CJHL names guest coaches for upcoming Prospects Game

Toronto Maple Leafs legends Rick Vaive & Wendel Clark to be behind the benches for Team East & West respectively

CALGARY, Alta. – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Friday that Toronto Maple Leafs’ legends Rick Vaive and Wendel Clark have been named as guest coaches for the upcoming CJHL Prospects Game, which goes Tuesday, January 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Port Credit Memorial Arena in Mississauga, Ont.

Vaive will serve as guest coach for CJHL East along side head coach John Dean (Toronto Patriots/OJHL) while Clark will do likewise for CJHL West and Joe Martin (Merritt Centennials/BCHL) in the contest that will feature 40 of the top CJHL prospects for the 2018 NHL Draft this June in Dallas taking part.

Both Vaive and Clark had lengthy and successful NHL careers with the pair also having the honour of being Maple Leafs’ captain at various points during their time in the league.

TEAM EAST GUEST COACH – RICK VAIVE: The first member of the Maple Leafs to score 50 goals in a season, back during the 1981-82 campaign, Vaive accomplished the feat three times as part of his 14-year NHL career that saw him amass 788 points in 876 games, including 441 goals. … As a coach Vaive spent five years behind the bench of the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL where he led his club to a league championship in 1996-97. … He also coached in the American Hockey League for two seasons as well as in the Ontario Hockey League.

TEAM WEST GUEST COACH – WENDEL CLARK: Arguably one of the most popular players to ever compete with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Clark’s retired No. 17 hangs from the rafters of the Air Canada Centre and he is one of 14 former Maple Leafs’ greats to be recognized with a statue outside of the ACC in Legends Row. Clark spent 16 seasons in the NHL, 13 of which were in Toronto. … In 793 NHL games, Clark scored 330 times and added 234 assists for 564 points.

Each of the respective team line-ups for the CJHL Prospects Game were chosen in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting. The remaining team coaches and support staffs for both sides will be announced Saturday.

ABOUT THE CJHL PROSPECTS GAME: The CJHL Prospects Game, in partnership with the NHL, Hockey Canada and NHL Central Scouting, is one of the premier Junior A hockey events in the country and provides tremendous exposure for CJHL players to play in front of scouts from all over the hockey world – including the NHL, CHL, NCAA and Canadian universities and colleges. The President’s Cup is awarded to the winning team of the contest.