The Western Hockey League announced its Team WHL roster for the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series which is slated to take place on November 13th and 14th in Prince Albert and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan respectively.
What should be to no one’s surprise, Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram was named to the squad for the second consecutive year. Last year playing in both Team WHL games, he recorded four shots.
“It’s pretty cool.” Byram said on the honour, “The biggest thing is it’s a try-out process for the World Juniors so I’m super honoured and privileged to get the opportunity again. Definitely two big games in Prince Albert and Saskatoon.”
The 2019 fourth overall pick of the Colorado Avalanche is more or less a lock to make Canada’s National Junior team that will be participating in Group ‘B’ playing out of Ostrava, Czech Republic alongside USA and Russia.
Canada of course had a disappointing sixth place finish on home ice in Vancouver.
Since being returned from Colorado just in time for the Giants’ home opener, the Cranbrook, BC native hasn’t missed a step by compiling ten points (1G, 9A) in nine games, good for second in defensive scoring, and has fond memories of his experience last year that included a game on home ice at the LEC.
“The Russians were a really good team last year, they were fast so it was a challenge playing wise but it was also really cool to be able to meet a lot of older good players from around the WHL that I never had a chance to meet previously. It was a really fun event I thought it was really well organized and I expect nothing less this year.”
The WHL will have no shortage of talent on their roster this year with many players that could be featured at Canada’s selection camp with names such as Dylan Cozens, Kirby Dach, and Ty Smith to just name a few.
During last year’s series, the WHL split the two games with the ladder featuring Giants’ goaltender David Tendeck who stopped 25 of 27 shots he faced in a losing effort in Langley.
Giant Thoughts…The team is back from their six game East Division road trip, going 3-3-0-0 which included a 2019 WHL Final rematch in Prince Albert….Vancouver has a road game on Friday in Kamloops before finally returning home on Saturday to take on the Swift Current Broncos and Victoria the next afternoon….David Tendeck currently leads the WHL in save percentage and goals-against-average and its tied for first in shutouts with two….