Former NHL player and coach Craig Hartsburg was introduced Friday as the new head coach of Canada's national junior team.

Hartsburg, 46, has spent the past two seasons as head coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He was also an assistant for last year's gold medal-winning Canadian team at the world junior hockey championship.

"It's a great honour," Hartsburg told the Canadian Press in a phone interview. "To me, there's no bigger thrill than to be able to represent Canada at the highest level. I'm excited about the challenge."

Before joining the national junior team and the Greyhounds, Hartsburg spent time behind NHL benches as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Mighty Ducks. He was alsoan assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota North Stars.

As a player, he enjoyeda 10-year pro career with the North Stars andplayed in the 1978 world junior tournament, where he was named top defencemen.

Hartsburg replaces Brent Sutter as national junior coach. Sutter left the program to dedicate more time to his job as owner, general manager and coach of the Western Hockey League's Red Deer Rebels.

The Canadian junior team went undefeated and captured two consecutive gold medals with Sutter at the helm.

Hockey Canada also named Clement Jodoin and Curtis Hunt as assistant coaches for the national junior squad.

Jodoin is head coach of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Lewiston MAINEiacs and was an assistant with the 2006 Canadian junior team. Hunt spent the past two seasons as head coach of the WHL's Regina Pats.

The next world junior hockey championship begins Dec. 26 in Sweden.

With files from Canadian Press