Bowen Byram is off to camp with Hockey Canada for the IIHF U18 world championships in Russia. Gary Ahuja Langley Times file photo

Giants’ Byram aims to crack Canada’s line-up

Vancouver rookie from Cranbrook lone B.C. invitee to U18 camp

A standout rookie season has earned Bowen Byram the chance to play some more hockey this spring.

Byram is one of eight WHL players named to the training camp roster by Hockey Canada for the 2018 IIHF U18 world championships.

The event runs April 19 to 29 in Russia and is being co-hosted by Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk.

“A huge honour and I am very excited,” Byram said.

His Giants team was eliminated in the first round of the WHL playoffs, losing in game seven to Victoria.

“To have something to look forward to like this … it definitely brought my spirits up,” Byram said, “This is a good alternative.”

In his first season with the Vancouver Giants, Byram was second among WHL rookie defencemen with six goals and 27 points in 60 games, and then added three goals and four assists in seven playoff games.

SEE: Rookie blue-liner aims to make Giant impact

He is also nominated for the WHL rookie of the year — up against Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes — with the winner announced on May 2.

But before that, Byram will get set to wear the red and white for his country.

“Bowen established himself as one of the best up-and-coming defencemen in the world this season and we have no doubt that he will make a big impact on the international stage with Team Canada,” said Giants general manager Glen Hanlon.

Byram, who is from Cranbrook, is the lone B.C. player on the roster.

The six-foot, 176-pound defenceman is one of seven 2001-born players. The other 14 are 2000’s.

Twenty-one players head to Etobicoke, Ont. for training camp April 8 to 10 before the team departs to Russia for a pair of pre-tournament games April 15 and 16.

Players can still be added to the Canadian roster as CHL teams get eliminated in the playoffs so Byram knows there is no guarantee he actually suits up when the puck drops April 19.

“I am just excited to get a shot at the team and hopefully I can crack the line-up,” he said.



sports@langleytimes.com

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