Silvertips Announce Dennis Williams to Join Hockey Canada on Staff for National Men’s Under-18 Team Summer Development Camp
EVERETT, Wash. – The Everett Silvertips, eight-time U.S. Division champions and two-time Western Conference champions of the Western Hockey League, announced today in conjunction with Hockey Canada that Silvertips head coach and interim general manager Dennis Williams, a two-time WHL Western Conference Coach of the Year, has been named as a returning member to Hockey Canada’s coaching staff for the National Men’s Under-18 Team summer development camp, July 25-Aug. 4 at Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on the Tsuut’ina Nation in Alberta.
Williams, completing his fourth season behind the Silvertips bench, helped guide the program to their fourth U.S. Division title in five seasons and returns to Hockey Canada’s coaching staff for the third straight year in a role associated with the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Team Canada, who has declined to participate in this year’s tournament due to COVID-19 restrictions, will feature 45 invited players for an 11-day camp which includes combined practices and intrasquad games with Canada’s National Junior Team.
“I’m very excited to be invited back and be involved once again with Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence,” said Williams. “To work once again with the POE program means development opportunities with an elite level group, of players, coaches and staff. I’m looking forward to working with all of them throughout the upcoming weeks and during our time in the Calgary area.”
“This stage of our Summer Showcase is about bringing together the top under-18 players in Canada to work and learn from an elite-level coaching staff, giving them the necessary skills for their hockey development to grow and succeed,” said Alan Millar, director of player personnel for Hockey Canada. “We have an opportunity to connect with the players through on- and off-ice sessions to give them the tools that will only enhance their skill set as they advance through our program and prepare for the upcoming season.”
Williams will serve alongside coaches Steve Hartley, Stéphane Julien, Brent Kisio, Alan Letang, and Brad Lauer. The players include four goaltenders, 15 defensemen and 26 forwards. Of the 45 invitees, two won a gold medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship in Frisco and Plano, Texas. During the camp session, the players will be split into two teams, Red and White, and participate in practices and intrasquad games which includes participation with Canada’s National Junior Team on Aug. 2-3.
As a two-time recipient of the WHL Western Conference Coach of the Year award, the native of Stratford, Ontario has led the Silvertips to three U.S. Division titles and the 2018 Western Conference championship in his four seasons in Everett, carrying a record of 154-52-7-7 (.733 percentage) in his WHL career since being named Silvertips head coach on May 15, 2017. After preparing for the pandemic shortened 2021 regular season, he guided the Silvertips to their eighth U.S. Division title, a 19-4 (38 points) record, and the second highest points percentage (.826) in the league.
Since his arrival, four Silvertips have medaled in international competition: Carter Hart in 2018 (Canada, gold medal, World Juniors), Dustin Wolf in 2021 (United States, gold, World Juniors), Kasper Puutio in 2021 (Finland, bronze, World Juniors), and Olen Zellweger in 2021 (Canada, gold medal, U18 World Championships). Also, a total of 11 players with playing experience as a Silvertip in that span have been named to compete in international events, spanning the World Championships, IIHF World Junior Championship, Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Williams’ international experience now includes four coaching roles for Team Canada, beginning as head coach of Team Canada Black at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
ABOUT THE SILVERTIPS AND THE NHL
A total of 20 players have suited up in an Everett Silvertips jersey and advanced to play in the National Hockey League, since the Silvertips joined the WHL in 2003-04. Entering this season, the Silvertips have elevated 27 players to be selected by teams in the NHL Entry Draft, including eight over the previous three seasons, while 11 Silvertips have signed three-year, NHL entry level or AHL contracts since 2018. The Seattle Kraken, an expansion franchise scheduled to play 30 miles away from Everett at Climate Pledge Arena, will make their NHL debut in the 2021-22 season.