One of the top prospects in the Kootenay Ice system could be on his way to earning that same acclaim with the national team.
Connor McClennon, the team’s second overall selection at the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, received an invite last week to Hockey Canada’s Under-17 development camp to be held in Calgary from July 21 to 27.
A winger from Wainwright, Alberta, McClennon is one of 111 players set to participate at the camp, which is the first opportunity to make an impression in order be selected for one of Canada’s three national teams at the 2018 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in the fall.
Last season, the 2002-born forward played for the Northern Alberta X-Treme of the CSSHL and was a finalist for the league’s MVP award after putting up 67 points in 31 games. While McClennon also played his maximum allowed 5 games in the WHL as an underager, he had zero points and won’t be eligible for his rookie season until this coming year.
According to a press release, the development camp will feature 12 goaltenders, 36 defencemen and 63 forwards, and will be split into six teams for on and off-ice training, fitness testing, practices, intrasquad games, and classroom sessions.
“The [camp] provides a unique opportunity for players to learn about what it takes to be part of Team Canada alongside the best young talent in the country,” said Shawn Bullock, Hockey Canada’s senior manager of hockey operations and men’s national teams in the release. “The players are here with the ultimate goal of wearing the Team Canada jersey in international competition, and we are supporting them in that goal by providing the on- and off-ice experiences they need to develop and grow as high-performance athletes.”
66 players will be spread amongst Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White, who will compete at the U-17 Challenge scheduled for November 3 to 10 in Saint John and Quispamsis, New Brunswick.
Last season, Kootenay Ice forward Peyton Krebs captained the Red team and won a silver medal alongside Cranbrook defenceman Bowen Byram. The United States were the overall winners of the tournament which was held in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C.