Byram invited to Canada’s WJC team camp
Cranbrook’s Bowen Byram, only one day away from being a likely top 10 National Hockey League 2019 draft selection was yesterday named to Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp July 27 to Aug. 4 in Plymouth, Mich.
A total of 12 Western Hockey League players have been invited to the World Junior Championship (WJC) camp, including former Kootenay ICE (now Winnipeg ICE) centre Peyton Krebs, another likely top 10 to 20 draft selection tomorrow (6 p.m.) in Vancouver.
Seven WHL players attending the camp are eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, with Byram of the Vancouver Giants ranked second among North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings and is the CHL’s top-ranked prospect in addition to earning an invitation to the camp.
Kirby Dach of the Saskatoon Blades, Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, like Krebs, are all ranked within the top 10 skaters in North America, also earning camp invitations. Nolan Foote of the Kelowna Rockets, ranked 37th among North American skaters, and Luka Burzan of the Brandon Wheat Kings, ranked 126th, will be attending the camp. Calgary Hitmen forward Carson Focht is also eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.
Two of the 43 players invited to the camp are eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft in Montreal, Que., with Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Braden Schneider occupying one of those slots. The Prince Albert, Sask. product has represented Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
The Wheat Kings and Hitmen lead the WHL contingent with each boasting a pair of players invited to the camp. Eight other WHL member clubs are represented by a single player. The WHL will also be represented on the team staff by assistant coach Mitch Love, head coach of the Blades.
The five goaltenders, 13 defencemen and 25 forwards will be split into two teams – Red and White. The Canadians will play four games in Plymouth, taking on the United States twice in addition to singles against Finland and Sweden.
“We’re very pleased with the group that will be brought together in Plymouth,” said Shawn Bullock, director of men’s national teams. “This is a development opportunity for some of the younger athletes, and it’s a great opportunity for our coaching staff and players to start developing solid relationship ahead of the World Juniors.”
Lead image: From left Kirby Dach of the Saskatoon Blades, Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs, Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants and Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Image courtesy WHL