For the second straight year, a Winnipeg ICE forward could represent the country on the international stage.
Connor McClennon, out of Wainwright, Alberta, has been invited to Canada’s national men’s under-18 selection camp from July 26-30 in Calgary.
McClennon will join 43 of the other top junior hockey players in the country, 23 of whom are forwards.
“Yeah, it’s pretty special to be invited to this camp. Anytime you get a chance to wear the maple leaf on your chest is amazing,” said McClennon. “I’m honoured to go there and now my goal is to make the team.”
With just less than a month until camp time, the ICE forward will be hard at work to make sure he’s ready.
“I’m putting as much work as I can in the next month before I head out,” said McClennon. “If I play my game, I think I have what it takes to make this team. I’ll show off what I have, and hopefully, they like it.”
Connor is a guy who loves to put the puck in the back of the net, and he’s sure good at it. He represented the country at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, where he tore it up as a member of Team Canada White. In just five games, Connor scored eight times and added three assists.
“That was a really fun experience. I got put in good situations by my coach and I was playing with really good players,” said McClennon. “I played my game and I got good results out of it, so I was really pleased.”
If Connor does make the team, he’ll head to Czech Republic and Slovakia for the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup from August 5-10, 2019.
Besides his involvement with Team Canada White, Connor was also a big part of the ICE’s offensive output last season.
He played in 46 games and put up 29 points (14G). That total put McClennon at fifth in team scoring and second in rookie scoring. His 14 goals were tops in ICE rookie scoring and fourth overall on the team.
“I was put in really good situations by James, and I think that led to great success for me,” said McClennon. “I had a good start, then I sort of struggled a bit, but I picked it up again near the end. I was pretty pleased with myself.”
That season, of course, was in Kootenay. With the team now getting set for their first season in Winnipeg at Wayne Fleming Arena, Connor’s excited to pack up his bags and make a splash in Manitoba’s capital.
“I think it’s going to be great playing in Winnipeg. It’s a hockey town, and I know the fans are super passionate,” continued McClennon. “We’re hoping we can have the same success. I’m excited to move to Winnipeg.”
“I don’t really have any expectations points-wise. I know if I play my game, they’ll likely come with that,” he added.
Connor is also eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Right now, he’s ranked #62 by Future Considerations. He’s looking forward to improving his stock ahead of what will be the biggest day of his life, early in his career.
“I think that adds a little pressure to myself,” concluded McClennon. “I’m just going to play my game this year, and if the scouts like me, they’ll take me. I’ll put my best foot forward, and hopefully, I’ll get good results out of it.”
This season will be Connor’s second full campaign with the organization.