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Byram Makes World Junior Roster

Photo Credit Rik Fedyck + Chris Relke + Doug Westcott

The Western Hockey League continues to produce players that are not only talented, but also world class players that take the hockey world by storm.

Now we are hearing that the WHL are going to be represented by six (6) players at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic. 

Locally we are hearing from the Vancouver Giants that Bowen Byram has made the squad and is the first Giant to represent Canada at the World Juniors since Brendan Gallagher in 2012 and is the 15th Giant’s player to compete at the World  Juniors. 

He (Byram) he represented Canada at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup (Gold Medal), the 2018 World Under-18’s and the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (Silver Medal) and he’s the 15th Giants player to (ever) compete in the World Juniors.

He was selected by the Colorado Avalanche with the fourth overall pick and so far this season through 27 games he has scored three goals and 16 assists for 19 points managing with a +6 rating and 51 penalty minutes. 

He has played in 165 career games for the Giants collecting 35 goals and 83 assists for 118 points. 

In his 29 additional playoff games, Byram has added 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points. 

Last season he became the first WHL D-man that led the playoffs scoring 26 points setting a new single-season WHL record with six (6) O/T game winning goals.

Previous Giants players that represented Canada at the World Juniors include: Brendan Gallagher (2012), Evander Kane (2009), Cody Franson (2007) and Kenndal McArdle (2007).

Smith is the only returning member of  the six WHL players on Canada’s National Junior Team that competed at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in both Vancouver and Victoria. 

It should be noted that both Byram and Cozens captured the Gold medal at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Mitch Love is the Head Coach of the Saskatoon Blades and will serve as an Assistant Coach with Hockey Canada during the entire event.

Shawn Bullock, Director of Men’s National Teams with Hockey Canada told the media “As with every year, there are difficult decisions to trim down our roster, but ultimately we believe this group will give us our best shot at a gold medal.” 

He continued “We are excited about working with these players in the Czech Republic, and we are looking forward to an exciting World Juniors.”

Canada’s final 22-player roster does not need to be officially submitted to the International Ice Hockey Federation until Dec. 25.

The puck will officially drop on Boxing Day when Canada takes on the United States at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, followed by games against Russia, Germany and the Czech Republic to round out preliminary action.

For more information on Canada’s National Junior Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, Twitter and #WorldJuniors.

As Per the Hockey Canada press release release: 

Among the athletes travelling to the Czech Republic are five (5) returnees from the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver and Victoria.

They are as follows: Hayton, Lafrenière, McIsaac, Smith, Veleno and two players (Byfield, Drysdale) who won Silver with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Shawn Bullock, director of men’s national teams with Hockey Canada mentioned “As with every year, there are difficult decisions to trim down our roster, but ultimately we believe this group will give us our best shot at a Gold medal and we are excited about working with these players in the Czech Republic, and we are looking forward to an exciting World Juniors.”

WHL players set to don the Maple Leaf as members of Team Canada include goaltender Joel Hofer (Winnipeg, Man. / Portland Winterhawks), defencemen Calen Addison (Brandon, Man. / Lethbridge Hurricanes), Bowen Byram (Cranbrook, B.C. / Vancouver Giants), and Ty Smith (Lloydminster, Alta. / Spokane Chiefs), as well as forwards Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Yukon / Lethbridge Hurricanes) and Nolan Foote (Kelowna, B.C. / Kelowna Rockets).

Canada’s final 22-player roster does not need to be officially submitted to the International Ice Hockey Federation until Dec. 25.