.

The Headingley, Man. product has spent nearly a decade coaching in the WHL with Spokane, Medicine Hat and Swift Current, and recently represented Canada as the Head Coach of the 2024 Youth Olympic Games squad, which finished fourth after a shootout in the bronze medal game.

Smith has also won silver as an assistant coach with Team Canada Red at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and won silver and bronze as an assistant coach with Canada West in the 2012 and 2013 World Junior A Hockey Challenges.

De Palma has spent 14 years as a goaltending coach for his hometown Kamloops Blazers.

He also worked with the Prince George Cougars from 2006-2009.

De Palma has represented Canada as a goaltending consultant for Team Canada Black at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal.

Edmonton Oil Kings athletic therapist Jimmy McKnight and Victoria Royals team physician Dr. Michael Conrad will also join Team Canada’s support staff.

Canada’s pursuit of gold begins on April 25 at 10:00 a.m. MST against Sweden. Canada will also face Czechia, Switzerland and Kazakstan in round-robin action before semifinal play on May 4 and medal matches on May 5.

Since 2002, Canada has earned gold four times at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021), as well as one silver (2005) and four bronze (2012, 2014, 2015, 2023)

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